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Spiritual Inquiries: 9. The Akashic Records

Feb 07, 2006 11:06 PM
by saidevotee

Chitra guptam mahaa praajnam lekhaneepatra dhaarinam; 
Chitra-ratnaambara-dhaararn madhyastham sarvadehinaam. 

The Chitra Guptas, who are endowed with great intelligence and 
copious memory, keep records and preserves on leaves with pencil, 
the memory of every act of the souls. Wearing jewels of precious 
stones, they mediate as umpire between all souls that are 

Chitra guptam - The Chitra Guptas (who are endowed with)
maha praajnam - great intelligence and copious memory, (and who) 
lekhaneepatra - with (their) pencil, on leaves 
dhaarinam - keep records and preserve the memory (and who) 
Chitra-ratnaambara-dhaararn - wearing jewels of precious metals 
madhyastham - mediate as umpire (madhyasthaha is an epithet of 
Lord Shiva also) 
sarvadehinaam - between all souls that are embodied. 

Hindus meditate on this invocation to the Chitra Guptas, the 
recording angels of the Hindu pantheon, on the Chitra Purnima day 
(full moon day of the Chaitra month) that falls in April. 

The twelve months of the Hindu lunar year are named after the star 
during whose ascendency the full moon of that month occurs. 
Chaitra is the first month of the year and the Chaitra star is 
sacred to the Chitra Guptas. The festival of Chitra Purnima is 
celebrated with offerings to these angels in Yama Dharma Raja's 
court, who keep the karmic records of all souls that are embodied 
on successive reincarnations. Based on these records, Lord Yama 
guides the souls on further course of their evolution. 

The terms chitra and gupta are highly evocative. Together they 
refer to the picturized and esoteric records of memory. Even 
though the recording angels are symbolized with pencil and leaves 
for keeping the records of souls, their very name implies that the 
records are kept in the form of pictures. Not just still 
photographs, but a living, cinematograpic record, as we will see 
in this article. 

The Chitra Purnima festival ends with a moonlight dinner served 
with chitraannam, a variety of colorful rice dishes, such as the 
lemon rice, the tamarind rice, the coconut rice and the curd rice, 
among other delicacies. 

When a man dies, and while his prana and etheric double withdraw 
from his physical body, he watches a personal movie of his life in 
the incarnation that just ended. 
Arthur Powell, who compiled the works of leading Theosophists 
(other than H.P. Blavatsky) in five volumes, speaks of this 
scenario in the volume The Etheric Double as below: 

"It is during the withdrawal of the double, as well as afterwards, 
that the whole of the man's past life passes swiftly in review 
before the Ego, every forgotten nook and corner of the memory 
yielding up its secrets, picture by picture, event by event. In 
these few seconds the Ego lives over again his whole life, seeing 
his successes and failures, loves and hatreds: he perceives the 
predominant tendency of the whole, and the ruling thought of the 
life asserts itself, marking the region in which the chief part of 
the post-mortem life will be spent. As the Kaushitakopanishat 
describes it, at death Prana gathers everything together and, 
withdrawing from the body, hands everything onwards to the Knower, 
who is the receptacle of all." 

People who had NDE (near-death experiences) have testified to 
watching the movie of their personal life. The karmic records of 
the souls are stored as multimedia books of evolution of each soul 
through its long journey of repeated incarnations. These karmic 
records are generally referred to by the term Akashic Records. 

The equivalent of Chitra Gupta's records are found in other 
religions too. The following is an excerpt from the book What 
Becomes Of The Soul After Death by Swamy Sivananda (of the Divine 
Life Society): 

"The departed soul will wait for some time. Then God will appear 
to judge them. Mohammed will take the office of intercessor. Then 
everyone will be examined regarding all his actions in his life. 
All the limbs and parts of the body will be made to confess the 
sins committed by each. Each person will be given a book in which 
all his actions are recorded. This corresponds to the books of the 
Hindus in which Chitragupta, the Superintendent of Lord Yama, 
records all the actions of human beings. 

Gabriel will hold a balance and the books will be weighed in the 
balance. Those, whose virtuous deeds are heavier than the evil 
ones, will be sent to heaven. Those, whose wicked deeds are 
heavier than their good actions, will be sent to hell. 

This belief of the Mohammedans has been taken from the Jews. The 
old Jewish writers have mentioned of the books to be produced at 
the last day, which contain a record of men's deeds and the 
balance wherein they shall be weighed. 

The Jews borrowed this idea from the Zoroastrians. The 
Zoroastrians hold that two angels named Mehr and Sarush will stand 
on the bridge on the day of Judgement to examine every person as 
he passes. Mehr represents divine mercy; He will hold a balance in 
his hand to weigh the actions of men. God will pronounce the 
sentence in accordance with the report of Mehr. If the good 
actions preponderate, if they turn the scale even by the weight of 
a hair, they will be sent to heaven. But those whose good deeds 
will be found light, will be thrown from the bridge into hell by 
the other angel, Sarush, who represents Justice of God. 

There is a bridge called Al Sirat by Mohammed, which is on the 
road to heaven. This bridge is thrown over the abyss of hell. This 
bridge is finer than hair and sharper than the edge of a sword. 
Those Mohammedans, who have done good deeds, will easily cross 
this bridge. Mohammed will lead them. The evil-doers will miss 
their footing and fall down headlong into the hell, which is 
gaping beneath them. 

The Jews speak of the bridge of hell which is not broader than a 
thread. The Hindus speak of Vaitarani. The Zoroastrians teach that 
all men will have to pass over the bridge called Pul Chinavat on 
the last day."

The Akashic Records constitute the only reliable history of the 
world. They are also referred to as the memory of nature, the true 
Karmic Records, or the Book of the Lipika. 

The term Akashic is a misnomer: though the records are read from 
akasha, the matter of the mental world, they do not belong to that 
world. The term Akashic implies that it is in the mental world 
that the first definite reflections of the records is encountered. 
The originals of these records are stored in far higher planes, of 
which little is known. 

The great original records are actually the memory of the Solar 
Logas, whose causal body includes the entire solar system. They 
are reflected in the matter of the lower planes. Theosophical 
research has shown these reflections to exist on the buddhic, 
mental and astral planes. A person with a developed causal body 
can read these records with reliable accuracy on the mental plane. 

Akashic Records on the Astral Plane 
On the astral plane, the matter is in rapid and turbulent motion. 
So the reflections of the records on this plane are highly 
imperfect and unreliable. Further, the reflections are like 
three-dimensional objects reflected in a two-dimensional water 
surface: they show only the shape and colour, and the objects are 

If a cliarvoyant has acquired only astral sight, then he can never 
reliably read these astral records. He can of course, train 
himself with vigorous practice to sift the chaff from the grain 
and construct from broken reflections, but that would be a waste 
of labour, because by the time he acquires this facility, he would 
have developed mental sight, which would enable him to read the 
records far more reliably from the mental plane! 

Akashic Records on the Mental Plane 
On the mental plane, the akashic records can be read without 
mistakes, since the conditions here are far different. This means 
that if two or more clairvoyants examine a record using mental 
sight, they would see the same reflection, and get a correct 
impression from reading it. The ability to read the records on the 
mental plane requires that the Ego is fully awakened in order to 
use the atomic matter of the plane. 

People witnessing events on the physical plane differ in their 
details when they describe them later, because of inherent 
personal choices in their observations. This kind of personal 
equation affects only minimally the description of the records on 
the mental plane, but there is another difficulty. 

The real difficulty lies in conveying the impressions received to 
lower planes. We should remember that experiences on the mental 
plane can hardly be described in identical manner within the 
resources of the physical plane expressions. Just as 
two-dimensional photographs cannot convey the true perspective of 
the objects they represent, the impressions of the 
five-dimensional mental plane can hardly be adequately described 
on the three-dimensional physical plane. Theosophical 
investigations on the mental plane are therefore, checked and 
verified by two or more people, before they are published. 

Nature of Akashic Records on the Mental Plane 
On the astral plane the records generally appear as still 
pictures. Occasionally they might be endowed with motion, implying 
that the reflection is clearer. 

A person on the mental plane who just observes the records without 
thinking about them, would find that the records surround him as 
the background to whatever is going on. He would feel like being 
surrounded by an array of television screens, wherein the action 
takes place in motion pictures, since they are really continuous 
reflections of the ceaseless activity of a great Consciousness 
upon a far higher plane. 

Secondly, when the observer turns his attention to a scene, he 
actually enters the scene as an unperceived observer! This is akin 
to Harry Potter entering into a scene in the life of Tom Riddle 
through the latter's diary. The observer is only a witness who 
cannot change the course of a scene though he is present there, 
and the actors are totally uncouscious of him, as they are only 

More interesingly, the observer has these powers with which he can 
control the scenes: Using his thoughts, he can fast-forward, 
rewind, or zero-in on a picture to examine it minutely, spread the 
entire lot of scenes before him and examine each picture, and go 
through the events of one year in a time span of one hour! Since 
he is actually present on the scene, he hears and understands what 
people say. He is also conscious of their thoughts and motives! 

There is one special case wherein the observer can take part in 
the drama that unfolds before him: A scene he was part to, in an 
earlier life. In this case, the observer can either witness what 
passes before him, or re-experience his thoughts and emotions of 
that time, though he cannot change the course of the scene. In 
this case, since he is involved, the observer downloads the 
related portion from the universal consciousness. 

Educative Use of Akashic Records 
Akashic records thus throw up interesting possibilities to the 
student who has the power to examine them. He can review the 
history of the world at his leisure and correct errors and 
misrepresentations. He can also watch the geological history of 
the earth, as it went through its cataclysms. 

While observing history, determining the actual dates might be 
done in many ways: 1. From the mind of an intelligent person 
present on the scene. 2. Actually observing the date in a document 
or monument and later converting this date to other calendar 
systems. 3. Turning to other contemporary records to ascertain a 
date. 4. Observing a known date and then fast-forwarding to the 
required date, counting the years that pass by rapdily. 5. When 
the years to pass by are in millenniums, compute the date from 
astronomical data. 6. For records involving millions of years, 
using the period of the precession of the equinoxes (approximately 
26,000 years) as a unit, as much accuracy is not required in this 
case. To make these things happen, the observer requires to have 
perfect mental sight at his command. 

Even with perfect mental sight at command that minimizes errors of 
observation, we should remember that on the mental plane we are 
looking at the records only from below (looking at them from above 
is far beyond our present capabilities) and hence the perceptions 
are not necessary perfect. 

Akashic Records and Public Thought-Forms
An abundance of public thought-forms exist on the astral and 
mental planes. These should not be confused to represent the 
akashic records. 

Public thought-forms comprise of public opinions of events and 
characters, real and fictional. Products of thought-forms are also 
made by authors of cinema, drama, fiction and other creative arts. 
While watching the akashic records requires real mental sight, 
watching public thought-forms require only a glimpse at the mental 

Akashic Records and Psychometry 
Psychometry is the faculty of divining knowledge about an object, 
or about a person connected with it, through contact with the 
object. It is based on the principle that every particle has 
within it a record of everything that has occurred in its 
neighbourhood. The object acts as a conductor between the record 
and the psychometrist who handles it. A psychometrist for example, 
can talk about the ancient life around the Stonehenge, by touching 
a stone in the collection. 

Psychometry probably finds expression even in ordinary memory. Our 
brain cells probably act as links to make us remember our past 
events from the akashic records. 

A trained clairvoyant also needs a link to find an event he had no 
previous knowledge of, from the records: 1. Where he has visited a 
scene of the event, he can call up an image and use it to search 
the records. 2. Where he has not visited the scene, he might use 
the date of the records, and then locate an event of that date. 3. 
He might locate a prominent person he can identify from the 
records of a period and then use the person as a search reference 
for the desire event. 

Thus the power to read the memory of nature exists in varying 
degress among people: 1. The accomplished clairvoyant who can read 
the akashic records at will. 2. A psychometrist who requires an 
object from the past to link to the events of the period. 3. The 
person who gets glimpses of the past in occasional, spasmodic 
visions. 4. A crystal-gazer who watches the scenes from the past 
either consciously or unconsciously. 5. Psychics who can only 
psychometrise on persons. These people, whey they meet a stranger, 
can sometimes describe a prominent event in the person's past 

Akashic Records on the Buddhic Plane 
Since time and space are no longer limitations, akashic records on 
the buddhic plane appear as a concurrent landscape of active 
events, which appear to play out in an eternal now. The 
omnipresent consciousness of the observer watches all the events 
simultaneously, as happening now in the present, past and present 
merging into one. They are no longer presented as the memory of 

We can understand the concept of the eternal now by this simple 
and purely physical analogy, that presumes two things: 1. Physical 
light travels at its usual speed indefinitely into space without 
loss. 2. The Ego being omnipresent is present at every point on 
the space, not successively but concurrently. 

In this set up, the Ego watches the events that take place along 
the entire space simultaneously, precluding the concept of time. 
Using the consciousness as a focus, the Ego can scan the events 
forward or backward at any speed, and also have a continuous but 
concurrent view of everything that takes place. 

It should be noted here, that even with such a faculty, the 
observer can only have vision and revision but not prevision. That 
is the future cannot be seen by the limited Ego of the observer as 
clearly as the past. This is so because the faculty to observe 
future belongs to a still higher plane. 

Bishop C.W. Leadbeater states in his book The Devachanic Plane 
that in the devachanic regions of the mental plane, a developed 
man can observe the future of an undeveloped man, but cannot 
forsee his own future perfectly, because of his powerful will, 
which might introduce changes in the pattern of life to come! 

>From here, we proceed to the Devachanic Plane in the next article. 

1. The Mental Body by Arthur E. Powell


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