Pojmy ka a ba ve staroegyptském náboženství

Title: Pojmy ka a ba ve staroegyptském náboženství
Variant title:
  • Notions ka and ba in the ancient Egyptian religion
Source document: Religio. 2000, vol. 8, iss. 1, pp. [15]-40
  • ISSN
    1210-3640 (print)
    2336-4475 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

The notions ka and ba belong to the cardinal points of the ancient Egyptian religion. The ba was the manifestation of power of a diety. Associated with people, the ba occurs in context related to death or afterlife, it could be viewed as a manifestation of the dead. Ka was the element responsible for the ensurement of life - it was related to fertility, sexual potency, sustenance and power. It is possible that at first it was the king as the only person to possess ka, so ka represented the quality of the king and his main task - to give and ensure life of his people, land and the whole cosmos. Since the time the idea of the possessing of ka was incorporated into common "anthropology", ka became a part of every human being and its task was particularized - to give and ensure life of a man. Even after this process ka played the most important role in the royal cult. The royal ka was the essence of divine kingship. The ka of a human being continued its living after death and it is the aspect of being which was (similary as in lifetime) responsible for the well-being of the dead. Since certain time both these notions (ka and ba) have been used paralelly, but it is of great probability that this does not reflect the original way of their usage. Both notions are not coherent, even more, they are opposite and competitive. In funeral texts (since the time of the Pyramid Texts to the Book of Dead or later), we can see an interesting evolution of these notions. On the one hand ba becomes much more important and takes the place originally occupied by ka, which is - on the other hand - slowly losing its position. Maybe ba better fitted a new conception of the Netherworld - Western kingdom of Osiris, for ba is freer than astral akh or "corporal" ka. It is also probable that ka and ba are different conceptions of a soul (or a spirit) coming from different cultural and religious roots, which were later - in the tradition of Egyptian religion - kept in use parallely. The notion ka is more connected with the ensurement of life, fertility and sustenance. Its postmortal existence is more "settled". The notion ba - on the other hand - emphasizes its freedom (mainly the ability of moving freely). It is only a weak hypothesis in present stage of research, but it appears to be probable that conception of the ka-soul originally comes from beliefs of the people of the Lower Egypt (or the area, in which the people were more settled) and the ba-soul originated in the thoughts of Upper Egypt nomadic or seminomadic people.