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Course Detail

Course Name Philosophy of Advaita Vedanta
Course Code 21PHL536
Program M.A. in Philosophy
Credits 3


Unit I

Pre-Śaṅkara Advaita

Analysis of the States of Consciousness in the Māṇḍūkyopaniṣad, Gauḍapāda: Equivalence of Dream and Waking States, Metaphysical Interpretation of Dream and Sleep, Theory of Non-Origination (Ajātivāda), Maya as Projecting (Vikṣepa) and Concealing (Āvaraṇa), Advaita according to Maṇḍana Miśra (Brahmasiddhi), Bhāvādvaita.

Unit II

Advaita according to Śaṅkara: Nirguṇa Brahman, Adhyāsa, Rejection of the (unconscious) Sāṅkhya Prakṛti as the Source of the Universe, Theory of Causation – Vivartavāda, Cetana Brahma as the Non-Different Material and Efficient Cause (Abhinnanimittopādānakāraṇa) of the Universe, Nature of the Jīva, Jivanmukti.

Unit III

Tarkapāda of Brahmasūtras: Criticism of Other Schools of Philosophy- Sāṅkhya, Vaiśeṣika, Buddhism and Jainism.

Unit IV

Post-Śaṅkara Advaita: The Identification of Avidyā with Māyā, Maya as neither real nor Unreal (Sadasadvilakṣaṇa), Avidyā as cosmic as well as Individual, Saguṇa Brahman along with Acetanā Māyā  (Iśvara) becomes the Material and the Efficient Cause of the Universe, Three Levels of Reality (Sattātraividhya) and the Theory of Sublation (Bādha), Important Differences between Bhāmatiprasthāna and Vivaraṇaprasthāna, Avacchedavāda, Pratimimbavāda, Ābhāsavāda, Ekajīvavāda, Drṣṭisṛṣṭivāda and Sṛṣṭidṛṣṭivāda.

Unit V

Advaita Theory of Knowledge: Svatahprāmāṇyavāda and Pramāṇas


Advaita Vedanta is one of the important schools of Indian Philosophy. The course intends to offer the knowledge on its tradition moving through the works of Acharyas like Gaudapada, Mandana Mishra, Sankaracharya etc. Specific focus is given to the debating tradition of Vedanta. The Metaphysical and Epistemological aspects are offered through readings of Upanishads and Brahmasutras.

Course Objective

1. Introduce the origin, development and literature of this branch of study
2. Familiarise basic tenets of Advaita Vedanta school
3. Discussion on the metaphysical aspects of the tradition
4. Introduce the traditional methodology of criticism
5. Readings on the primary text

Course Outcome

CO1 Understand the peculiarity of the school of Advaita Vedanta
CO2 Understand the ancient methodology of criticism
CO3 Understand the reality of life
CO4 Comprehend the literary style of Advaita Vedanta




1. Maṇḍana Miśra. Brahmasiddhi with commentary by Śaṅkhapāṇi. Madras: Government press. 1937.
2. Michael Comans. The Method of Early Advaita Vedānta. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. 2000.
3. Dharmarājādhvarendra. Vedātaparibhāṣā trans. Swami Mādhavānanda. Howrah: Ramakrishna Mission. 1942.
4. Swami Sadānanda Yogīndra. Vedāntasāra trans. Swami Nikhilānanda. Almora, Himalayas: Advaita Asrama. 1931.
5. Sage Bādarāyaṇa. Brahmasūtrabhāṣya trans. Vasudeo Mahadeo Apte. Bombay: Popular Book Depot. 1960.

Further Reading

1. Mahadevan, T.M.P. The Philosophy of Advaita. Madras: 1957.
2. Sinha, Jadunath. Problems of Post-Sankara Advaita Vedanta. Calcutta: Sinha Publishing House, 1971.
3. Pande, Govind Chandra. Life and Thought of Sankaracharya. Delhi: MotilalBanarsidass, 1994.
4. Sundaram, P.K. Advaita Epistemology. Madras: University of Madras Publication, 1968.
5. Shastri, A.B. Studies in Post-Sankara Dialectics. Calcutta: 1936.

CO-PO Affinity Map



CO1 2 1 2
CO2 2 3 3
CO3 1 2 2 3 1
CO4 2 1 2 1

3- Strong, 2- Moderate, 1- Weak

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