Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Omniscience (Hinduism)

  • Elisa FreschiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_139-1

Synonyms

Definition

“Omniscience” indicates the condition of knowing all or all that is relevant and can be attributed to God alone or also to exceptional human beings.

Introduction

“Omniscience” (sārvajñya) assumes many different meanings in various Indian philosophical and religious schools. The possibly most common understanding in European and Anglo-American thought, which sees omniscience as including the knowledge of any possible thing in the past, present, and future and as a prerogative of God alone, is neither the only nor the most common interpretation of omniscience in South Asian thought (see [1, 6, 11]).

The topic of omniscience is relevant in Indian philosophy because of at least two concurring reasons. On one hand, for schools like Buddhism and Jainism, it is a matter of religious authority. Ascribing omniscience to the founders of the school is a way to ground the validity of their teachings. Slightly similar is the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Austrian Academy of SciencesUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria