Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism

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Subject: Asian Studies

Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen (Editor-in-Chief), University of Bergen, and Helene Basu, University of Münster, Angelika Malinar, University of Zürich, Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida (Associate Editors)

Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism presents the latest research on all the main aspects of the Hindu traditions. Its essays are original work written by the world’s foremost scholars on Hinduism. The encyclopedia presents a balanced and even-handed view of Hinduism, recognizing the divergent perspectives and methods in the academic study of a religion that is both an ancient historical tradition and a flourishing tradition today. The encyclopedia embraces the greatest possible diversity, plurality, and heterogeneity, thus emphasizing that Hinduism encompasses a variety of regional traditions as well as a global world religion. Presenting all essays and research from the heralded printed edition, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism is now available in a fully searchable, dynamic digital format. The service will include all content from the six printed volumes..

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Wisdom and Knowledge (Jñāna/Vidyā)

(2,062 words)

Author(s): Gavin Flood
Knowledge ( jñāna, vidyā) is a fundamental category of Indian religion and philosophy, denoting not only knowledge of the world, but also higher knowledge of the true nature of reality, which is a liberating cognition. In a more technical sense, in philosophy jñāna can be translated as “judgment,” “cognition,” or “awareness,” and there was a rigorous debate in classical Indian philosophy about knowledge and its relation to perception and self-awareness. The term vidyā refers to any knowledge or science and was traditionally organized into four branches: 1. the triple Veda; 2. …