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Wisdom and Knowledge (Jñāna/Vidyā)
(2,025 words)

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.  logi…

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Flood, Gavin, “Wisdom and Knowledge (Jñāna/Vidyā)”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 06 June 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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