A.C. BhaktiVedanta Prabhupada the Founder of ISKCON movement in his commentry on Shrimad Bhagwad Mahapurana says:

Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān. SB 1.2.11

The exact word is Advayam. Since Gaudiya Vishnavas align their philosophy with Standard Vaishnava philosophy Vishishtadvaita,

How to interpret this Advayam word for Bramhan? What are Sri Vaishnava views/comments on this word?

  • 2
    All schools agree that Brahman is the One Complete Supreme Self - implying there is no other - non-dual. They all only differ on the position of the Jeevatma and it's relationship with Paramatma. So the word Advayam is acceptable in all schools. Also I think Gaudiyas consider themselves as in the Parampara of Madhvacharya i.e. Dvaita. Though they actual subscribe to Achintya Bheda Abheda.
    – Surya
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


The philosophy of Prabhupada and Gaudiya Vaishanva is Achintya Bhedabheda. (Inconceivable oneness and difference)

I've mentioned/listed it's overview in my answer on Dvaita vs Advaita vs Vishistadvaita vs Shuddhadvaita vs any other.

According to Achintya Bhedabheda, Brahman is simultaneously one with and different from his creation. The relationship between Brahman and Jivatman is like Sun and Sunshine. Qualitatively the Sun and the Sunshine are not different, but as quantities they are very different.

The verse mentioned in the question is about tattvaṁ i.e Absolute Truth yaj jñānam advayam means of which knowledge is non-dual.

Read the Purport:

As it is explained in the first śloka of the First Chapter of the Bhāgavatam, the Supreme Truth is self-sufficient, cognizant and free from the illusion of relativity. In the relative world the knower is different from the known, but in the Absolute Truth both the knower and the known are one and the same thing. In the relative world the knower is the living spirit or superior energy, whereas the known is inert matter or inferior energy. Therefore, there is a duality of inferior and superior energy, whereas in the absolute realm both the knower and the known are of the same superior energy. There are three kinds of energies of the supreme energetic. There is no difference between the energy and energetic, but there is a difference of quality of energies. The absolute realm and the living entities are of the same superior energy, but the material world is inferior energy. The living being in contact with the inferior energy is illusioned, thinking he belongs to the inferior energy. Therefore there is the sense of relativity in the material world. In the Absolute there is no such sense of difference between the knower and the known, and therefore everything there is absolute.

So, there is no difference between knower and known in the absolute that's why it is called non-dual.

You can refer alternative translation at CC Madhya 25.132:

“ ‘The Absolute Truth is known by the self-realized souls as a unified identity known by different names — impersonal Brahman, localized Paramātmā, and Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.’

Q. How to interpret this Advayam word for Bramhan. How what are Sri Vaishnava views/comments on this word.

If you're looking for Vishishtadvaita interpretation for Advayam, refer to similar question: How does Vishishtadvaita interpret "One without a second"?

  • What absolute perspective? don't mind but I think your absolute is Advaitavada. Quantities are different?? It means Bhagwan is infinite set of jeevatman consists of many jeevatmans??
    – Yogi
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 5:35
  • @Yogi According to Achintya Bhedabheda, "A particle of gold is also gold, a drop of water from the ocean is also salty, and similarly we the living entities, being part and parcel of the supreme controller, īśvara, or Bhagavān, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, have all the qualities of the Supreme Lord in minute quantity because we are minute īśvaras, subordinate īśvaras." from BG introduction
    – Pandya
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 6:16
  • Oh okay it is very different from Vishitaadvaita, where we consider parmatma to be singular and antaryami of jeevatman. It is more or less close to advaita.
    – Yogi
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 6:31
  • @Yogi Yes, Achintya Bhedabheda is different from Vishitadvaita. As your question deals with BhaktiVedanta Prabhupada commentary, I've stated AchintyaBhedabheda philosophy.
    – Pandya
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 6:35

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