Why one is not omniscient even after self realization as in self realization one knows he is no other than Brahm. But Brahm is omniscient as well, then why one is not omniscient even after self realization?

  • Does it mean one is realized not being Brahm but mere Ananda? Or Does it contradict the very essence of Adwaitwaad?

Note - have just taken omniscience into account, but Brahm is omnipotent, omnipresent as well.

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    Tezz's answer is correct. If you are self-realized then it is of the Nirguna aspect of Brahman. There is no 'awareness' of what you think of as the empirical world in Nirguna Brahman. It is only the Saguna Brahman that is 'aware' of the empirical world. The desert is not aware of the mirage projected upon it. It is only from within the mirage that the mirage is seen. Omniscience belongs only to the Saguna Brahman. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 10:15
  • @SwamiVishwananda Thanks. Is Maya externally present to Brahma or internally present? Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 10:27
  • There are two aspects/opinions on atmajnana (which differs according to philosophies) Acccording to advaita only bramhan exists so bramhajnana is atmajnana(giving omnipotency and omniscience). But According to vishitaadvaita philosophy atmajnana is prerequisite for bramhajnana and both are different.
    – Yogi
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 10:28
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    @Seeker This is one of the best questions asked +star upvote :)
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 7:19
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    On what basis do you say self-realisation does not imply omniscience? In order to realise self, one gradually realises that one is not limited to the gross body(happens when the brahma grandhi is untied), or the subtle body(as a result of vishnu grandhi coming untied) or the causal body(when rudra grandhi comes untied). Conquering the 3 bodies gives omniscience.
    – user1195
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 1:51

3 Answers 3


Nice question!

Since you have mentioned 'Advaitavaad' in your question I'm answering from Adi Shankaras Advaita perspective.

Yes, Self realization doesn't imply Omniscience.

It is because in Shankaras Advaita the attributes like Omniscient and Omnipotent etc... seen in Brahman are due to the product of Avidya. I discuss it in my answer here. Shankara in Brahma Sutra Bhasya 2.1.14 states:

तदेवमविद्यात्मकोपाधिपरिच्छेदापेक्षमेवेश्वरस्येश्वरत्वं सर्वज्ञत्वं सर्वशक्तित्वं च, न परमार्थो विद्यया अपास्तसर्वपाधिस्वरुपे आत्मनि ईशत्रीशितव्यसर्वज्ञत्वादिव्यवहार उपपद्यते, तथा चोक्तम् - 'यत्र नान्यपश्यति नान्यच्छृणोति नान्यद्विजानाति स भूमा इति' यत्र 'त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत्तत्केन कं पश्येत्' इत्यादिना च एव परमार्थवस्थायां सर्वव्यवहाराभावं वदन्ति वेदान्ता ।। 2.1.14

Hence the Lord's being a Lord, his omniscience, his omnipotence, &c. all depend on the limitation due to the adjuncts whose Self is Avidya; while in reality none of these qualities belong to the Self whose true nature is cleared, by right knowledge, from all adjuncts whatever. Thus Scripture also says, 'Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, understands nothing else, that is the Infinite' (Ch. Up. VII, 24, 1); 'But when the Self only has become all this, how should he see another?' (Bri. Up. II, 4, 13.) In this manner the Vedânta-texts declare that for him who has reached the state of truth and reality the whole apparent world does not exist.

Thus in Advaita these qualities like omniscience, omnipotence are the products of Avidya. So they do not exist in highest state. So, there is no meaning of omniscience and omnipotence to a realised soul. However one can get powers of omniscience through Tapas, Yogas, Yajna phalas etc...

As a sidenote the BrihadAranyaka upanishad verse which Shankara is quoting there is 2.4.14 which states:

II-iv-14: Because when there is duality, as it were, then one smells something, one sees something, one hears something, one speaks something, one thinks something, one knows something. (But) when to the knower of Brahman everything has become the self, then what should one smell and through what, what should one see and through what, what should one hear and through what, what should one speak and through what, what should one think and through what, what should one know and through what ? Through what should one know.

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    Good answer but what I infer is timeless, spaceless beauty of Brahm is reflected in time-space due to Maya. Everything which can be observed in Màyà must be present in Brahm as a seed. Am I missing something? Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 10:18
  • @Seeker Advaita intrepretation: No, they are not present in Brahman. Brahman can't contain anything like that. It's just Sat Chid Aananda Swarupa. Actually there is not creation, destruction at all. Neither one is searching for liberation nor one is liberated. In the Vyavaharika level these things are done as Karmic seed. (Again this is Advaita intrepretation).
    – Tezz
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 10:29
  • So in a nut shell, Brahm has nothing to do with the world. Okay if Vedantin interpretation. :) Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 10:39
  • @Seeker 1) There is not world... 2) There is world. But that world is Brahman (Sarvakhalvidam Brahman)... These are two different levels..
    – Tezz
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 10:44
  • Oh. Okay @Tezz. Have got some doubts, will ask in different questions. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 11:37

If self realization means complete liberation or enlightenment then question is wrong. Complete enlightenment do implies omniscience, omnipotence etc and thus doesn't contradict the very notion of Adwaitwaad explained by Trika philosophy of Kashmiri Shaivism. It is supported by following verse of Spanda Karika as well

Just as all knowability, etc., in respect of the body occurs when it is pervaded by that spanda principle, even so when the yogi is established in his essential Self, he will have omniscience, etc. everywhere.
verse 7.(3)

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    Yes, the two are not mutually exclusive.
    – user1195
    Commented Mar 23, 2017 at 1:57

Omniscience implies an ego. In Advaita moksha the ego dissolves in Brahman and hence concepts like omniscience can not be even defined.

Do you know what I mean? Think of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, as a shoreless ocean. Through the cooling influence as it were, of the bhakta's love, the water has frozen at places into blocks of ice. In other words, God now and then assumes various forms for His lovers and reveals Himself to them as a Person. But with the rising of the sun of knowledge, the blocks of ice melt. Then one doesn't feel any more that God is a Person, nor does one see God's forms. What He is can not be described. Who will describe Him? He who would do so disappears. He cannot find his 'I' anymore.

If one analyzes oneself, one doesn't find any such thing as 'I'. Take an onion, for instance. First of all peel off the red outer skin; then you find thick white skins. Peel these off one after the other, and you won't find anything inside.

In the state a man no longer finds the existence of his ego. And who is there left to seek it? Who can describe how he feels in that state - in his own Pure Consciousness - about the real nature of Brahman? There is a sign of Perfect Knowledge. Man becomes silent when It is attained. Then the 'I', which may be likened to the salt doll, melts in the ocean of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute and becomes one with It. Not the slightest distinction is left.

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

  • Thanks Sir. Though omniscience doesn't seem product of ego. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 14:29
  • Omniscience is not a product of ego. It implies an ego. I can be omniscient. You can be omniscient. If there is neither I nor you, as is supposed to happen in Advaita moskha, then there is no one left to be omniscient. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 14:35
  • This assumption (omniscience is result of ego) in Sankara Vedànta has arisen just because Brahman is believed to be inert in Sankara Vedànta. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 15:00
  • Inertness is not the reason. The reason is Brahman is non-dual in nature. Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 11:23

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