I always think that Advaita vedanta and stoicism are perfectly compatible with one another. Can some expand on this?

  • 2
    Probably you will get some better answers on Philosophy Stack exchange than here. - philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions Sep 9, 2019 at 6:16
  • indeed! But there is no suffering in adwaitha. For an ignorant man it might seem that he is suffering but in reality he has nothing to do with his individuality. Sep 12, 2019 at 8:22
  • Stoicism has several definitions on the internet, so I think you need to quote a specific aspect of it or just write a summary in your own words. Then someone can answer on that basis. Right now it's unclear what you are asking. Sep 13, 2019 at 0:16
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    This isn't an off-topic question. Asking about common concepts between different religions or asking if a concept or philosophy is present in Hinduism is not off-topic. Sep 15, 2019 at 6:26

2 Answers 2


Adwaitha is about all being one. The one being SELF.

Google says:- Being stoic is being calm and almost without any emotion. When you're stoic, you don't show what you're feeling and you also accept whatever is happening. The noun stoic is a person who's not very emotional. The adjective stoic describes any person, action, or thing that seems emotionless and almost blank.

When there is no second to self how can there be dynamism! The person will always be in bliss and beyond. Nothing of this gross and subtle and causal world can ever touch HIM. He might come back to dynamism as per the role given to HIM in this Cosmic DRAMA or jagannatakam but that does not mean HE will get affected.

Ashtavakra geetha second sentence chapter 1:-If you are seeking liberation, my son, shun the objects of the senses like poison. Practice tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment and truthfulness like nectar.

Ashtavakra geetha third sentence chapter 4:- He who has known That, is untouched, within, by good deeds or bad, just as the sky is not touched by smoke, however much it may appear to be.


No, the definition of stoicism is "An indifference to pleasure or pain". This is an example of dangers of half knowledge.

One who is indifferent to pleasures or pain is an inert object like matter, stone etc., like a dead unconscious body. The goal of advaita vedanta is to be one with the universal Cosmic consciousness.

"Sarvam Khalvidam Brahman-Vedas" Everything is Brahman

But consciousness is from inside to outside i.e. spirit creates matter not the vice versa. Bound souls get lost in differences of matter and world and their egos but Advaita Vedanta is focused on realizing the one common source Aatma of everything and everyone.

BG 5.18: The truly learned, with the eyes of divine knowledge, see with equal vision a Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater.

This is Advaita Vedanta, being indifferent to pain and pleasures is either a mad person or an unconscious person. Anyways one who is truly realized with Vedanta will do such Karmas that he does not have to suffer extremes. Because suffering comes from lack of wisdom and slavery of senses and bad Karmas. As per priorities, a Bhogi(normal worldly man) cant live without women and gold but a Yogi can because a yogi identifies self with immortal spirit but a bhogi with his body and senses.

Geeta Chapter 3

Bhagavad Gita 3.17 But those who rejoice in the self, who are illumined and fully satisfied in the self, for them, there is no duty.

Bhagavad Gita 3.18 Such self-realized souls have nothing to gain or lose either in discharging or renouncing their duties. Nor do they need to depend on other living beings to fulfill their self-interest.

Bhagavad Gita 3.19 Therefore, giving up attachment, perform actions as a matter of duty, for by working without being attached to the fruits, one attains the Supreme.

Bhagavad Gita 3.26 The wise should not create discord in the intellects of ignorant people, who are attached to fruitive actions, by inducing them to stop work. Rather, by performing their duties in an enlightened manner, they should inspire the ignorant also to do their prescribed duties.

Bhagavad Gita 3.27 All activities are carried out by the three modes of material nature. But in ignorance, the soul, deluded by false identification with the body, thinks itself to be the doer.

The goal of spirituality is to know Soul/Self first, being only indifferent to pleasures or pain is a hypocrisy and not a sign of a truly liberated person. Spirituality is inside first and reflects outside later, but who does outside only but not in inside end up in Tamas darkness and devolution.

Bhagavad Gita 3.4 One cannot achieve freedom from karmic reactions by merely abstaining from work, nor can one attain perfection of knowledge by mere physical renunciation.

Bhagavad Gita 3.5 There is no one who can remain without action even for a moment. Indeed, all beings are compelled to act by their qualities born of material nature (the three guṇas).

Bhagavad Gita 3.6 Those who restrain the external organs of action, while continuing to dwell on sense objects in the mind, certainly delude themselves and are to be called hypocrites.

BG 16.21: There are three gates leading to the hell of self-destruction for the soul—lust, anger, and greed. Therefore, all should abandon these three.

More on Adi Shankarcharya

Once Shankaracharya was passing by a toddy shop (intoxicating brew derived from the wild palm). He went in and drank the toddy. The disciples followed the Guru and also drank the stuff.

Observing this, Shankara stopped at a blacksmith’s workshop where he saw the molten metal and drank it asking his disciples to taste this also. Of course, they refused.

Of course some advanced souls go into Jada Samadhi and become unaware of external material realm like Jada Bharata and Sukhdeva, but those are very rare souls.

Being indifferent and unaware to pains of body death and bliss of Samadhi is also a sign of bound souls like animals and Tamsik people. Real goal of Vedanta is self-realization but not hypocrisy through actions. Because a real spiritual person is guided from the unseen but bound souls are guided by whatever and whoever they see in this world.

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