The doctrine of drishti-srishti vada in Advaita says that jiva's vision or perception is the cause of this universe.

Did Shankara write any commentaries explaining how the manifestation of the universe takes place due to our perception?

If you ask me, the universe will continue to exist even after all of us shuts our eyes or even if we all go into a collective coma session. The universe in my opinion has an existence independent of our collective perception or cognitive abilities. 

But this isn't a thread about my beliefs or opinions. Here I would like to know, how can the universe arise due to our perception alone (as per drishti-srishti vada)?

Thank you.

  • Yeah true, it is due to the perception only the universe exists as separate from god. But the perceptions are due to impressions formed from previous lives. As you told the universe continues to exist after realization also, but as indistinct to god. The former is samsaric perception and the latter is eternal perception.
    – hanugm
    May 8, 2022 at 11:35
  • Thanks for the reply ... Is this what advaitins mean by drishti-srishti vada, that after Self-realization, the universe will be seen as indistinct from brahman? ... I thought (as wiki too says) that drishti-srishti vada means that the universe is created or manifested due to our vision alone, and not due to the pancha-mahabhutas. May 8, 2022 at 11:43
  • how come every body perceptin to be same.. you can perceive the world to be one kind not others right.. each person perception is different by this we can safely prove that its world is not illusion its real
    – Prasanna R
    May 10, 2022 at 8:05
  • @PrasannaR, According to advaitins this world is NOT an illusion. To them its neither true, nor untrue. They use the word 'mithya' to mean that our world is not the ultimate/absolute/final reality ... That there's more to it, than what appears to us. ... That there's an invisible substratum or foundation called Brahman behind all visible names and forms. ... This is what they actually mean by mithya ... Advaitins use a lot of metaphors to explain their philosophy. You shouldn't take their words literally. :) May 11, 2022 at 10:05
  • No offence but your post is incomprehensible. May 11, 2022 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Drishti-srishti-vada is a theory of creation proposed many centuries after Sankaracharya. It basically says that the universe is purely mental and does not have any existence outside our mind.

dṛṣṭi-sṛṣṭi-vāda (‘the doctrine [that the world is] created [simultaneously with its] perception’)

Sṛṣṭi or creation of this world has been an important topic of discussion in all the six philosophical systems of Hinduism. Though the philosophers of the Advaita Vedānta school admit in general, of the existence of the external world and its creation—since the topic has been dealt with in the Upaniṣads—they do not accept it as a permanent reality.

Out of the several schools of Advaita Vedānta in the post-Śaṅkara period, that developed by Prakāśānanda (A. D. 1550-1600) is also one. It is subjective idealism. His view of creation is known as ‘dṛṣṭi-sṛṣṭi-vāda’, the view that creation of the external object is simultaneous with its perception by the seer. According to this school, a thing existed only when it was perceived and not before or after perception. For example, a blue lotus and its awareness are one and there is no external object apart from the cognition. The dream state is purely mental and there are no extra-mental objects. Similarly in the waking state, the so-called external object is only a mental state and there is really no distinction. The whole world is thus only a psychic modification and has no reality outside the mind. This view is similar to the idealism of the Yogavāsiṣṭha and is perhaps derived from it. The Vijñānavāda of Buddhism is also almost the same.

A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism by Swami Harshananda

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    This vada is present in Mandukya Karika which says the waking world is like a dream. Just as mind becomes objected imaged in dream, same happens in waking. Therefore it is not a theory proposed many centuries after Shankaracharya.
    – Lokesh
    May 8, 2022 at 14:09
  • @PradipGangopadhyay In your post you said - "a thing existed only when it was percieved and not before or after perception." ... But is this really true in our daily life? Even if i don't percieve america, africa or the planet jupiter with my own eyes, they still exist. So how can post-shankara advaitins boldly say that things exist only due to our perception? Do you think there's any truth to their claims? Something that i'm failing to understand? May 11, 2022 at 9:47
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    @TheCrimsonUniverse you know that according to the popular Copenhagen school of Quantum Mechanics the moon only exists when we look at it. Is such a thing true? Einstein who did not accept this interpretation of QM and thought QM was an incomplete theory asked whether we would be able to avoid an accident if we walk into a busy road with eyes closed? Your question is important but there is no satisfactory answer. May 12, 2022 at 3:45

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