While Going through the Avadhuta Gita recently, I came across the following verse.

Avadhuta Gita 1.36:-

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Some seek nonduality, and others duality. They do not know the truth, which is the same at all times and everywhere, which is devoid of both duality and Non duality.

Upon A little more research, I discovered that the Same Shloka is reiterated with minor variations in the Garuda Purana and the Kularnava Tantra as well.

अद्वैतं केचिदिच्छन्ति द्वैतमिच्छन्ति चापरे । समं तत्त्वं न जानन्ति द्वैताद्द्वैतविवर्जितम् ॥ २,४९.९२ ॥

~ Garuda Purana, Preta Kanda chapter 49 shloka 92

Kularnava Tantra 1.110

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My Question is How Should we properly understand this verse? What does it mean for the Absolute truth to be devoid of both Duality and Nonduality?

2 Answers 2


In my opinion, it's talking about the Nirgunattva still Sagunattva and neti neti, contradictory traits of Brahman which is beyond the grasp of anyone or anything.

Maitreya Upanishad in its Tritiya Adhyaya (Chapter 3) gives totally contradictory nature of Brahman. Of which i am giving some verses.:

III-4. I am devoid of honour and dishonour, I am without attributes (nirguna), I am Shiva, I am free from duality (dvaita) and non-duality (advaita), I am free from the pairs (of opposites), I am He.

III-5. I am devoid of being and non-being, I am beyond speech, I am effulgence, I am the power of the void (zero) and the non-void (non-zero) and I am the auspicious and the inauspicious (i.e. beyond both of them).

III-7. I am beyond the number one and I am beyond the number two as well. I am above the distinction of good and bad and I am devoid of ideation.

III-19. I am free of space and time, I am the bliss of the principal unclad sages, I am beyond ‘there is’ and ‘there is not’ and I am devoid of all negation (i.e. I am pure Existence without a counterpart).

III-22. I am above the body and its dweller and I am unique, devoid of attributes (nirguna). I am beyond liberation, I am liberated and I am always devoid of final emancipation.

There are almost 25 such contradictory verses.

Avadhoota Gita of Sri Dattatreya 1.62.:

62 ) The world of form and the formless Void : Neither of these exists independently . In the One , there is neither separation nor union ; All is called no-no (not this-not that/neti-neti). Truly , there is nothing but Shiva alone freed from all these differences.

I hope this helps. Prd..


Garuda Purana says the same thing.

Reality beyond both Advaita and Dvaita

Some seek for the knowledge of non-dual Brahman (i.e. Brahman without Maya) and some for that of the Dual (Brahman with Maya). But they do not realize reality is devoid of dvaita and advaita.

Garuda Purana, Dharma Khanda, Chapter XLIX

What does this mean?

Let us take a look at the following discussion on Brahman.

Manu said, ‘Brahman is not an object of touch, or of hearing, or of taste, or of sight, or of smell, or of any deductive inference from the Known. Only the Understanding (when withdrawn from everything else) can attain to it. All objects that the mind apprehends through the senses are capable of being withdrawn into the mind; the mind can be withdrawn into the understanding; the Understanding can be withdrawn into the soul, and the Soul into the Supreme.’

Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section CCIV

The passage suggests that the true nature of Brahman is not known and no inference from the known would be capable of describing the Reality. Duality is what we experience. People who describe the Ultimate Reality from the dualistic point of view do not understand that such an inference is not capable of describing Brahman. Similarly those who think of Brahman from the point of non duality also fail to capture the real nature of Brahman.

The expression 'The Absolute Truth is devoid of both duality and nonduality' means that the true nature of the Reality can't be described by any human model.

The only safe way of describing Brahman is through silence.

  1. Moreover, the Vedas reveal this; likewise this is mentioned in the Smritis also.

Moreover, the Vedas reveal through a negation of other aspects that Brahman has no distinguishing feature, as for instance in, “Now therefore the description (of Brahman): ‘Not this, not this’” (Brhadaranyaka Upanishad II.iii.6), “That (Brahman) is surely different from the known; and, again, It is above the unknown” (Kena Upanishad I.4), “That Bliss of Brahman, failing to reach which, words turn back along with the mind” (Taittiriya Upanishad II.ix.1), and so on. And it is also known from the Vedic texts that Badhva being asked by Baskali, replied merely by not uttering a word, as stated in, “He (Baskali) said, ‘Teach me Brahman, sir.’ He (Badhva) became silent. When the question was repeated a second and a third time he said, ‘I have already spoken, but you cannot comprehend. That Self is Quiescence’ “. Similarly in the Smritis, the instruction is given through a negation of other things, as in, “I shall tell you of that which is to be known and by knowing which one attains immortality. The supreme Brahman is without any beginning. It can neither be called gross (visible) nor fine (invisible)” (Gita XIII.12), and so on. Similarly the Smriti mentions how Narayana in His cosmic form said to Narada, “O Narada, that you see me as possessed of all the (five divine) qualities of all elements, is only because of My Maya, called up by Myself. For else you should not understand Me thus.”

Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sri Sankaracharya III.ii.17

  • 2
    In a way, doesn't that also convey that all Dvaita vs Advaita debates are ultimately futile as neither of them can fully comprehend the truth?
    – user31402
    Commented Sep 29, 2023 at 5:55
  • Yes, you are correct. Commented Sep 29, 2023 at 11:15

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