Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




J.G. Arapura


The conception "māyā" has been translated as "illusion" by many who interpret the Advaita Vedānta of Śankara. What we intend to accomplish in this dissertation is to determine if this translation is the correct one. This will be accomplished in two parts. The first will entail an historical survey of māyā in the early tradition and samvrti in Mādhyamika Buddhism and pre-Śankara Advaita. Then we will review Śankara and the post-Śankara Advaita on māyā. Part Two is a phenomenological inquiry into māyā, in the Brahma Śutra bhāsya of Śankara. Here we will be concerned with the structures of the name-form complex, language, and analogue, and their relation to māyā. We will also point out other possible interpretations of the concept "māyā" in Śankara's thought.

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