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A term which, depending on the context, can be used to denote the Veda, śruti and smṛti combined, jñāna, any art, science, or body of knowledge (music, astronomy, architecture, etc.), or magical and supernatural practices aligned to Tantra. Various lists of vidyās appear— Manusṃṛti (7.43) recommends five types for a king: the triple Veda, the science of government, logic, knowledge of the ātman, and the practical sciences of commerce, agriculture, etc. In Advaita Vedānta, vidyā (knowledge) is the ability to distinguish between what is superimposed on the self (through adhyāsa) and its true nature, which is brahman (neut.). With this discrimination (viveka), avidyā (ignorance) is dispelled and liberating knowledge achieved.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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