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The Truth WithinA History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism$
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Gavin Flood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684564.001.0001

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Inwardness and Visual Contemplation in Hinduism

Inwardness and Visual Contemplation in Hinduism

Chapter:
(p.102) (p.103) 4 Inwardness and Visual Contemplation in Hinduism
Source:
The Truth Within
Author(s):

Gavin Flood

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684564.003.0004

The truth within has been a constant theme in the history of Hindu traditions from an early period, a truth conflated with the idea of the self (ātmā), and the quest to realize or find the self became the highest value in Brahmanical tradition. A concern with the self was a philosophical preoccupation and ascetic traditions developed that focused on the self in the belief that realizing the self would free the ascetic from the bonds of suffering and reincarnation. The hidden, inner self, the antarātman, is an eternal truth. To realize this hidden, secret self is the highest goal of life. The chapter examines this in tantric literature of the gods Śiva and Viṣṇu, focusing on the practice of inner vision. The chapter contextualises this in the broader Indic society of the medieval period.

Keywords:   Hindu, ātmā, Brahmanical, inner self, antarātman, ascetic, tantric, Indic

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