A report on Monism

The circled dot was used by the Pythagoreans and later Greeks to represent the first metaphysical being, the Monad or The Absolute
A diagram with neutral monism compared to Cartesian dualism, physicalism and idealism.
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Distinct from them; e.g., in Neoplatonism everything is derived from The One. In this view only the One is ontologically basic or prior to everything else.

- Monism
The circled dot was used by the Pythagoreans and later Greeks to represent the first metaphysical being, the Monad or The Absolute

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Adi Shankara, the most prominent exponent of Advaita Vedānta tradition.

Advaita Vedanta

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Hindu sādhanā, a path of spiritual discipline and experience, and the oldest extant tradition of the orthodox Hindu school Vedānta.

Hindu sādhanā, a path of spiritual discipline and experience, and the oldest extant tradition of the orthodox Hindu school Vedānta.

Adi Shankara, the most prominent exponent of Advaita Vedānta tradition.
A drop merging in the Ocean, an analogy for the Jivatman merging into Brahman
The swan is an important motif in Advaita. The swan symbolises the ability to discern Satya (Real, Eternal) from Mithya (Unreal, Changing), just like the mythical swan Paramahamsa discerns milk from water.
Ramana Maharshi, the Indian sage who was widely regarded as a Jivanmukta
(Vidyashankara temple) at Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Shringeri
Gaudapada, one of the most important pre-Śaṅkara philosophers in Advaita tradition
Mahatma Gandhi stated "I am an advaitist".

The term Advaita (literally "non-secondness", but usually rendered as "nondualism", and often equated with monism) refers to the idea that Brahman alone is ultimately real, while the transient phenomenal world is an illusory appearance (maya) of Brahman.

René Descartes's illustration of dualism. Inputs are passed on by the sensory organs to the epiphysis in the brain and from there to the immaterial spirit.

Mind–body dualism

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In the philosophy of mind, mind–body dualism denotes either the view that mental phenomena are non-physical, or that the mind and body are distinct and separable.

In the philosophy of mind, mind–body dualism denotes either the view that mental phenomena are non-physical, or that the mind and body are distinct and separable.

René Descartes's illustration of dualism. Inputs are passed on by the sensory organs to the epiphysis in the brain and from there to the immaterial spirit.
Four varieties of dualist causal interaction. The arrows indicate the direction of causations. Mental and physical states are shown in red and blue, respectively.
Another one of Descartes' illustrations. The fire displaces the skin, which pulls a tiny thread, which opens a pore in the ventricle (F) allowing the "animal spirit" to flow through a hollow tube, which inflates the muscle of the leg, causing the foot to withdraw.
Cartesian dualism compared to three forms of monism.

Dualism is contrasted with various kinds of monism.

Epistemology in Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita Vedanta. Advaita and some other Vedanta schools recognize six epistemic means.

Vedanta

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One of the six (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy.

One of the six (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy.

Epistemology in Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita Vedanta. Advaita and some other Vedanta schools recognize six epistemic means.
Nimbarkacharya's icon at Ukhra, West Bengal
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Shankaracharya
Ramanujacharya depicted with Vaishnava Tilaka and Vishnu statue.
Swaminarayan
Madhvacharya in Jnana mudra.
Vallabhacharya

While Advaita monism has attracted considerable attention in the West due to the influence of modern Hindus like Swami Vivekananda and Ramana Maharshi, most of the other Vedanta traditions focus on Vaishnava theology.

Vaishnavism

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One of the major Hindu denominations along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism.

One of the major Hindu denominations along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism.

Vāsudeva on a coin of Agathocles of Bactria, circa 190–180 BCE. This is "the earliest unambiguous image" of the deity.
The inscription of the Heliodorus pillar that was made by Indo-Greek envoy Heliodorus in 110 BCE, in what is modern Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh). The inscription states Heliodorus is a Bhagavata devoted to the "God of gods" Vāsudeva.
Vishnu in three incarnations (Vaikuntha Chaturmurti): Vishnu himself or Krishna in human form, Varaha as a boar, Narasimha as a lion. Gupta art, Mathura, mid-5th century CE. Boston Museum.
Krishna with Gopis, painted c. 1660.
Relationship between different forms of Krishna as Paripurna avatara of Vishnu and as Svayam Bhagavan in Chaitanya school of Vaishnavism.
Radha Krishna at Kirti temple
The Krishna stories have inspired numerous dramatic and dance arts in Indian culture.
Jiva Gosvami's Bhajan Kutir at Radha-kunda. Jiva Goswamis Sandarbhas summarize Vedic sources of Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition's accretion of the concept Krishna to be the supreme Lord.
Nammalvar
A 6th century sculpture of Narasimha at the Badami cave temple, constructed by the Chalukyas

The philosophical systems of Vaishnava sampradayas range from qualified monistic Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja, to theistic Dvaita of Madhvacharya, to pure nondualistic Shuddhadvaita of Vallabhacharya.

Hindu philosophy

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Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism that emerged in Ancient India which include six systems (shad-darśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta.

Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism that emerged in Ancient India which include six systems (shad-darśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta.

Yoga shares several central ideas with Advaita Vedanta, with the difference that Yoga is a form of experimental mysticism while Advaita Vedanta is a form of monistic personalism.

(Om) signifies the essence of Brahman, the ultimate reality.

Brahman

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In Hinduism, Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe.

In Hinduism, Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe.

(Om) signifies the essence of Brahman, the ultimate reality.
A drop in the ocean: an analogy for Ātman merging into Brahman.
Swan (Hansa, हंस) is the symbol for Brahman-Atman in Hindu iconography.

The Acintya Bheda Abheda philosophy is similar to Dvaitadvaita (differential monism).

A Balinese Hindu family after puja at Bratan temple in Bali, Indonesia

Hinduism

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Variously defined as an Indian religion, a set of religious beliefs or practices, a religious tradition, a way of life, or dharma—a religious and universal order by which followers abide.

Variously defined as an Indian religion, a set of religious beliefs or practices, a religious tradition, a way of life, or dharma—a religious and universal order by which followers abide.

A Balinese Hindu family after puja at Bratan temple in Bali, Indonesia
Om, a stylized letter of Devanagari script, used as a religious symbol in Hinduism
Swami Vivekananda was a key figure in introducing Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and the United States, raising interfaith awareness and making Hinduism a world religion.
Ganesha is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon.
The Hare Krishna group at the Esplanadi Park in Helsinki, Finland
The festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated by Hindus all over the world.
Hindus in Ghana celebrating Ganesh Chaturti
Holi celebrated at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Utah, United States.
Kedar Ghat, a bathing place for pilgrims on the Ganges at Varanasi
Priests performing Kalyanam (marriage) of the holy deities at Bhadrachalam Temple, in Telangana. It is one of the temples in India, where Kalyanam is done everyday throughout the year.
A statue of Shiva in yogic meditation.
Basic Hindu symbols: Shatkona, Padma, and Swastika.
Kauai Hindu monastery in Kauai Island in Hawaii is the only Hindu Monastery in the North American continent.
A sadhu in Madurai, India.
The Hindu Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram was built by Narasimhavarman II.
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Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet(s) nor any binding holy book; Hindus can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, panentheistic, pandeistic, henotheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist.

The Mesha Stele bears the earliest known reference (840 BCE) to the Israelite God Yahweh.

God

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Usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith.

Usually viewed as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith.

The Mesha Stele bears the earliest known reference (840 BCE) to the Israelite God Yahweh.
The word 'Allah' in Arabic calligraphy
Trinitarians believe that God is composed of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
God Blessing the Seventh Day, 1805 watercolor painting by William Blake
Thomas Aquinas summed up five main arguments as proofs for God's existence. (Painting by Carlo Crivelli, 1476)
Isaac Newton saw the existence of a Creator necessary in the movement of astronomical objects. Painting by Godfrey Kneller, 1689
99 names of Allah, in Chinese Sini (script)
And Elohim Created Adam by William Blake, c. 1795
Ahura Mazda (depiction is on the right, with high crown) presents Ardashir I (left) with the ring of kingship. (Relief at Naqsh-e Rustam, 3rd century CE)
Use of the symbolic Hand of God in the Ascension from the Drogo Sacramentary, c. 850
The Arabic script of "Allah" in the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Praying Hands by Albrecht Dürer

In Hinduism, Brahman is often considered a monistic concept of God.

A phrenological mapping of the brain. Phrenology was among the first attempts to correlate mental functions with specific parts of the brain

Mind

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Set of faculties responsible for mental phenomena.

Set of faculties responsible for mental phenomena.

A phrenological mapping of the brain. Phrenology was among the first attempts to correlate mental functions with specific parts of the brain
René Descartes' illustration of mind–body dualism.
Descartes believed inputs are passed on by the Sensory organs to the epiphysis in the brain and from there to the immaterial spirit.
Simplified diagram of Spaun, a 2.5-million-neuron computational model of the brain. (A) The corresponding physical regions and connections of the human brain. (B) The mental architecture of Spaun.
Computer simulation of the branching architecture of the dendrites of pyramidal neurons.

Dualism and monism are the two major schools of thought that attempt to resolve the mind–body problem.

A phrenological mapping of the brain – phrenology was among the first attempts to correlate mental functions with specific parts of the brain although it is now widely discredited.

Philosophy of mind

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Branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the body.

Branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the body.

A phrenological mapping of the brain – phrenology was among the first attempts to correlate mental functions with specific parts of the brain although it is now widely discredited.
René Descartes' illustration of mind/body dualism.
Portrait of René Descartes by Frans Hals (1648)
Four varieties of dualism. The arrows indicate the direction of the causal interactions. Occasionalism is not shown.
The classic Identity theory and Anomalous Monism in contrast. For the Identity theory, every token instantiation of a single mental type corresponds (as indicated by the arrows) to a physical token of a single physical type. For anomalous monism, the token–token correspondences can fall outside of the type–type correspondences. The result is token identity.
John Searle—one of the most influential philosophers of mind, proponent of biological naturalism (Berkeley 2002)
Since the 1980s, sophisticated neuroimaging procedures, such as fMRI (above), have furnished increasing knowledge about the workings of the human brain, shedding light on ancient philosophical problems.

Dualism and monism are the two central schools of thought on the mind–body problem, although nuanced views have arisen that do not fit one or the other category neatly.