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Vedantic Doctrine Of Subjective Idealism

The vedantic doctrine of subjective idealism is used in Yoga Vasistha. It is known as Drishtisrishtivada. Yoga Vasistha says that all things of the universe are seen “in the same or a different light as they are represented by our ignorance.” 

Ajativada of Gaudapada also declares that the world is an appearance. In reality, the world is non-existent, because if it were really existent, then it would not cease. The Ultimate Reality is pure intelligence. It is from the movement of this entity that svata (the ego) arises, from it the mind is created, and it creates all existent things.

When we realize that the world of appearance has no possibility of existence, the false notion of ourselves as knower’s also ceases and leads to the realization of pure intelligence.

The main difference between the Buddhist theory of idealism and Yoga Vasistha is that in the Buddhist theory there is nothing permanent, whereas in the Dhrishtisrishtivada of Yogavasistha and also in Vedanta, the Brahman is the Ultimate Reality.

This theory is further elaborated in Vedanta by Prakasatman and by Prakashananda, who state that the creation is simultaneous with the perception or that the perception itself is the creation. Thus, they establish that worldly phenomena are not objectively existent, but subjectively imagined. The world is not objective, but subjective, i.e. depends on the perception. Since the experiences of each person are determined by his own subjective avidya, there is no epistemology in Drishti srishti vada.