ADVAYAVADA, advayavadin (Sanskrit, one who does not accept dualism or dichotomy; a transcendentalist) — in the Buddhist tripartite classification of the systems of Indian philosophy, this is the term for various systems of ontological agnosticism.

The term is used to describe Buddhist systems insofar as they transcend the dichotomy of the world's existence (astika) and nonexistence (nastika), eternity (shashvatavada) and destruction (ucchedavada). These do not emphasize either the positive or the negative aspect of reality, but they emphasize the aspect of the depending coming-to-be of the world (pratityasamutpada). Both extreme views are rejected as disagreeing with the approach taken by the Buddha himself, as untenable in the light of the light a Buddhist critique, and properly speaking unknowable.

The term is used as a synonym of "middle road". Depending upon the school, this term may be interpreted according to processualism (abhidharma), relativism and the theory of emptiness, or even agnosticism (shunyavada, madhyamaka). Buddhist logicians (vijnanavada) regard extreme doctrines as unknowable in a certain way on account of errors in the middle term (hetu) of the syllogism.

Jainists with their theory of anekantavada are not included among the advayavadins, which indicated an ontological interpretation of the term (even in the case of agnosticism, the term is ontological, not epistemological).

S.C. Vidyabhusana, ERE I 47-48; D.S. Ruegg, The Literature of the Madhyamaka School of Philosophy in India, Wie 1981.

Maciej St. Zięba

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