报告题目：On the Upaniṣadic Self
报告人：Diwakar Acharya, University of Oxford
Diwakar Acharya currently holds the position of Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University and is a fellow of All Souls College. In the past, he held positions at Kyoto University, Hamburg University, and Nepal Sanskrit University. He has to his credit a number of research papers and three books: Vācaspatimiśra’s Tattvasamīkṣā: The Earliest Commentary on Maṇḍanamiśra’s Brahmasiddhi (2006), The Little Clay Cart (2009), and Early Tantric Vaiṣṇavism: Three Newly Discovered Works of the Pañcarātra (2015). His research covers a wide range of topics in Indian religious and philosophical traditions, Upaniṣadic studies, epigraphy, early history of Nepal, and Sanskrit literature.
According to Vedānta, ātman as the individual self is experienced directly in the form of witness consciousness, but its true identity beyond the body and mind is brahman, the cosmic essence or the supreme self that permeates all and everything. In my talk, I will try to show that this sophisticated notion of ātman results from Yājñavalkya’s merger of three Vedic notions of brahman, puruṣa and ātman, and that as a result of this ātman comes to mean the eternal essential entity present not only in humans, not only in living beings, but in all and everything in existence.