Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Steven. M. Vose

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Erik Larson

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Whitney Bauman

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Ambiguity, analytical study, avadhijñāna (clairvoyance), destruction-cum- suppression (kśayopaśama), karma, righteousness, spirituality.

Date of Defense



This thesis is an analytical study of the place of clairvoyance (avadhijñāna) in Jain epistemology and soteriology. It argues that avadhijñāna occupies an ambivalent position regarding both, since it is not solely attained by means of spiritual progression but may also spontaneously arise regardless of a being’s righteousness (samyaktva). Beginning with a survey of descriptions of avadhijñāna in the canons of each sect, including a translation of Nandisūtra 12-28, it examines how commentaries, philosophy and narrative literature developed and elaborated upon avadhijñāna as part of its epistemological system. Further, it examines the nexus of avadhijñāna and karma theory to understand the role of clairvoyance in the cultivation of the three jewels—correct perception, knowledge, and conduct—that lead to liberation (mokṣa). Finally, several examples of clairvoyants from Jain narratives show how clairvoyance reamined an ambivalent tool for virtuous transformation in popular literature.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).