Aprameya

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Aprameya literally means ‘immeasurable’.

Two words constantly met with in epistemology are

  • Pramāṇa - It is the means of knowledge
  • Prameya - It is that which is thus known

For instance, when we see a pot, the act of seeing is the ‘pramāṇa’ and the pot itself is the ‘prameya’ (that which is measured or comprehended). All objects with name, form and qualities can be subject to comprehension and verification through the pramāṇas. However, God the transcendental Being, is beyond all such pramāṇas and hence is termed as ‘Apraymeya’ (lit., the immeasurable). He is beyond even the śāstra or āgama (the revealed scripture) which helps only in removing our miscomprehension about him and not reveal him directly.

In devotional literature, the word seems to be more commonly applied to Lord Viṣṇu.


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore