From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Vivartavāda literally means ‘the doctrine of apparent transformation’.

The basic cause of an erroneous perception, as that of a snake in rope, is called ajñāna or avidyā. It has two powers:

  1. Āvaraṇaśakti - veiling power
  2. Vikṣepaśakti - transforming power

It veils the real nature of the rope and apparently transforms it into a snake. This apparently transformed object is called a ‘vivarta’ of the original and the theory that propounds it is known as vivartavāda.


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