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Viveka (Sanskrit: विवेक, romanizedviveka) is a Sanskrit and Pali term translated into English as discernment or discrimination.[1] According to Rao and Paranjpe, viveka can be explained more fully as:

Sense of discrimination; wisdom; discrimination between the real and the unreal, between the self and the non-self, between the permanent and the impermanent; discriminative inquiry; right intuitive discrimination; ever present discrimination between the transient and the permanent.[2]: 348 

The Vivekachudamani is an eighth-century Sanskrit poem in dialogue form that addresses the development of viveka. Within the Vedanta tradition, there is also a concept of vichara which is one type of viveka.

Viveka is the basis of the monastic name of Swami Vivekananda, the first Hindu spiritual teacher to journey to the west.


  1. ^ Discrimination learning refers to learning to distinguish.
  2. ^ Rao, K. Ramakrishna; Paranjpe, Anand C. (2016). Psychology in the Indian Tradition. ISBN 978-81-322-2440-2.