From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Svarupalakṣana literally means ‘essential characteristic’.

According to the Advaita Vedānta the integral or essential characteristic[1] of Brahman is ‘sat-cit- ānanda[2] whereas the taṭasthalakṣaṇa[3] is responsible for creation, preservation and dissolution of this world. An example can make these ideas more clear.

While indicating the house of Devadatta, one can point out the direction of its location through the extended branch of a mango tree nearby. The house itself can be described as built of bricks with a tiled roofs, green in color. The mango tree and its branch stands for the taṭasthalakṣaṇa and the house delineates the svarupalakṣaṇa. It should be noted that the taṭasthalakṣaṇa has nothing to do with the object described though it certainly helps in locating or recognizing it.


  1. Essential characteristic means svarupalakṣaṇa.
  2. Sat-cit- ānanda means existence-consciousness-bliss.
  3. Taṭasthalakṣaṇa means accidental characteristics.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore