Reflection of Advaita Vedanta and Yoga on Abulafia's Prophetic Kabbalah

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Religions and Mysticism, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Religions and Mysticism, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran


Abraham Abulafia (d. ca. 1291), a Jewish mystic, believed that the purpose of the higher life was to attain perfection and virtue, and that the best way to achieve this goal was to focus on God by expressing the silent and vowel letters that make up his name. Because the divine name is the essence and truth of God, hence Abulafia initiated methods for combining letters. But among all his practical teachings, the highest and most prominent one is the technique of expressing the divine name. He associated the mention of the divine name with special breathing techniques and head and neck movements. On the other hand, we know that these practices have been common in the Hindu tradition since ancient times. Due to Abulafia's familiarity with the Hindu tradition, some have spoken of his influence on the Hindu tradition. In this article, we examine this issue and see that the school of Abulafia was similar to the Hindu tradition in three respects: emphasis on the indescribability of the transcendent truth, emphasis on specific methods of chanting and emphasis on mystical ecstasy.


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