Omniscience (s/)[1] is the capacity to know everything including the future. In monotheistic religions, such as Sikhism and the Abrahamic religions, this is an attribute of God. In some other religions that do not include a supreme deity, such as Buddhism and Jainism, omniscience is an attribute that any individual can eventually attain.


The topic of omniscience has been much debated in various Indian traditions, but no more so than by the Buddhists. After Dharmakirti's excursions into the subject of what constitutes a valid cognition, Śāntarakṣita and his student Kamalaśīla thoroughly investigated the subject in the Tattvasamgraha and its commentary the Panjika. The arguments in the text can be broadly grouped into four sections:

  • The refutation that cognitions, either perceived, inferred, or otherwise, can be used to refute omniscience.
  • A demonstration of the possibility of omniscience through apprehending the selfless universal nature of all knowables, by examining what it means to be ignorant and the nature of mind and awareness.
  • A demonstration of the total omniscience where all individual characteristics (svalaksana) are available to the omniscient being.
  • The specific demonstration of Shakyamuni Buddha's non-exclusive omniscience.[2]
Other Languages
العربية: علم لانهائي
català: Omnisciència
Deutsch: Omniszienz
español: Omnisciencia
Esperanto: Ĉionscieco
euskara: Orojakintza
français: Omniscience
galego: Omnisciencia
interlingua: Omniscientia
italiano: Onniscienza
עברית: ידיעת כול
Nederlands: Alwetendheid
polski: Omniscjencja
português: Onisciência
русский: Всеведение
svenska: Allvetande
اردو: ہمہ دانی
中文: 全知