Advaita Vedanta – what is it?

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Advaita Vedanta had a profound influence on Indian thought and spirituality,

being one of the most respected and studied schools of Vedantine philosophy.

It also influenced Western thinking,

in particular by means of writings

and the teachings transmitted by modern scientists and spiritualists.

Advaita Vedanta is a school of Indian philosophy and spirituality,

part of the Vedanta tradition,

which is based on the teachings of the Vedic texts, especially the Upanishads.

“Advaita” means “non-duality”,

and “Vedanta” refers to the “end of the Vedas”,

that is, the teachings contained in the last parts of the Vedas.

This could also be interpreted to mean

the “end”, the “realization”, the “crowning” of the Vedas.

Fundamental principles

Non-duality (Advaita)

is the essence of Advaita Vedanta’s teaching,

which claims that there is only one ultimate reality,

called Brahman or God, the transcendent and attributeless omnipotent One Being,

and that any perceived diversity and duality in the world is an illusion (Maya).

Brahman is infinite, immaterial, unchanging, and is the true nature of all things.

Atman and Brahman

According to Advaita Vedanta,

Atman (the individual essential soul)

and Brahman (ultimate reality, the transcendent and unattributed, omnipotent One Being)

are identical.

The inner realization of this truth,

that is, the fact that the Atman is Brahman

It is considered the path to liberation (moksha), happiness, knowledge.

Nondualism is the main understanding

that gives a deep meaning to existence,

frees you from the fear of limitation.

Nondualism is spontaneously opposed to Luciferianism, Satanism, and materialism,

which is by definition, dualistic and prefers limitation, dependence and comfort because they are, apparently, more accessible or simply out of ill will.

Maya

Maya is the force that creates the illusion of duality and diversity in the world.

This causes individuals to perceive a separation

between himself and the rest of existence,

between Atman and Brahman.

Liberation (Moksha)

The fundamental purpose of life, according to Advaita Vedanta,

is to realize the true nature of the Self and overcome the illusion of Maya.

This leads to moksha, happiness and liberation from the cycle of birth and death (samsara)

and union with Brahman.

Sacred Texts and Important Teachers or Masters

The Upanishads

These Vedic texts are fundamental

for the Advaita Vedanta philosophy,

offering teachings about the nature of reality, the Self, and the universe.

Bhagavad Gita

This sacred text is performed within Advaita Vedanta

to support the teachings of non-duality and liberation.

Adi Shankaracharya is one of the most important

philosophers and theologians of Advaita Vedanta

Adi Shankaracharya lived in the eighth century

and played an essential role in systematizing and popularizing this philosophy.

He wrote numerous commentaries on the Vedic texts

and founded four maṭha-s (monasteries)

which are important centers of Advaita Vedanta’s teachings.

Practices

Advaita Vedanta practices include scripture study (jnana yoga),

Meditation on the True Nature of the Self

and the consequence of a

master-teacher – guru who can guide the disciple towards the realization of non-duality.

Bhakti yoga (devotional yoga) and karma yoga (yoga of action)

are also integrated.

 

Acharya Leo Radutz

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