57 Facts About Advaita Vedanta


Advaita Vedanta is a Hindu sadhana, a path of spiritual discipline and experience, and the oldest extant tradition of the orthodox Hindu school Vedanta.

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Advaita Vedanta is often translated as "non-duality, " but a more apt translation is "non-secondness.

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The meaning of Advaita Vedanta can be summed up as "the end of the vedas" or "the ultimate knowledge of the vedas".

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Advaita Vedanta is one of six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy.

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In contrast, according to Frits Staal, a professor of philosophy specializing in Sanskrit and Vedic studies, the word Advaita Vedanta is from the Vedic era, and the Vedic sage Yajnavalkya is credited to be the one who coined it.

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Stephen Phillips, a professor of philosophy and Asian studies, translates the Advaita Vedanta containing verse excerpt in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, as "An ocean, a single seer without duality becomes he whose world is Brahman.

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Yet, post-Shankara Advaita Vedanta incorporated yogic elements, such as the Yoga Vasistha, and influenced other Indian traditions, and neo-Vedanta is based on this broader strand of Indian thought.

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Nicholson states Advaita Vedanta contains realistic strands of thought, both in its oldest origins and in Shankara's writings.

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Yet, the knowing self has various experiences of reality during the waking, dream and dreamless states, and Advaita Vedanta acknowledges and admits that from the empirical perspective there are numerous distinctions.

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Advaita Vedanta explains this by postulating different levels of reality, and by its theory of errors.

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Advaita Vedanta posits three states of consciousness, namely waking, dreaming (svapna), deep sleep (susupti), which are empirically experienced by human beings, and correspond to the Three Bodies Doctrine:.

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Advaita Vedanta posits the fourth state of Turiya, which some describe as pure consciousness, the background that underlies and transcends these three common states of consciousness.

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Avidya is a central tenet of Shankara's Advaita Vedanta, and became the main target of Ramanuja's criticism of Shankara.

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All schools of Advaita Vedanta agree that Brahman is both the material and the efficient cause, and all subscribe to the theory of Satkaryavada, which means that the effect is pre-existent in the cause.

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Soteriological goal, in Advaita Vedanta, is to gain self-knowledge as being in essence, awareness or witness-consciousness, and complete understanding of the identity of jivan-atman and Brahman.

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Yet, the Advaita Vedanta-tradition emphasizes human effort, the path of Jnana Yoga, a progression of study and training to realize one's true identity as Atman-Brahman and attain moksha.

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Advaita student has to develop the fourfold qualities, or behavioral qualifications: A student is Advaita Vedanta tradition is required to develop these four qualities -.

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Advaita Vedanta tradition teaches that correct knowledge, which destroys avidya, psychological and perceptual errors related to Atman and Brahman, is obtained in jnanayoga through three stages of practice, sravana, manana (thinking) and nididhyasana (meditation).

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Advaita Vedanta school has traditionally had a high reverence for Guru, and recommends that a competent Guru be sought in one's pursuit of spirituality, though this is not mandatory.

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Advaita Vedanta tradition emphasizes that, since Brahman is ever-present, Brahman-knowledge is immediate and requires no 'action', that is, striving and effort, as articulated by Shankara; yet, it prescribes elaborate preparatory practice, including yogic samadhi, posing a paradox which is recognized in other spiritual disciplines and traditions.

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Vivekachudamani "explicit[ly] declar[es] that experience is a pramana, or means of knowing (VCM 59), " and neo-Advaita Vedanta accepts anubhava ("personal experience") as a means of knowledge.

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Since Gaudapada, who adopted the Buddhist four-cornered negation which negates any positive predicates of 'the Absolute', a central method in Advaita Vedanta to express the inexpressable is the method called Adhyaropa Apavada.

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The Advaita Vedanta-vakyas convey an indirect knowledge which is made direct only by deep meditation.

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Some claim, states Deutsch, "that Advaita Vedanta turns its back on all theoretical and practical considerations of morality and, if not unethical, is at least 'a-ethical' in character".

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Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Brahma Sutras are the central texts of the Advaita Vedanta tradition, providing doctrines about the identity of Atman and Brahman and their changeless nature.

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The subsequent Advaita Vedanta tradition has further elaborated on these sruti and commentaries.

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Advaita Vedanta tradition provides exegeses of the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavadgita, collectively called the Prasthanatrayi, literally, three sources.

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Advaita Vedanta tradition considers the knowledge claims in the Vedas to be the crucial part of the Vedas, not its karma-kanda.

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Advaita Vedanta, like all orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, accepts as an epistemic premise that Sruti is a reliable source of knowledge.

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Post-Shankara Advaita Vedanta saw the composition of both scholarly commentaries and treatises, as well as popular works and compositions which incorporate Yoga ideas.

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Texts which influenced the Advaita Vedanta tradition include the Avadhuta Gita, the Yoga Vasistha, and the Yoga Yajnavalkya.

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Advaita Vedanta is not just a philosophical system, but a tradition of renunciation.

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Dasgupta and Mohanta suggest that Buddhism and Shankara's Advaita Vedanta represent "different phases of development of the same non-dualistic metaphysics from the Upanishadic period to the time of Sankara.

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Advaita Vedanta tradition has historically rejected accusations of crypto-Buddhism highlighting their respective views on Atman, Anatta and Brahman.

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Advaita Vedanta posits a substance ontology, an ontology which holds that underlying the change and impermanence of empirical reality is an unchanging and permanent absolute reality, like an eternal substance it calls Atman-Brahman.

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Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita school and Shankara's Advaita school are both nondualism Vedanta schools, both are premised on the assumption that all Selfs can hope for and achieve the state of blissful liberation; in contrast, Madhvacharya and his Dvaita subschool of Vedanta believed that some Selfs are eternally doomed and damned.

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Advaita Vedanta's nondualism asserted that Atman and Brahman are identical, there is interconnected oneness of all Selfs and Brahman, and there are no pluralities.

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Advaita Vedanta influenced Krishna Vaishnavism in the different parts of India.

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Two Advaita Vedanta writings predating Mandana Misra and Shankara were known to scholars such as Nakamura in the first half of 20th-century, namely the Vakyapadiya, written by Bhartrhari, and the Mandukya-karika written by Gaudapada (7th century).

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Mandana Misra, an older contemporary of Shankara, was a Mimamsa scholar and a follower of Kumarila, but wrote a seminal text on Advaita Vedanta that has survived into the modern era, the Brahma-siddhi.

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Advaita Vedanta is often considered to be the founder of the Advaita Vedanta school, but was actually a systematizer, not a founder.

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Shankara was a scholar who synthesized and systematized Advaita Vedanta-vada thought which already existed at his lifetime.

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Advaita Vedanta's Brahmasutrabhasya is a fundamental text of the Vedanta school of Hinduism.

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Advaita Vedanta authored Upadesasahasri, his most important original philosophical work.

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Some modern Advaitins argue that most of post-Shankara Advaita Vedanta actually deviates from Shankara, and that only his student Suresvara, who's had little influence, represents Shankara correctly.

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Cultural influence of Shankara and Advaita Vedanta started only centuries later, in the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century, when Sringeri matha started to receive patronage from the kings of the Vijayanagara Empire and became a powerful institution.

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Advaita Vedanta wrote the Pancapadika, a commentary on the Sankara-bhaya.

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Mandana Mishra's student Vachaspati Misra, who is believed to have been an incarnation of Shankara to popularize the Advaita Vedanta view, wrote the Bhamati, a commentary on Shankara's Brahma Sutra Bhashya, and the Brahmatattva-samiksa, a commentary on Mandana Mishra's Brahma-siddhi.

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Advaita Vedanta's thought was mainly inspired by Mandana Misra, and harmonises Shankara's thought with that of Mandana Misra.

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Advaita Vedanta inspired the re-creation of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire of South India, in response to the devastation caused by the Islamic Delhi Sultanate, but his efforts were targeted at Srivaisnava groups, especially Visistadvaita, which was dominant in territories conquered by the Vijayanagara Empire.

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Allen highlights the widespread prominence in early modern India of what he calls "Greater Advaita Vedanta" which refers to popular Advaita works, including "narratives and dramas, “eclectic” works blending Vedanta with other traditions, and vernacular works such as The Ocean of Inquiry.

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Advaita Vedanta literature was written in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, and Oriya.

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Vedanta came to be regarded, both by westerners as by Indian nationalists, as the essence of Hinduism, and Advaita Vedanta came to be regarded as "then paradigmatic example of the mystical nature of the Hindu religion" and umbrella of "inclusivism".

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Neo-Advaita Vedanta subsumed and incorporated Buddhist ideas thereby making the Buddha a part of the Advaita Vedanta tradition, all in an attempt to reposition the history of Indian culture.

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Vivekananda emphasised nirvikalpa samadhi as the spiritual goal of Advaita Vedanta, he equated it to the liberation in Yoga and encouraged Yoga practice which he called Raja yoga.

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Advaita Vedanta has gained attention in western spirituality and New Age as nondualism, where various traditions are seen as driven by the same non-dual experience.

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Neo-Advaita Vedanta is being criticised for discarding the traditional prerequisites of knowledge of the scriptures and "renunciation as necessary preparation for the path of jnana-yoga".

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