[Advaita-l] Tenets of Advaita Vedanta

Sriram Krishnamurthy asksriramjobs at gmail.com
Mon Aug 13 02:01:18 CDT 2007

*Tenets of Advaita Vedanta*

   - Brahman (the Absolute) is alone real; this world is unreal; and the
   Jiva or the individual soul is non-different from Brahman.
   - The Atman is self-evident (Svatah-siddha). It is not established by
   extraneous proofs. It is not possible to deny the Atman, because It is the
   very essence of the one who denies It.
   - Brahman is not an object, as It is Adrisya, beyond the reach of
   senses, mind or intellect. It is not another. It is all-full, infinite,
   changeless, self-existent, self-delight, self-knowledge and self-bliss. It
   is Svarupa, essence. It is the essence of the knower. It is the Seer
   (Drashta), Transcendent (Turiya) and Silent Witness (Sakshi). It is always
   the Witnessing Subject. It can never become an object as It is beyond the
   reach of the senses. Brahman is non-dual, one without a second. It has no
   other beside It.
   - Sat-Chit-Ananda constitute the very essence or Svarupa of Brahman,
   and not just Its attributes.
   - The world is not an illusion according to Sankara. The world is
   relatively real (Vyavaharika Satta), while Brahman is absolutely real
   (Paramarthika Satta). The unchanging Brahman appears as the changing world
   because of a superimposition of non-Self (objects) on Self (subject -
   Brahman). This is called Avidya.
   - The Jiva or the individual soul is only relatively real. Its
   individuality lasts only so long as it is subject to unreal Upadhis or
   limiting conditions due to Avidya. The Jiva identifies itself with the body,
   mind and the senses, when it is deluded by Avidya or ignorance. Just as the
   bubble becomes one with the ocean when it bursts, so also the Jiva or the
   empirical self becomes one with Brahman when it gets knowledge of Brahman.
   When knowledge dawns in it through annihilation of Avidya, it is freed from
   its individuality and finitude and realizes its essential Satchidananda
   nature. It merges itself in the ocean of bliss. The river of life joins the
   ocean of existence. This is the Truth.
   - Because samsara (or duality) exists due to ignorance or Avidya,
   Knowledge (Jnana) alone can make an individual realize his true nature.
   Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga etc., are necessary only to purify the
   individual and to help remove this Avidya. All other paths culminate in
   - Brahma Jnana is not about acquiring any external knowledge (as
   Brahman can't be an object of knowledge), it just about removing the Avidya
   or Maya.

(excerpts taken from the book "All about Hinduism", written by Sri Swami

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