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Philosophy of Vedanta

The Upanishads

The Upanishads are the last part of the Vedas and form the cornerstone of the philosophy of Vedanta. They are said to reflect the mystical experiences of the great sages. The term upanishad means ‘sitting down near’, that is, next to a teacher or guru who passes on his spiritual knowledge by word of mouth. There are 108 classical Upanishads.

Writings by Sri Adi Sankaracharya

Sankaracharya lived in the 8th century AD and is considered to be one of the greatest Indian philosophers and the most important proponent of the philosophy of non-duality or Advaita Vedanta.

The Crest Jewel of Wisdom

Viveka Chudamani (literally ‘the crest jewel of wisdom’), a masterpiece consisting of 580 verses, is written in the form of a dialogue between a teacher and his student and covers such topics as the methods of meditation, the characteristics of a guru and the state of Self-realisation. Step by step, the student learns how to attain Brahman or Supreme Consciousness.

Tattva Bodha – Knowledge of Truth

Who am I? What is the point of life? Tattva Bodha (‘the knowledge of truth’) answers these questions and more. Tattva Bodha takes the form of a dialogue between a student and his teacher, describing the concept of the three bodies, the three gunas (elements of nature), the three states of mind, the discrimination between the real and the unreal and other related topics. Through intensive enquiry the seeker reaches Self-realisation or the knowledge of the unity of the Self with the Absolute or God.

Atma Bodha – Self-Knowledge

Atma Bodha or ‘the knowledge of the Self’ is a short treatise on Advaita Vedanta, also called the philosophy of non-duality. It consists of 68 verses in Sanskrit. The term ‘non-duality’ refers to the belief that the individual soul (Atman) and the universal, absolute soul (Brahman) are one. According to Atma Bodha, false identification with the fleeting objects of the material world can be overcome only when knowledge of the Self or the Eternal dawns.

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