Advaita Vedanta

Definition - What does Advaita Vedanta mean?

Advaita Vedanta is one of the schools of Hindu Vedantic philosophy and is based on the concept that the higher or true Self is identical to Brahman, the Absolute Reality. The term comes from the Sanskrit advaita, meaning “not two,” veda, meaning “knowledge,” and anta, meaning “end” or “goal.” It is non-dualism based on the Vedas, the ancient Hindu texts, specifically the Upanishads.

In Advaita Vedanta, Jnana yoga is the path of knowledge to moksha, or liberation from the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Ashtanga yoga is also a viable path in Advaita Vedanta because it helps the yogi control the senses and direct awareness inward.

Yogapedia explains Advaita Vedanta

Advaita Vedanta is a subschool of Vedanta, which itself is one of six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. Advaita is one of the two oldest of the schools of Vedanta, having been formed around the eighth century. What distinguishes Advaita from other forms of Vedanta is the belief that the Self or Soul (Atman) is identical to Brahman. Knowledge of this oneness of Atman and Brahman is full awareness. Advaita Vedanta also believes that this realization of Brahman is attainable while still living on Earth.

Karma triggers the cycle of reincarnation. All of a person's good and bad actions leave vasanas, or karmic residue, which affect each future life. Moksha liberates the soul from this cycle.

Like other schools of Vedanta, Advaita recognizes the three Hindu texts that comprise the "Prasthanatrayi": the Vedas (particularly the Upanishads), the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras.

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