Advaita Vedanta

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia
Information red.svg
Scan the QR code to donate via UPI
Dear reader, We need your support to keep the flame of knowledge burning bright! Our hosting server bill is due on June 1st, and without your help, Bharatpedia faces the risk of shutdown. We've come a long way together in exploring and celebrating our rich heritage. Now, let's unite to ensure Bharatpedia continues to be a beacon of knowledge for generations to come. Every contribution, big or small, makes a difference. Together, let's preserve and share the essence of Bharat.

Thank you for being part of the Bharatpedia family!
Please scan the QR code on the right click here to donate.



transparency: ₹0 raised out of ₹100,000 (0 supporter)

Swans are an important figure in Advaita and represent an enlightened soul untouched by Maya (illusion).

Advaita Vedanta is a school in Hinduism. People who thoroughly explore Advaita know that their soul is not different from Brahman. The most famous Hindu philosopher who taught about Advaita Vedanta was Adi Shankara who lived in India more than a thousand years ago.


Adi Shankara learned the sacred texts of Hinduism, like Vedas and Upanishads under his teacher Govinda Bhagavadpada and later wrote extensive commentaries of Hindu sacred texts called Upanishads. In these commentaries, he proposed the theory of Advaita, saying that the Upanishad actually teach that the individual soul (called Atman) is not different from Ultimate Reality (called Brahman). He also taught that there is only one essential principle called Brahman and everything else is a kind of expression of that one Brahman. Because of this theory of one being, his teachings became popular as the "Advaita" (a = not, dvaita = two, means no-two or non-dual). The way he said this to people was "Atman is Brahman."

Adi Shankara was smart and knew that people would wonder how he could say such an odd thing. He realized that many people would ask him, "If a person's soul is really one with Ultimate all along, then what makes a person feel so separate from Ultimate?" His answer to this was that we are ignorant of our real self being Ultimate because we see through a kind of filter—like looking through a dirty piece of glass—and he called this filter we look through, maya, which means "illusion" in Sanskrit.

Shankara said that our ignorance makes us feel very separate from Ultimate, and even from everything around us. Shankara suggested that the best way people can find the truth is for them to try to clear their thinking of all ignorant thoughts, be very good, and think very hard about who they really are. He said that if a person did all these things he would realize that Brahman was himself all along.

This is a very similar idea to other religions at their esoteric core.[1] For instance within Islam there is an idea of annihilation within the divine, Fana and Waḥdat al-Wujūd (Unity of Existence)


  1. Schuon, Frithjof (2007). Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts: A New Translation with Selected Letters. World Wisdom, Inc. ISBN 9781933316420.

External links