AIM for Seva

Advaita Vedanta Explained

The Knowledge of Advaita or non-duality essentially frees the human being from perceived alienation from the whole. The whole is limitless and undivided and hence not made up of parts. The whole ‘is’ and evident. The ‘I’ in every one of us, living beings is self-evident.

Everything else including my body, mind, senses, etc are evident to me, the self. The study of non-duality results in understanding ‘I’ am the undivided self-evident whole. So the ‘bhaya hetu,’ the reason for fear – of alienation from the whole leading to insecurity, lack of fulfillment, mortality – is essentially not there. So the study of Advaita Vedanta is to understand this by studying with the help of a Guru.

Words essentially have been coined to deal with relative reality dealing in the means of knowledge like perception, inference, presumption, examples of existence and non-existence. The same words are handled by the Guru carefully removing the relative empirical meaning of the words in the mindset of the student to lead him to the Vision of the Whole which the Guru in turn has received from his Guru through the sampradäya (teaching tradition) what they call, karna parampara, listening tradition. Every other means of knowledge is handled by the knower, whereas this parampara, teaching tradition uses the words as mirror to know the knower and hence it is an independent pramaana – means of knowledge.

You, the being is the Whole – isness – the invariable, by its sheer presence, throws light on all thought frames bringing alive a thing of the past, thus so called time comes into being, a thing in a different place, thus so called space comes into being, image of horse different from image of cow, thus bringing alive a so called object, the object is nothing but a name, word and form, meaning associated, which can be further broken down to parts, names, words and meanings, stitched together by a niyati, order, which can be bifurcated into physiological order, biological order, psychological order, order of karma, epistemological order – order of knowledge forms – so on and so forth. The orders themselves trace their origin to the being ‘isness’ which by its invariable presence lends substance to every step in an order, referred as ‘sutratma’ source of ‘all-knowledge’ making up the order. The orders on display are the so-called objects and activities.

Pardon me for using the word so-called repeatedly, because the truth is only the ‘isness’, everything else is transitory, characterised by the word ‘mithya‘ in the sastra, vedanta, meaning relative reality, ‘anirvacaniyam,’ means indeterministic, open-ended being continually in a flux, so no matter or energy is ever created or destroyed, it is all in a flux. Hence, the whole person ‘isness’ gives life to the world and the world itself is nothing but the same ‘isness’ as ‘all-knowledge’, a permutation and combination of all orders, giving an ever-changing appearance of objects and activities – sat-cit-ananta(ananda).