Advaita Vedanta is a philosophy of nondualism. “Advaita” is a Sanskrit word that means “not two” or “no other”. According to this philosophy, the inner soul is like the Absolute Reality, which is Brahma.
The Indian School of Philosophy considers Advaita Vedanta to be the most traditional way of attaining spiritual enlightenment and salvation. It is a non-dualist philosophy that states that Brahma and Atma are one. Shankaracharya is considered to be the founder of the Advaita ideology.
According to him, only Brahma is true in this world, and he does not consider the existence of Jiva and Brahma as separate, but rather, they are one. The reason we cannot understand Brahma is due to ignorance or avidya, whereas Brahma is present within us. Shankaracharya has described the principle of Advaita by saying “Aham Brahmasmi” in his Brahmasutra.
Shankaracharya believed that the Supreme Brahma, or truth, existed prior to creation. They regarded Brahma as the ultimate reality and the created world as unreal. Shankaracharya viewed Brahma as nirguna, sat-asat, causal, and separate from the senses. Brahma cannot be seen with the eyes or understood with the mind.
Due to Maya or Avidya, individuals are unable to understand “Aham Brahm.” The soul is inactive and infinite in the form of pure knowledge. According to this principle, only “Advaita” is the ultimate truth.
There is ultimately no individual self or Jiva, only the existence of the Supreme Soul, in which the Jiva temporarily resides. Shankaracharya’s argument: Swami Shankaracharya considers two forms of Brahma: one with the title Avidya, called Jiva, and the other is pure Brahma, devoid of all kinds of titles. When the soul becomes devoid of avidya, “Aham Brahmasmi,” that is, “I am Brahma,” reaches this state, the life of the soul is destroyed, and they attain salvation.
Form of Maya: According to Advaitamat, Brahma is called Jiva only because of their association with Maya. Because of being surrounded by this ignorance, we consider ourselves to be different from Brahma. According to Swami Shankaracharya, Maya is known as Avidya, Trigunatmika, Anadirupa.
The world is false: According to Advaitamat, the world is false. Just as our dreams are misplaced and seeing a rope in the dark gives the illusion of being a snake, similarly, due to ignorance and misconception, human beings accept this false world as truth. In fact, there is no creation of the world, no seeker, no one who seeks liberation, only Brahma is the truth and nothing else.
According to non-duality, the soul is neither the doer nor the seer, nor the enjoyer, nor the show. It is totally inactive.
So according to him, experiencing the eternal Brahma is knowledge. In the context of yoga, the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta emphasises the unity of the individual self (atman) with the ultimate reality (Brahman).
The practice of yoga is seen as a means to attain spiritual enlightenment and the realisation of this oneness. Advaita Vedanta teaches that the ultimate goal of yoga is to attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death, which can be achieved through the realisation of the true nature of the self and the ultimate reality. The practice of yoga is seen as a way to purify the mind and body so that one can experience one’s true nature and ultimate reality. Yogic practises, such as meditation, pranayama, and asanas, are seen as tools to achieve this realisation.
The philosophy of Advaita Vedanta is closely linked to the practice of Jnana Yoga, which emphasises the path to knowledge and self-realization.