Course module no. 9: Samkara Advaita Vedanta Topic 1: Nature of Brahman

The course discusses the Elements of Indian Philosophy based primarily on the teachings of Adi Shankaracharya (meaning 'the first Shankara' in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord). The Indian philosophy talks about the quality of life and not the quantity of life. Basically this course deals with the Nature of Brahman or in other words the reality or satyam-that which is. Inquiry about the reality is the main theme of the Indian Philosophy. A real object should be non-contradictable or non-subletable or abadhitvam.It means a real thing can not be destroyed or cancelled in any situation. A body is destructable and so it can not be real. It is the soul, "I am" that is real or satya. This continues all through i.e. past, present and future. Therefore this is called trikala-abadhitvam. Further the philosophy deals with the effect and cause. The effect is non-different from the cause (Satkarya-vada versus Asatkarya-vada). They both are closely related.

Change (parinama) is rationally untenable, it is an appearance (vivartavada) (Satkaryavada>Vivartavada>Brahma-vivartvada). Sankara talked of Annanya. Change of form does not mean change in reality. The form or quality is not distinct from substance. Brahman or Existence as such is un-contradictable and therefore supremely real.

The philosophy and teachings of Adi Sankaracharya were based on the Advaita Vedanta. He preached 'Non-Dualism'. It means that each and every person has a divine existence, which can be identified with the Supreme God. The mere thought that human being is finite with a name and form subject to earthly changes, is to be discarded. The bodies are diverse, but the soul of all the separate bodies is the same, the Divine One.