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

Adi Shankaracharya He is considered as the greatest spiritual saint, India has ever produced. Born in 788 A.D. in a Malyalam family, the child Shankaracharya was inclined towards spiritualism from his early childhood. He wrote scores of books namely Shankar Bhashya, Shatshloki, Vivek Choodamanni etc. He curtailed the spread of Buddhism and established the supremacy of Vedas by emerging victorious in all the debates, throughout India. Even today he is worshipped as an epithet of Shiva.
Advaita Vedanta Adi Shankara consolidated the Advaita Vedanta, an interpretation of the Vedic scriptures that was approved and accepted by Gaudapada and Govinda Bhagavatpada siddhanta (system). Continuing the line of thought of some of the Upanishadic teachers, and also that of his own teacher's teacher Gaudapada, (Ajativada), Adi Shankara expounded the doctrine of Advaita — a nondualistic reality.
Advait The theory of Monoism. The exponents of this theory believe that God is present in each person.
Brahma The Ultimate Power. The absolute Supreme Being. One of the Trinity of Gods in hindu religion. Brahma is the creator of the world, the other two being Shiva, the destroyer and Vishnu, the preserver
Brahman God, the Supreme Cosmic Spirit or Brahman (pronounced ['br-h.m-n]; nominative singular Brahma, ['br-h.m]) is the One, the whole and the only reality. The word syllable 'Brah' denotes 'Vast', 'Total', 'ALL encompassing' etc. The syllable 'Man', as stated above means 'Consciousness', 'Awareness', 'Intelligence' etc. Thus the Sanskrit word 'Brahman' means 'The ALL pervading TOTAL Consciousness'. Hence, 'Brahman' is the non-dual ultimate noumenal substratum, from which all 'Atman' emerge and get reabsorbed. 'Brahman' is also indicated by the word 'Self' with the capital letter 'S'. 'Self' also indicates the rudimentary sense of PRESENCE, underlying our egoistic mode of perception. The 'thought-flow' is made possible only by THIS unmoving constant PRESENCE in us.
Death DEATH of organic forms through the process of growth-and-decay is an inevitable 'All-embracing life-process'. This process governs humankind too! While being alive in this world, if one realizes profoundly the illusory nature of the pranks of human self-identities, the unconditional freedom from the fear of death dawns. This human being, who is full of freedom brims with love and togetherness, which cannot be measured by words. Such a living torch of LOVE is the true 'JEEVAN MUKTA'.
Dharma One of the four essentials of a man's life. It basically means duty and righteousness. Also means religion in common usage.
Dvait The theory of dualism according to which God and soul are different i.e. matter and divinity are two independent identities
Ishavasyopnishad An ancient Indian text.
Karya-karana ananyatva (the non-difference of the effect from the cause) If the cause is destroyed, the effect will no longer exist.
Samskar A process of purifying and consecrating mercury to make it fit enough to be used as a medicine and for the preparation of gold. There are total 108 Samskars of mercury.
Sanskrit The ancient Indian language in which most of the ancient Indian scriptures have been written. Most Indian languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu are believed to have originated from Sanskrit
Shankaracharya A great religious saint who reinstated the Vedic knowledge to its pristine glory.
Sutras Lit: Verses
Truth Truth connotes to an unrelenting and also an all-inclusive search for realizing the relevance of the TOTALITY. the KNOWLEDGE gained by realizing the TRUTH, is identified as SELF-KNOWLEDGE.
Upnishad The abridged form of the Vedas are known as Upnishads. There are 108 Upnishads