Vedanta is a spiritual tradition explained in the Upanishads that is concerned with the self-realisation by which one understands the ultimate nature of reality (Brahman).
The word Vedanta is a Sanskrit compound word which can be treated as:
veda = 'knowledge' + anta = 'end, conclusion': 'the culmination of knowledge' or veda = 'knowledge' + anta = 'essence', 'core', or 'inside': 'the essence of the Vedas'.
Vedanta which implies 'the end of all knowledge' - by definition is not restricted or confined to one book and there is no sole source for Vedantic philosophy. Vedanta is based on immutable spiritual laws that are common to religions and spiritual traditions worldwide. Vedanta as the end of knowledge refers to a state of self-realisation, attainment, or cosmic consciousness. Historically and currently Vedanta is understood as a state of transcendence and not as a concept that can be grasped by the intellect alone.
The Five Founding Principle of Vedanta are :
(I am That)
: Indeed potentially I am That Absolute Truth - Consciousness incarnated in human form. Attaining higher spiritual levels are easy for me. I am a Sadhak (devotee
) whom Yug Rishi has given an opportunity to do Sadhana towards Self-Realization.2. SHIVOHUM
(I am akin to Lord Shiva
): Shiva means auspicious. Essentially I am a blessed person; so how can there be any place for evil in my thoughts, feelings or actions? If any inappropriate trait has stuck to me due to bad company/surroundings, it is foreign to my essential nature and I resolve to rid myself of this dross.3. SACHCHIDANANDOHUM
(My intrinsic Nature is – Truth – Consciousness - Bliss
): Why should I be affected by falsehood? Why should I chase a mirage? I am innate bliss; why should I vainly seek happiness in the transient world?4. AYMATMA BRAHMA (Thy soul is a Spark of Brahma (Divine)
: As the ocean is water so also is a drop. Every ray of the Sun has the qualities of its Radiator. Howsoever small the Soul confined by the ego may seem it has the capacity of uniting with its origin – Brahma. Both tap and tank are capable of giving water. So why should I remain caged in the false sense of identity with the ego and feel miserable; why not become Omnipresent?5. TATVAMASI
(You are That
): You inherit the attributes of the Supreme Soul and the whole creation is your embodiment.
We are sparks of the Eternal and Imperishable spirit and our souls are here on their upward path to immortality. The essence of our Being is the Supreme Spirit (Parmatma – Brahma
) – the source of the creative cosmic play; and we are here to awaken to the Reality of true identity.
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