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Advaita Vedanta is the most well-known school of Indian philosophy. Based on the ancient scriptures, namely the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, and following the rules of interpretation of the Brahmasutras, Advaita Vedanta is at once a school of philosophy, a religion, a theology and a doctrine of salvation. All these roles are only different aspects of the various schools of Vedanta, and Advaita stands as the most important and oldest school of Vedanta.

Advaita Vedanta holds that in the ultimate analysis, all that exists is only Brahman. The vast amount of multiplicity seen in the world of human beings, the diverse kinds of individuals who identify themselves with different names, families, castes and races, indeed the entire universe, from the largest stars to the smallest atom - all this is indeed nothing but Brahman. It is only ignorance of this astonishingly simple, yet complex truth that leads to misery. The individual Atman is also ultimately not different from Brahman, and realization of this important doctrine is Moksha. Such a realization is not just something learnt from a text-book, but this is to be learned from an accomplished Guru who is himself liberated, reflected upon by the student and finally experienced personally in the grandly eloquent silence that accepts all as equal and yet denies all individual characterization.

The Advaita teaching aims at liberation through a dissolution of all individuality, along with the cessation of misery, arising from the unitary knowledge of the Atman's identity with Brahman. All of this is extremely difficult for an ordinary human being, who clings to his individuality as if it were a precious treasure. Therefore, the Gurus in the Advaita tradition prescribe that an earnest student of Advaita Vedanta has to satisfy many qualities, such as patience, fortitude, keen concentration, continence, devotion to God and the Guru, and an ability to discriminate between the eternal and the ephemeral. In order to cultivate such sterling qualities, Vedic study, Yogic practice, and the worship of Isvara in time- honored forms are advised. Thus, Advaita Vedanta synthesizes the study of the ancient Vedas, popular Bhakti-oriented religion and Yoga with a sharp philosophical thinking, to form a solid bed-rock upon which a lot of contemporary Hindu religion rests.

In addition to the traditional Advaita monasteries in India, a number of institutions that draw inspiration from Advaita Vedanta have recently been established. These have an international presence also, and are included in the links below.

Vedanta Home Page
A Vedanta Page
Cosmic Harmony
Advaita Vedanta Home Page
An Introduction to Vedanta
Pathways to Metaphysics
The Six Darsanas
Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai
Yoga Vedanta Center
Divine Life Society
Satsang with Gangaji
Chinmaya Mission
Self-Realization Fellowship
Dreaming We're Awake
Of Quasars and Quanta
Alan Watts - Essays and Lectures
Advaita Vedanta and Modern Science