Advaita Vedānta – Recognizing Nonduality through the Upaniṣads

The Upaniṣads, the ancient oral texts within the corpus of the Vedas, are the world’s earliest extant discussions of nonduality. They develop an integrative vision that reveals the hidden connections tying individuals to the world. The Upaniṣads raise questions about our personal identity. How should I understand my body, mind, and consciousness? And what is their relationship to the world and to God (or if there is a God or many gods)? Such lines of inquiry are the epistemic seeds for psychological integration, ethical virtuosity, and most importantly for the discovery of genuine happiness and an unshakeable internal freedom within life’s vicissitudes. 

Over the centuries, several Vedānta traditions within the umbrella of Brahmanical Hinduism arose with differing metaphysical interpretations of the Upaniṣads, including qualified nondualism and dualism; however, the Advaita Vedānta tradition is the oldest living custodian to inherit the Upaniṣads’ nondual wisdom. According to Advaita Vedāntins, in their final vision, the Upaniṣads show that I, the individual, am numerically identical with nonduality. This  recognition frees me from suffering and existential anxiety by revealing a wellspring of wholeness at the core of my individual subjectivity. 

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