Sankaracharya and his disciples preached Advaita Vedanta. They travelled length and breadth of the country to emphasise the importance of these teachings as well as to make them accessible to all the people. Let’s try to understand what is the foundation on which this philosophy built.
Ancient rishis have already revealed the highest truth, the truth of The Brahman through insights. These truths were passed on by seers to their able disciples through one on one teachings. It was Sri Gaudapadacharya, and Sri Sankarabhagavadpada that these insights became accessible to all the people through their chantings/stotras and many profound books were written, that explain the revelations of rishis and non-dual wisdom etc.
So, What is the foundation of the Advaita Philosophy?
A) Advaita Vedanta has a strong foundation- a foundation that is perfect, sturdy and authentic.
Advaita Vedanta is based on three main aspects. They are Shruti, Yukti and Anubhati.
Shruti- the scriptures are the revelations of the seers, Yukti- logical reasoning and Anubhava is an experience of the realised souls, enlightened guru’s. Therefore, it is when all the aspects are satisfied only then teaching termed as “ truth.”
The truth is that which is told in the scriptures, is relevant, i.e. has logical reasoning and experience.
Q) What according to Sri Sankaracharya are the stages in the spiritual path to attain liberation?
A) There are four stages along the spiritual path of an aspirant. They are:-
• Preliminary – A stage of preparation to tread the spiritual path.
• Self-inquiry –The second stage on the spiritual path that enables to know the knowledge of self
• Incorporate – The third stage emphasises to practice the knowledge that is gained.
• Moksha – the ultimate stage; to liberate from this cycle of rebirth.
Padmapadacharya in his commentary work of Brahmasutrabhasya of Sri Sankaracharya - Panchapadika explains and emphasises teachings of his Guru similar to the above mentioned. He explains that only when an individual can discriminate between what is eternal, i.e. that which is long-lasting and what is transitory, temporary can he be rational and calm. Then alone he can free himself from desires and worldly attachments. The individual should learn that there is no permanent happiness even after acquiring and enjoying the things he desires. Knowing this truth and being dispassionate further leads to the desire for liberation. This desire in him will enable to equip him with self-control, and all the preliminary preparations on the path towards liberation. He will then be capable of undergoing severe self-inquiry into the nature of The Brahman.
AUM TAT SAT.