Vedanta unequivocally, uncompromisingly and systematically reveals that there is one non-dual Truth in this universe, and basically everyone and everything is part of that and that alone.

This eternal, timeless truth is of the nature of blissful, self-effulgent existence. It is the very Life principle. This divinity, which is therein called as Brahman, has an inexplicable and indefinable power called Maya because of which, this one truth manifests in different ways.

The multiplicity we see all over is just the manifestation of Brahman in different forms. As each form is unique, so we have different names for them. But the essence of all names and forms is one and one alone.

 I am that and you too are that. To realize this limitless, non-dual truth of myself is the real Goal of human life. That alone is the door to freedom and complete fulfillment – Moksha.

The basic principles can be summarized as:

1.         The Brahman exists

2.         The Brahman is one

3.         You are Brahman

4.         I am Brahman

 Brahman is synonymous with God or consciousness.

 The basic teachings of the Upanishads are called Mahavakyas. The Mahavakyas are the Great Sentences of Vedanta and are contained in the Upanishads. Maha is Great, and Vakyas are sentences or utterances for contemplation.

There are four special sentences in Upanishads that reveal the nature of Atman (self) and Brahman and those are called ‘Mahavakyas’ or ‘great sentences:’ Each approach Brahman from a different perspective while addressing the non-differentiation of Atman and Brahman. One each comes from each Veda. These are classified in order of the origin of the Vedas.

  • The first Maha Vakya, from Aitareya Upanishad in Rig Veda, which tells us that Consciousness, is the Brahman (Pragnanam Brahma). It is called a ‘Lakshana vakya’ meaning ‘defining sentence’, because it defines Brahman in terms of Consciousness.
  • The second Mahavakya, from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in Yajur Veda, tells us that each of us is Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi). It is called ‘Anubhava vakya’ as only through experience can we gain understanding of our true nature.
  • The third Maha Vakya, from Chandogya Upanishad in Sama Veda, is ‘Tat-tvam-asi.’ It is not just that I am Brahman, you are Brahman and the entire substratum of this world is also Brahman. This is called ‘Upadesha Vakya’ or sentence that is taught by teachers (Gurus) to their disciples to prevent arrogance and develop respect and compassion for others.
  • Finally, the fourth Maha Vakya, from Mundaka Upanishad (Atharva Veda) is ‘Ayamatma Brahma’ meaning ‘This Atman is Brahman.’ Since this sentence reveals the non-dualistic nature of atman and Brahman and keeps us connected with the larger reality, it is called ‘Anusandhana Vakya.’

There are three stages of spiritual life:

1.                  Dwaitha or dualism

2.                  Visishtadhwaitha (qualified non-dualism)

3.                  Adhwaitha (non-dualism).

A man passes through all these. In the first stage, God and men are separate, and then man realizes he is God but still the two persists. Then he realizes that others are God (you are God) and still the two persists by and only finally the man realizes that there is only God and there is no I and you (this is what is meant saying that atman and Brahman are same).