Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

Vedanta - Contents

VEDĀNTA the solution to our fundamental problem
D. Venugopal

D. Venugopal is a student of Swami Paramarthananda and a direct disciple of Pujya Swami Dayananda. He has successfully completed the long-term residential course in Vedanta and Sanskrit conducted from May 2002 to July 2005 at the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti.


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Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
ISBN: 978-81-7276-457-9
Format : Paperback
Pages: 324
List Price: US$7.00

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the solution to our fundamental problem
on the lines of the unfolding according to the sampradāya by
Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati and Swami Paramarthananda Saraswati


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     Prayer, maìgaläcaraëa






Our fundamental problem


We feel helpless as individuals

We miss the infallible support that we seek

We judge ourselves as wanting in all respects

Becoming free from being a wanting person is our basic concern

Fulfilling particular wants does not solve our problem

We are enslaved by our effort to be free from being a wanting person

The usual alternative solutions do not solve our problem



We are the problem but we lack self-knowledge


The basic defect is in our thinking

We convert situations into personal problems

We center our problems on our I-sense and become unhappy

We do not know what exactly we are



Vedänta is the means for self-knowledge


The various means of knowledge

We cannot know the self through the usual means of knowledge

Veda is a means of knowledge

Vedänta is the means for self-knowledge

The validity of knowledge gained through Vedänta



We have to be qualified to gain self-knowledge


We have to qualify ourselves to acquire self-knowledge

The prescribed qualifications

The discriminative faculty (viveka)

Freedom from longing (vairägya)

Gaining a hold over the mind (çama) and the sense organs (dama)

Discipline over actions (uparati)

Forbearance (titikñä)

Trust in the çästra and in the guru until understanding (çraddhä)

Naturally abiding mind (samädänam)

Intense desire for freedom (mumukñutvam)



Preparing the mind for self-knowledge


Likes (räga) and dislikes (dveña) are the impurities of the mind(mala)

Values help us to avoid improper actions

Païca-mahä-yajïa refines the mind

Karma-yoga neutralizes our likes and dislikes

Non-binding desires are harmless

Distraction of the mind (vikñepa) is the other major problem

Upäsanä (meditation) trains the mind to be undistracted

Japa or repetition of mantra

Supportive practices

Dealing with our deep-seated problems

The two committed life styles for the seeker



We have to learn Vedänta from a qualified guru


We have to approach a guru for learning Vedänta

The guru must know the traditional teaching and its methods

The guru should be established in self-knowledge



Enquiry into the self as the subject


The subject-object division

We consider the body to be the subject

We mix up the known with the knower

Mental separation of the known from the knower

I am the awareness or consciousness

Consciousness is existence 

The position of the body-mind-sense-complex

  with reference to consciousness



Analysis of the subject in its three states of experience


The three components of the body

The three states of experience

The invariable in all the states of experience

The witness-consciousness or säkñé

Ätmä is self-effulgent or svayaàjyotiù

The means to recognise ätmä

Mantra from Mäëòükya Upaniñad about ätmä



Enquiry into jévä, the living being


The presence of consciousness in the jéva

The place where ätmä is recognized by the jéva

Upädhi or the condition that appears to limit ätmä

Adhyäsa or knowing a thing as something else

Mixing up of the untruth with the truth

Adhyäsa is central to our living



The revelation about Brahman


Satyaà jïänamanantaà brahma

Satyaà jïänamanantaà brahma (continued)

Existence (sat) with reference to the body-mind-sense-complex

Anantam is Änanda

Änanda with reference to the body-mind-sense-complex



Brahman as the cause of the manifestation


Brahman is the intelligent and the material cause

The role of mäyä

Doubts that arise about Brahman being the cause

The purpose of the manifestation

An account of the process of manifestation

The manifestation of the different parts of the jéva

The division of the jéva into five functional parts

The three states of the manifestation



Analysis of the cause and the effect


The differences between the cause and the effect

Satyam and mithyä

The cause produces only name, form and function

What exists is the clay and not the pot

Potness is an incidental or mithyä attribute of clay

Between satyam and mithyä, there is no connection

The different types of reality

Brahman is advaitam, without the second



Resolution of the jévä, the jagatand Éçvara

into Brahman


Resolution through païca-koça-viveka

Recognizing ätmä and anätmä or satyam and mithyä

  in every cognition

Recognizing satyam in the mithyä manifestation

Saguëa-brahman exists only from the standpoint of avidyä



Understanding Éçvara


The manifestation is not separate from Éçvara

The manifestation of Éçvara is in the form of various orders

The benefits of understanding Éçvara

The principles of karma-yoga flow naturally from the order



Tat tvam asi


The purport or tätparya of the çästra

The direct meaning or väcyärtha of “tat tvam asi”

The methods of deriving the implied meaning or lakñyärtha

The implied meaning or lakñyärtha of “tat tvam asi”

Recognising the true self through the mahäväkya


The self with reference to the jéva, the jagat and Éçvara 



The divergent views


Should not jïäna be combined with karma togain mokña?

     Are not alternative means available to gain mokña?

Is not the elimination of thoughts the only means for self-realization?

Does not the enquiry “Who am I?” reveal the self?

Is it not necessary to remove väsanäs to gain mokña?

Is not cleaning of païcakoças necessary to remove

  the pollution from ätmä?

Is not knowledge to be realized through experience?

What is ätmänubhava?



Gaining jïäna-niñöhä


The mahaväkya gives direct knowledge

We cannot bypass the prescribed qualifications

Çravaëam, mananam and nididhyäsanam

Nididhyäsanam as set out in Bhagavadgétä 






The changes that ätma-jïäna brings about

The seeker has to emulate the characteristics of the jïäné

The consequences of becoming a jévan-mukta







Accessing the teaching



Page last updated: 23-Jun-2019