Advaita Vedanta is a sub-school of the Vedanta tradition of Hindu philosophy, and is considered to be one of the most influential and important systems of thought in Indian philosophy. The term "Advaita" literally means "not two" or "non-dual," and refers to the idea that ultimate reality is non-dual and that the individual self (atman) is identical to the ultimate reality (Brahman).
Advaita Vedanta was first articulated by the Indian sage and philosopher Adi Shankara, who lived in the 8th century CE. Shankara's teachings were based on the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita, and he is considered to be the greatest exponent of Advaita Vedanta. Shankara's commentaries on these texts, along with his own independent works, are considered to be the most important texts in Advaita Vedanta.
The goal of Advaita Vedanta is to achieve liberation (moksha) from the cycle of rebirth (samsara) through the realization of the non-dual nature of ultimate reality. According to Advaita Vedanta, the individual self is not separate from ultimate reality, and the goal of spiritual practice is to realize this non-dual identity. This realization is said to lead to the end of suffering and the attainment of a state of eternal peace and happiness.
Some of the key sutras or texts in Advaita Vedanta include:
The Upanishads, which contain the foundational teachings of Advaita Vedanta
The Brahma Sutras, which are considered to be the main text of Advaita Vedanta, and which outline the philosophical system in a systematic way
Shankara's commentaries on the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras, which provide detailed explanations and interpretations of the texts
Shankara's independent works, such as the Vivekachudamani, which is considered to be a key text in Advaita Vedanta.
In summary, Advaita Vedanta is a non-dualistic philosophical tradition that originated in ancient India. It was articulated by Adi Shankara in the 8th century CE and its goal is to achieve liberation through the realization of the non-dual nature of ultimate reality. Some of the key texts of Advaita Vedanta include the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras, and Shankara's commentaries and independent works.