When the next world and this world are realized as one and the same, a man has attained same-sightedness. This is also called the union of jivatma and the Paramatma. What is jiva is mental modifications (vrittis). Paramatman is the Great Silence, who is above the three qualities. He knows not good and evil, cold and heat. He is qualitiless, formless. He is No-Thing.
– Sri Nityananda Avadhut
Brahma Vidya is the message of the Upanishads. ‘Upanishad’ literally means being near the Truth. A sincere study of Brahma Vidya is a pilgrimage which reveals to us the profound understanding of our true being – knowing which nothing more remains to be known, seeking which nothing more remains to be sought. This self-discovery is a culmination of human thought and effort. Being an end in itself, it is also called ‘Vedanta’.
For centuries, Vedanta has laid the foundation for our spiritual, cultural, social and religious living. Held within the confines of Sanskrit and secrecy, it was zealously guarded by the priest class. Oppression during foreign rule and subsequent neglect drove it by the back door. Due to hedonistic attitudes, Vedanta as a science of self-perfection was almost forgotten. This eternal wisdom is nonetheless being revived by enlightened Masters from time to time in their own unique ways. Acharyas leading traditional Peethams, Swamis setting up Ashrams, many an unknown monk hidden in obscurity, the silent few moving in the simplicity of householders garb have all continuously contributed in maintaining the tradition of Vedanta.
Vedanta is not just a philosophical view of life, but a pragmatic approach to day-to-day living. It is not a school of thought, but it accommodates all thought patterns – however conflicting. In its true sense, Vedanta is not a religion but the very essence of religiousness. It is not the monopoly of any particular sect, but the melody flowing from the lips of every awakened mystic. Its methods are intensely personal yet universally applicable. It has its roots in the hoary past yet is relevant even today. It is a unifying force for the present times bridging across geographical boundaries, racial discrimination and religious bigotry. Neither superstition, nor hollow ritualism has any place in it. It seeks to bring peace by revealing to Man what he truly is – the complete whole Self, ever free from the vagaries of the body-mind complex. It has no belief thrust upon us, no dogma to be adhered to. Its only demand from us is a sincere quest, for- ‘We shall then know the Truth and Truth shall set us free’.