april 2023 krishnaarchana 37 the ability to distinguish the permanent from the transitory, or ‘Nitya Anitya Vastu Vivekam’. “Brahman,” or pure and infinite consciousness, is Vedanta’s term for this permanent aspect. According to the Thaitheerya Upanishad, Brahman has three distinctive characteristics सत्यम् ज्नञम् अनन्तम् ब्रह्म ॥ (satyam jnañam anantam brahma.): Permanent Existence (Sat or Satyam), Pure Knowledge ( Jnaanam), and Infinity or Infinite bliss (Ananda or Anantam). ‘Mahavakayas’(the great statements) from the Upanishads re-emphasize this fact stating Prajnanam Brahma (प्रज्ञानम् ब्रह्म)- Brahman is infinite”- Ayam Atma Brahma (अयम् आत्मा ब्रह्म) - This self is Brahman- Tat Tvam Asi (तत् त्वम् असि)- Thou art That, You are the one- Aham Brahma Asmi (अहम् ब्रह्म अस्मि)- I am Brahman, I am Divine. “Brahma Vidya,” or the knowledge of Brahman, is the core subject of Vedanta. ‘Mumukshutvam’, is seeking the real knowledge. A ‘Mumukshu’ focusses on attaining liberation from the ‘Samsara Chakra, the cycles of birth and death, finally experiencing a state of Ananta or infinite bliss. This progress is the ultimate goal of every human being as per Vedanta, and its study encourages to embark on a journey of selfdiscovery; to discover ‘Who I am.’ Adi Sankara wrote extensive commentaries on the Upanishads through his Advaita Vedanta (nondualistic) version. Advaita Vedanta asserts that there is only one absolute consciousness that is permanent, and all dualities are transitory appearances, or Midhyas. Sankara emphatically states “Brahma Satyam Jagat Mithya, Jiva Brahma Eva Na Aparaha”; Infinite Consciousness is the fundamental reality; the finite universe is a relative appearance; and the real ‘I’ is not different from Infinite Consciousness or Brahman. The other schools are ‘Vishista Advaita’ and ‘Dvaita’ established by Ramanujacharya, and Madhvacharya respectively. Thus, the Vedantic Path makes the seeker realize the Vedic declaration “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti (एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति)”, Existence is One, Sages call it by different names (Rig Veda, 1-164-146). Notwithstanding, Hinduism gave space to all kinds of worships, beliefs, customs, and traditions as stated meaning ‘as the water that falls down as rain finally reaches the Ocean, in the same way, the worship of any divine aspect ultimately reaches the Supreme Being’, which highlights the inclusive nature of the Sanathana Dharma, every path is progress towards the ultimate reality, the pure consciousness ‘Brahman’. Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi.