Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma
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  Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 1  
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Chapter - 4:
An Introduction to Hindu Philosophy and Traditions
 
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HR104 - 05
The Daily Practice of our Teachings and Religious Experience
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Lesson: 4-05
Adhvaitha of Sri Ådhi Sankara and Smartha Sampradaya
Faiths in daily Ritual practice along with Prayers following the Smritis
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Essentials of Dharma Sãstrãs and Applied Hindu Philosophy in our Practice
 
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The Atman is self-evident. The atman is the basis of all knowledge. Brahmam is not an object, as It is Adrishya, beyond the reach of our vision. Sankara's Supreme Brahmam is Nirguna, formless, without attributes, without special characteristics, immutable and eternal. It is impersonal. It becomes a personal God or Saguna Brahmam only through Its association with Maya. They are not two opposite entities.

In Advaitha philosophy, the same Nirguna Brahmam appears as Saguna Brahmam for the pious worship of the devotees. It is the same Truth from two different points of views. The former is transcendental and the latter is relative. The Jiva or the individual soul is relatively real. Its individuality lasts until it is bound by the unreal Upathis or limiting conditions due to Avidhyas. The Jiva identifies itself with the body, mind and the senses when the Avidhya or ignorance deludes it. Jiva merges one with the Brahmam when it gets knowledge through annihilation of Avidhya.

To Sri Sankara, the world also is only relatively real. If you get knowledge, the Maya will vanish and the illusion of body and world will disappear. The unchanging Brahmam appears like changing world through the mysterious Maya. The superimposition of the world on Brahmam is due to Avidhya or ignorance as a result of the mysterious effects of Maya.

In Vivartha-Vaada, the cause produces the effect without undergoing any change in itself. When Avidhya or the veil of ignorance is destroyed through knowledge of the Eternal, when Mithya-Jnana is removed by true knowledge, we shine in the splendor and glory with the true vision of the Divine

Sri Sankara's Adhvaitha theory was a good reply to the theories of blind rituals of Poorva Mimamsa and to Buddhist teachings which were gaining acceptance in some areas. He wrote commentaries to Srimad Baghvad Geetha to show Sri Krishna's opposition to blind ritualistic practices as in Mimamsa. He also opposed the passive cause and effect theories of Sankhya and Buddhist theories against Vedic Gods.

In addition to the Adhvaitha philosophy and teachings on Jnana marga, Sri Sankara also established his system of devotional worship of six forms of Saguna Brahmam for daily prayers to Ishta-Devatha or a personal Deity in the form of a Vigraha at homes or in Temples. He also gave us the religious practice following the Vedas and Smrithis. This gave rise to the Smartha Sampradaya. This was for the common people who cannot reach the high level of Jnana marga. He established four of his ashramams in the four corners of India to propagate his system of philosophy.

 
 

 

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Lessons: - :~: 4-01 :~: 4-02 :~: 4-03 :~: 4-04 :~: 4-05 :~: 4-06 :~: 4-07 :~: 4-08 :~: 4-09 :~:
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