- Develop a clear understanding of Advaita Vedanta as a method, and the ramifications of that.
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of Advaita epistemology and its role as a key to understanding the vision of the Upanisads.
- Connect the epistemology to Advaita ontology and the fulfillment of its soteriological end.
In this course, we will examine the methods (prakriyas) used in the Upanisads to reveal the existence and nature of the non-dual reality. We will begin with a basic discussion of Advaita epistemology to understand the important claim of the Upanisad that it provides, not just information about the non-dual reality, but the means through which one can directly know it. First, we will undertake a close reading of Sankara’s introduction to the Brahmasutra, and commentary on Taittiriya Upanisad 2.1.1 to establish the core principles of superimposition and negation as well as implicative statements. With these parameters, we will study dialogues in the Mundaka, Taittirya, and Mandukya Upanisads that employ the foundational method of inquiry into cause-effect, and also, the methods of analysis of the levels of our waking experience and analysis of the three states of waking, dream, and sleep. Throughout, we will be connecting what we discover to the soteriological aim of Advaita Vedanta—release from human suffering and the cycle of birth and death.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Advaita Vedanta
Faculty/Instructor: Swamini Agamananda Saraswati
Quarter Offered: Winter 2020
Area of Study:- Hindu Studies Foundation