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Advaita Vedanta
Advaita Vedanta is a school of Hindu philosophy and religious practice, and one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. Advaita (Sanskrit; not-two, "no second") refers to the idea that the true Self, Atman, is the same as the highest Reality, Brahman. It gives "a unifying interpretation of the whole body of Upanishads", providing scriptural authority for the postulation of the nonduality of Atman and Brahman. Followers seek liberation/release by acquiring vidya (knowledge) of the identity of Atman and Brahman. It emphasizes Jivanmukta, the idea that moksha (freedom, liberation) is achievable in this life.

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Advaita (Sanskrit) [from a not + dvaita dual from dvi two] Nondual; the Advaita or nondualistic form of Vedanta [from veda knowledge + anta end] expounded by Sankaracharya teaches the oneness of Brahman or the paramatman of the universe with the human spirit-soul or jivatman, and the identity of spirit and matter; also that the divine spirit of the universe is the all-efficient, all-productive cause of the periodic coming into being, continuance, and dissolutions of the universe; and that this divine cosmic spirit is the ultimate truth and sole reality -- hence the term advaita (without a second). All else is maya, in proportion to its distance from the divine source.
The greatest initiates and yogis since Sankaracharya's time are reputed to have come from the ranks of the Advaita-Vedantists. "Yet the root philosophy of both Adwaita and Buddhist scholars is identical, and both have the same respect for animal life, for both believe that every creature on earth, however small and humble, 'is an immortal portion of the immortal matter' -- for matter with them has quite another significance than it has with either Christian or materialist -- and that every creature is subject to Karma" (SD 1:636; cf 2:637).

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