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(Sanskrit: Nondualism) Most influential school of Vedanta. It originated with Gaudapada's 7th-century commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad. Gaudapada builds on the Mahayana Buddhist philosophy of emptiness, asserting that there is no duality; the mind, awake or dreaming, moves through maya (illusion). The mind's ignorance conceals the truth that there is no becoming and no individual soul or self (jiva), only a temporary delineation from the atman (all-soul). In the 8th century Sankara developed Advaita further, arguing that the world is unreal and that the Upanishads teach the nature of Brahman, the only reality. The extensive Advaita literature influences modern Hindu thought.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Advaita, visit Britannica.com.