Atman, Brahmman, Bhagavad Gita, Moksha, Upanishad, Vedanta


There are widespread misconceptions about the faith and the philosophy of Hinduism. This paper discusses the basic concepts of the nature (Prakriti) and the attributes of Hindu gods and goddesses, and the philosophy of Vedas, Upanishads, and Vedanta for a clear understanding of Hinduism.  

It is found that the Vedanta philosophy deals with differing relationships between Atman (Self) and Brahmman (universal Self). Advaita Vedanta teaches the non-dualism of Atman and Brahmman, whereas Vishishtadvaita Vedanta finds Atman and Brahmman both different and non-different, while Dvaita Vedanta finds dualism of Atman and Brahmman as its essence. Research has found that Hinduism is both monotheistic and henotheistic but not polytheistic. ‘Ekam Sat Vipraha Bahudha Vadanti’ – call Him by whatever name you like, worship Him in any form you like, it all goes to that one Brahmman, the Supreme Godhead. The paper discusses the spiritual meaning of Moksha, and the nature of conditioned and liberated souls in the context of Vedanta philosophy and Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Research has concluded that the core beliefs of Hinduism are (i) the Truth is eternal (ii) the Brahmman is the Truth and the Supreme Godhead, (iii) the Vedas are the ultimate authority (iv) the purpose of life is to attain self-realisation (v) individual souls are immortal and (vi) the goal of individual soul is liberation from life-death cycles (Moksha).

The methodology applied in this paper is a review study of Hindu civilization, basic concepts of Hinduism and Hindu philosophy from Vedic scriptures, journal articles, and spiritual lectures on Hinduism. Special emphasis is given on the teachings of Vedanta and Srimad Bhagavad Gita. The findings of the study are analyzed in reference to Bhagavad Gita and presented in this paper. Author recommends that further research should be done on Hinduism and Hindu philosophy to derive a general unified code of conduct for all Hindus irrespective of castes, sects, and Hindu traditions so as to make Hinduism more coherent, and easy to practice worldwide.

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