Vedanta

Vedanta provides a contemplative means of self-enquiry and exploration. Vedanta is expressed in the Upanishads, estimated to have been written in the period from the fifth to tenth centuries BCE, although the principles had been taught orally for a very long period prior to that; some say by thousands of years more.
The contemplative style of Vedanta meditation suggested by the Himalayan sages is compatible with the meditation of the Yoga Sutras. The self-enquiry is coupled with the inner reflection on contemplative statements calledMahavakyas, as well as reflection on, and witnessing of the Four functions of mind and exploring the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep so as to experience the consciousness that permeates all of those three levels, and which is symbolized by the Om Mantra.
Of particular importance is the introspection of the waking, dreaming, and deep sleep levels of consciousness, which have as their counterparts the gross, subtle, and causal planes of reality. It means examining not only the conscious, but also the unconscious and subconscious levels of mind, so that these can ultimately be transcended. These levels are most succinctly summarized in the Mandukya Upanishad, which deals with the levels of the meaning of the OM Mantra.
Vedanta is expressed in the Upanishads, estimated to have been written in the period from the fifth to tenth centuries BCE, although the principles had been taught orally for a very long period prior to that; some say by thousands of years more.

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