India ‘s culture is based on a body of knowledge known as the four Vedas. This knowledge came from rishis, seers, who in states of deep meditation visualised this teaching in the form of mantras, many thousands of years ago. Much later, a great sage known as Vyasa arranged the Vedic mantras into four specific texts known as Rg-Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. This knowledge, which is said to be not of human origin, formed the blueprints for humanity in terms of how it should live and interact with its environment and the world at large.
The end portions of the four Vedas are known as Upanishads which are teachings of a more subtle nature. The Upanishads teach in infinite detail that there is one consciousness that is in and through the universe and every form of life. It is Brahman. It is awareness. There is nothing else. This is Vedanta.
There are one hundred and eight known Upanishads in existence today. There are thought to have been many more. Of these, ten are considered to form a nucleus for the teaching known as Brahmavidya – the knowledge of Brahman.
A post-Buddhism-era sage called Shankara popularised these ten Upanishads and wrote extensive commentaries on them and the Bhagavad Gita, which contains the essence of the Upanishadic teaching. These commentaries, along with selected ancillary texts form the basis of the teaching tradition of Dayananda Ashram and its parent organisation Arsha Vidya Gurukulams .
For in these Upanishads is the clear knowledge of who I am.
The Upanishads show through the knowledge of Brahman that immortality and freedom from the cycle of life and death are the true nature of humanity and of every form of life.