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Vakya-vritti, a renowned composition of Sri Adi Sankaracharya, expounds the meaning of the famous mahavakya “Tat tvam asi.” Mahavakyas are short concise Upanishadic statements that present the final essence of Vedanta – the identity of the individual with Brahman.

Beginner Course Medium: English

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More about the Course

Vakya-vritti, a renowned composition of Sri Adi Sankaracharya, expounds the meaning of the famous mahavakya “Tat tvam asi.”

Mahavakyas are short concise Upanishadic statements that present the final essence of Vedanta – the identity of the individual with Brahman.

Vakya-vritti falls in the category of the Prakarana-grantha or topical text. It contains a total of 53 verses. The text begins with a student’s question, seeking the means to cross the ocean of transmigration. The teacher’s detailed and succinct response forms the rest of the Vakya-vritti

The approach of the text is very systematic. The author explains the topics of ‘Tat’ and ‘Tvam’ from the standpoint of their literal meaning, or vachyartha, to finally elucidate and reconcile the identity between them from the ultimate standpoint of their implied or deeper meaning, the lakshyartha.

What You will Learn

  • Introduction to mahavakyas: what, how many, where from, purpose and so on.
  • Decoding the mahavakyas: understanding the methodology that results in Liberation
  • Detailed analysis of the “Tat tvam asi” mahavakya
    • The direct and implied meanings of the word ‘Tvam’ – the individual
      • The nature of the Self as Sakshin – the witnessing Consciousness
      • The nature of the Self as Sat-Cit-Ananda
    • The direct and implied meanings of the word ‘Tat’ – the Lord
    • The identity of ‘Tat’ and ‘Tvam’
    • How the mahavakya works – the inner workings of the mind when it tries to grasp the import of “Tat tvam asi”
  • The result of the knowledge of “Tat tvam asi”

A total of 15 video sessions by Swami Advayananda divided into 7 lessons are made available to the registered students.

Why should I do this Course?

  • Liberation is the goal that is desired by one and all, either directly or indirectly.
  • All of us seek completeness, be it the eternality of our Existence, the fullness of Knowledge or sustained happiness. This is Liberation. It is our true nature itself and this is expounded by the mahavakyas.
  • The mahavakyas generate the knowledge required for Liberation for a perfectly prepared student.
  • Mahavakyas are the essence of the Upanishadic teaching. In Vakya-vritti, Sri Adi Sankaracharya guides the seeker through a structured analysis of the mahavakya “Tat tvam asi.”
  • The study of the text will not only give clarity but will also help seekers understand the methodology of exposition of the shastras, and help one to study other mahavakyas and deeper texts.


  • Basic knowledge of Vedanta would be helpful, though not mandatory
  • Good internet connection

Course Details and Duration

  • The course comprises 7 lessons covering 15 audio/video sessions and 7 objective type questionnaires.
  • The recommended duration for completion of the Vakya-vritti course is 3 months. The suggested maximum duration is 4 months.

Course Access, Query Resolution Process, Grading and Certification

  • Students can access the course following the User Guideline document that is also sent to registered students to their email address.
  • Students have to attempt the lessons sequentially. For each lesson the student should watch the audio or video file and then attempt the questionnaire.
  • All questionnaires are objective based and on completion of each Lesson/ questionnaire the marks and grade for that lesson will be displayed to the student on the dashboard.
  • Students can download the answer key on completion of a questionnaire.
  • In case of queries or doubts on the subject matter students are encouraged to use the discussion forum. Details of the same will be sent to students on registration. A detailed query resolution process guideline will also be provided.
  • The Course is deemed complete on completion of all lessons /questionnaires, and a final grade will be awarded.
  • Grading system for certification.
    • 80% and above 'O' Grade
    • 60% and above 'A+' Grade
    • 50% and above 'A' Grade
    • Below 50% 'B' Grade
  • Those who successfully complete the course will be given a ‘Course Completion Certificate’ of merit signed by Pujya Swami Swaroopananda, Head of Chinmaya Mission worldwide. The digital copy of the same will be sent to your registered email ID.

How do I purchase the Text?

Students are recommended to purchase a copy of Vakya-vritti published by Central Chinmaya Mission Trust (CCMT).
You can either purchase a copy of the text online using this link: Vakya-vritti (English)

Take the assistance of: Sri M. Jayaraman Nair

In-charge, Chinmaya Vani, Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF)
Ph: +91 92077 11138 / WhatsApp: 9207398313 / Email id:

Course Content

The course on Vakya-vritti comprises 7 lessons. Following is a bird’s eye view of each lesson:

    Lesson 1: Introduction and Mangalacharana

    Lesson 2: Guru-upasadana

    Lesson 3: Tvam-pada – 1: The Self as Sakshin

    Lesson 4: Tvam-pada – 2: Self as Chaitanya, Ananda and Sat

    Lesson 5: Inquiry into the Tat-pada

    Lesson 6: Identity of Tat and Tvam – The Three States of Experience

    Lesson 7: Identity of Tat and Tvam

Click here for a detailed Course Content

Course Contributors

Sriram and Vijayalakshmi

Arvind Kannan

Sumedha Kulkarni

Home Study Course Scholarship Initiative

Envisioned to be a platform to impart knowledge, CIF has always made it a point to make the courses accessible to all the sincere seekers. Students, who are keen to pursue a particular course but have difficulty affording the course fee, can send an email to the homestudycourses@chinfo.org stating the same. They will be given financial assistance to enrol for the course based on the genuineness of request, keenness to study and eligibility.

One can also be a part of this noble venture by contributing to the Home Study Course Scholarship Fund. To know more, send an email to the homestudycourses@chinfo.org.

For Queries

The Administrator - Home Study Courses

Chinmaya International Foundation, Adi Sankara Nilayam

Veliyanad, Ernakulam District, Pin - 682313, Kerala, India

Mob: +91 9207711140

Landline: +91 484 2749676

(Mon–Sat, 9 AM to 5 PM IST)

E-mail: svadhyaya@chinfo.org

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