Vedanta is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. A closer look at the word Vedanta is revealing: Vedanta is a combination of two words: Veda which means knowledge and anta which means “the end of” or “the goal of.” In this context the goal of knowledge isn’t intellectual—the limited knowledge we acquire by reading books. Knowledge here means the knowledge of God as well as the knowledge of our own divine nature. Vedanta, then, is the search for Self-knowledge as well as the search for God.
Vedanta is the most prominent and philosophically advanced of the orthodox schools and the term Vedanta may also be used to refer to Indian philosophy more generally. There are at least ten schools of Vedanta of which Advaita Vedanta, Vishishtadvaita, Achintya-Bheda-Abheda and Dvaita are the best known.
The three fundamental Vedanta texts are: the Upanishads (the most favoured being the longer and older ones such as the Brihadaranyaka, the Chandogya, the Taittiriya, and the Katha); the Brahma-sutras (also called Vedanta-sutras), which are very brief, even one-word interpretations of the doctrine of the Upanishads; and the famous poetic dialogue, the Bhagavadgita (“Song of the Lord”), which, because of its immense popularity, was drawn upon for support of the doctrines found in the Upanishads.
Vedanta is one of the world’s most ancient religious philosophies and one of its broadest. Based on the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of India, Vedanta affirms the oneness of existence, the divinity of the soul, and the harmony of religions. Vedanta is the philosophical foundation of Hinduism; but while Hinduism includes aspects of Indian culture, Vedanta is universal in its application and is equally relevant to all countries, all cultures, and all religious backgrounds.
Vedanta establishes that God is infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite bliss. Most importantly, God dwells within our own hearts as the divine Self or Atman. The Atman is never born nor will it ever die. It as well asserts that the goal of human life is to realize and manifest our divinity. Not only is this possible, it is inevitable. Our real nature is divine; God-realization is our birthright. Sooner or later, we will all manifest our divinity—either in this or in future lives—for the greatest truth of our existence is our own divine nature.
- Holistic Sutra Posted for Ayurved Sutra by Soulpark with Shruti M