38 Facts About Vedanta


Literally meaning "end of the Vedas", Vedanta reflects ideas that emerged from, or were aligned with, the speculations and philosophies contained in the Upanishads, specifically, knowledge and liberation.

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Vedanta contains many sub-traditions, all of which are based on a common group of texts called the "Three Sources" : the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita.

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All Vedanta traditions contain extensive discussions on ontology, soteriology and epistemology, though there is much disagreement among the various schools.

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The main traditions of Vedanta are: Advaita, Bhedabheda, Suddhadvaita, Tattvavada, and Vishishtadvaita.

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Advaita Vedanta meanwhile, emphasizes jnana and jnana yoga over theistic devotion.

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Vedanta is concerned with the or knowledge section of the vedas which is called the Upanishads.

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The denotation of Vedanta subsequently widened to include the various philosophical traditions based on to the Prasthanatrayi.

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Vedanta is one of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy.

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Vedanta philosophies discuss three fundamental metaphysical categories and the relations between the three.

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Ramanuja, in formulating Vishishtadvaita Vedanta, rejects nirguna – that the undifferentiated Absolute is inconceivable – and adopts a theistic interpretation of the Upanishads, accepts Brahman as Ishvara, the personal God who is the seat of all auspicious attributes, as the One reality.

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Different schools of Vedanta have historically disagreed as to which of the six are epistemologically valid.

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For example, while Advaita Vedanta accepts all six pramanas, Vishishtadvaita and Dvaita accept only three pramanas.

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All schools of Vedanta subscribe to the theory of Satkaryavada, which means that the effect is pre-existent in the cause.

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Vedanta is the efficient cause of the universe because, as Lord of Karma and internal ruler of souls, Vedanta brings about creation so that the souls can reap the consequences of their karma.

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Vedanta can be realized only through a constant effort to merge oneself with His nature through meditation and devotion.

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Vedanta is all-pervading and thus in all parts of the universe, yet he is inconceivably more.

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Advaita Vedanta, propounded by Gaudapada and Adi Shankara, espouses non-dualism and monism.

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Until the 11th century, Vedanta was a peripheral school of thought.

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Little is known of schools of Vedanta existing before the composition of the Brahma Sutras.

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The treatise on the differences between the Vedanta school and the Mimamsa school was a contribution of Adi Shankara.

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Advaita Vedanta rejects rituals in favor of renunciation, for example.

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Early Vaishnava Vedanta retains the tradition of bhedabheda, equating Brahman with Vishnu or Krishna.

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Vedanta's theories assert that there exists a plurality and distinction between Atman and Brahman, while he affirmed that there is unity of all souls and that the individual soul has the potential to realize identity with the Brahman.

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Vedanta presented the opposite interpretation of Shankara in his Dvaita, or dualistic system.

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Dvaita Vedanta is theistic and it identifies Brahman with Narayana, or more specifically Vishnu, in a manner similar to Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita Vedanta.

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Vedanta advocated for a difference in degrees in the possession of knowledge.

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Vedanta advocated for differences in the enjoyment of bliss even in the case of liberated souls, a doctrine found in no other system of Indian philosophy.

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Swami Paramtattvadas describes the Akshar-Purushottam teachings as "a distinct school of thought within the larger expanse of classical Vedanta, " presenting the Akshar-Purushottam teachings as a seventh school of Vedanta.

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Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Aurobindo have been labeled neo-Vedantists, a view of Vedanta that rejects the Advaitins' idea that the world is illusory.

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Major proponent in the popularization of this Universalist and Perennialist interpretation of Advaita Vedanta was Vivekananda, who played a major role in the revival of Hinduism.

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Nicholson writes that the attempts at integration which came to be known as neo-Vedanta were evident as early as between the 12th and the 16th century-.

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Prevalence of Vedanta thought is found not only in philosophical writings but in various forms of literature, such as the epics, lyric poetry, drama and so forth.

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The influence of Vedanta is prominent in the sacred literatures of Hinduism, such as the various Puranas, Samhitas, Agamas and Tantras.

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Vedanta contained in the Upanishads, then formulated in the Brahma Sutra, and finally commented and explained by Shankara, is an invaluable key for discovering the deepest meaning of all the religious doctrines and for realizing that the Sanatana Dharma secretly penetrates all the forms of traditional spirituality.

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Vedanta, adopting ideas from other orthodox schools, became the most prominent school of Hinduism.

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Vedanta traditions led to the development of many traditions in Hinduism.

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Advaita Vedanta influenced Krishna Vaishnavism in the northeastern state of Assam.

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Vedanta drew explicit parallels between his philosophy, as set out in The World as Will and Representation, and that of the Vedanta philosophy as described in the work of Sir William Jones.

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