What Is Vedanta?

Vedanta is the culmination of the religion and philosophy of the Vedas, which form the most ancient and most authoritative body of the Hindu scriptures, whose composition dates back to 4,000 B.C. The word “Vedanta” means “the concluding portion of the Vedas,” and also “the supreme spiritual knowledge.” The portions of the Vedas that comprise Vedanta are known as the Upanishads, which consist of the accumulated knowledge of God, soul, and the world, as derived from the spiritual experiences and discoveries of generations of India’s sages.

As revealed in these sacred books, Vedanta holds that our real nature – our real Self – is pure, luminous, immortal, and free – a manifestation of the Infinite Divine Reality or Godhead. The aim of our life on earth is to realize this divinity. To help us achieve this goal, Vedanta teaches various methods suited to each individual’s needs and capacities, by which this divine perfection of the Self can be actually experienced.

The spiritual and philosophical wisdom of Vedanta is not dogmatic or dependent on the authority of any person or persons. According to Vedanta, Truth is one, and the different religions of the world are so many paths leading to the same goal. Vedanta reveals the eternal and universal spiritual truths underlying all religions and helps all men and women in their spiritual unfoldment, regardless of their religious affiliation and beliefs. Thus, Vedanta stands for universal religious harmony. It does not seek to convert, but to support aspirants in their own spiritual paths.