• Literal Meaning – “End of the Vedas”. Vedanta refers to the “conclusion” (anta) of the Vedas.
  • Vedanta reflects ideas that emerged from, or aligned with, the speculations and philosophies contained in the Upanishads, specifically, Knowledge and liberation.
  • Vedanta is concerned with jnanakanda or knowledge section of the Vedas which is called Upnishads.
  • It is also called Uttara Mīmāṃsā, which means the ‘latter enquiry’ or ‘higher enquiry’; and is often contrasted with Pūrva Mīmāṃsā, the ‘former enquiry’ or ‘primary enquiry’.
  • The Upanishads may be regarded as the end of Vedas in different senses –
    • These were the last literary products of the Vedic period.
    • These mark the culmination of Vedic thought.
    • These were taught and debated last, in the Brahmcharya stage.
  • All Vedanta schools, in their deliberations, concern themselves with, but differ in their views regarding, ontology, soteriology and epistemology.
  • Main traditions of Vedanta are –
    • Achintya Bheda Abheda (difference and non difference)Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
      • Sub school of Vedanta, which teaches the individual self is both different and not different from the ultimate reality known as Brahman.
      • It emphasizes that the individual self (Jīvatman) is both different and not different from Brahman.
    • Advaita (monistic) VedantaAdi Sankraycharya
      • It refers to idea that Brahman alone is ultimately real, the phenomenal transient world is an illusory appearance (maya) of Brahman, and the true self, atman, is not different from Brahman.
        • He considers Knowledge or jnana/gyan to be the main means of attaining salvation.
    • Vishishtadvaita (Qualified monism) – Ramanuja
      • Non dualism of the qualified whole, in which Brahman alone is seen as the Supreme Reality, but is characterised by multiplicity.
      • It believes in all diversity subsuming to an underlying unity.
      • He considers loving the faith and practising devotion as the path to attain salvation.
    • Dvaita (Dualism) – Madhavacharay
      • Dvaita school believes that God (Vishnu, supreme soul) and the individual souls exits as independent realities, and these are distinct and being said that Vishnu (Narayan) is independent, and souls are dependent on him.
    • Dvaitadvaita (Nimbarka): It states that the Brahman is the highest reality, the controller of all.
    • Shuddhadvaita (Vallabhacharya): It states that both God and the individual self are the same, and not different.
  • The Vedanta theory also gave credence to the Theory of Karma, they believed in the theory of Punrajanama or rebirth.
  • They argued that a person would have to bear the burnt of their actions from the previous birth in the next one.
Vedanta School of Indian Philosophy

Advaita Vedanta (Non-Dualism)

  • According to it, Brahman (Atman) is the Paramartha or absolute reality which doesn’t change. It is metaphysically true and ontologically (study of concepts such as existence, reality etc.) accurate.
    • Individual soul is identical to it and the world has no separate existence apart from Brahman.
  • The surroundings or physical environment is the ever-changing vyavahara or empirical (pragmatic) reality created by illusion or māyā.
    • Pratibhasika or deceptive reality is another level of reality constructed through imagination.
  • Because of errors in judgments (mithya) and ignorance (avidya), individuals see plurality or being different from Brahman.
  • Knowledge helps individual to reach absolute reality to liberate from the cycle of transmigration and worldly bondage, described in three words by Vedanta as: “sat-chit-ananda”, i.e. Truth, consciousness and Bliss.
  • According to it, Atman is the only ‘sat’ or absolute truth. A person attains bliss or happiness by gaining consciousness or knowledge of absolute truth.
Adi Sankraycharya


  • VishishtAdvaita (literally “Advaita with uniqueness; qualifications”) is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy.
  • It is non-dualism of the qualified whole, in which Brahman alone is seen as the Supreme Reality, but is characterized by multiplicity.
  • According to him the soul even when united with the Supreme God remained distinct.
  • It believes in all diversity subsuming to an underlying unity.
  • Philosophy believes that the supreme reality is Saguna Brahman, a personal being with countless auspicious attributes, and it is a qualified whole of which Brahman is the soul, and the Jiva and the Jagat (the soul and material nature) constitute the body, which has an inseparabe relationship with the whole.
    • Though it is a non-dual whole, yet it is characterised by internal differences in it.
    • This is why this one reality is called ‘Visistadvaita” meaning ‘qualified non- dualism’.
    • Here the non-dual reality is made known by its qualities—the souls and the world which are of two different natures. These two kinds of entities are distinct yet real parts of the whole.
  • The ‘Visistadvaita” was not coined by Ramanuja but came to be used by others afterwards.

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Complete it pls