Vedanta

Vedānta (/vɪˈdɑːntə/; Sanskrit: वेदान्त, IAST: Vedānta; also Uttara Mīmāṃsā) is one of the six (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy. 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. Vedanta contains many sub-traditions on the basis of a common textual connection called the Prasthanatrayi: the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Some scholars believe Brahma Sutra of vyasa is an interpolation from Madyamaka school of Buddhism.

All Vedanta schools, in their deliberations, concern themselves with, but differ in their views regarding, ontology, soteriology and epistemology.[1][2] The main traditions of Vedanta are:[3]

  1. Bhedabheda (difference and non-difference), as early as the 7th century CE,[4] or even the 4th century CE.[5] Some scholars are inclined to consider it as a "tradition" rather than a school of Vedanta.[4]
  2. Advaita (monistic), most prominent Gaudapada (~500 CE)[10] and Adi Shankaracharya (8th century CE)[11]
  3. Vishishtadvaita (qualified monism), prominent scholars are Nathamuni, Yāmuna and Ramanuja (1017–1137 CE)
  4. Dvaita (dualism), founded by Madhvacharya (1199–1278 CE)
  5. Suddhadvaita (purely non-dual), founded by Vallabha[6] (1479–1531 CE)

Modern developments in Vedanta include Neo-Vedanta,[12][13][14] and the growth of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya.[15] All of these schools, except Advaita Vedanta and Neo-Vedanta, are related to Vaishavism and emphasize devotion, regarding Vishnu or Krishna or a related manifestation, to be the highest Reality.[16][17] While Advaita Vedanta attracted considerable attention in the West due to the influence of Hindu modernists like Swami Vivekananda, most of the other Vedanta traditions are seen as discourses articulating a form of Vaishnav theology.[18]