Vedanta means the essence of the Vedas (veda+anta). Although popularly identified with the basic scripture of the Hindus, Vedas are really neither “books” nor essentially “Hindu.” By Vedas is meant the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by enlightened beings. Vedanta stands for spiritual wisdom that transcends borders defined by religion, culture, race and nationality. It is possible to perceive Vedanta as a spiritual tradition that simultaneously respects and transcends all religions.

The important insights of Vedanta include the following:

  1. Each soul is potentially divine and the goal is to manifest the divinity within.

  2. Stripped of all theological trappings, every spiritual tradition seeks to transcend human limitations to touch the Reality beyond. Everything else in religion is secondary.

  3. There is only one ultimate Reality, which manifests in various forms, with various attributes, and even as formless, and is known by various names. The Reality beyond is not different from the Reality within.

  4. Every spiritual tradition has the inherent power to take its practitioners to the supreme consummation of human life. All spiritual paths lead to the same goal.

The practices of Vedanta include prayer, worship, meditation, spiritual study, and selfless service. Vedanta respects all spiritual traditions and encourages everyone to learn from the teachings offered by the prophets and teachers of all religions.

Recommended Reading

  1. Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda

  2. What Religion Is in the words of Swami Vivekananda

  3. Vedanta—A Simple Introduction by Pravrajika Vrajaprana

  4. View Through a Vedantascope (Blog) by Swami Tyagananda