chapter  13
40 Pages

The Veda¯nta Dars´ana

Of all the systems of Indian philosophy, Veda¯nta, at least in modern times, has been the most influential. This system differentiated into many sub-schools, each school having a well-argued philosophical position and a strong religious following. The term “Veda¯nta” (i.e., “Veda” + “anta”) literally means “the end of the Vedas.” “Veda,” derived from the root “vid,” means “knowledge”; “anta” has two meanings: the final place reached as a result of the effort, and the goal towards which all effort is to be directed, i.e. the Upanis.ads, which themselves are often referred to as “Veda¯nta.” Accordingly, “Veda¯nta” refers to the doctrines set forth in the part of the Vedic corpus known as the Upanis.ads, one of the three bases of the Veda¯nta school.