Vedanta -- A bird's view

Vedanta is derived in two ways:
1. Since Upanishads are found at the end of a Shaakha of the Vedas, they are called Vedanta (end of vedas).
2. Veda means knowledge. Vedanta is that through which knowledge about Brahman is achieved. Brahman is that which when known everything else becomes known. Since Upanishads lead to end or culmination of knowledge, they are called Vedanta.

The goal of life, irrespective of all distinctions of caste, creed, education etc., is two-fold:
1. Dukha Nivritti - Removal of sorrow.
2. Sukha Avaapthi - Enjoyment of bliss.

The bliss that is spoken is not temporary happiness as derived from worldly objects which lasts for a limited time but hapiness that is ever-lasting. All beings are searching for this bliss each and every moment of their life. This bliss is what is termed by Vedanta as Moksha. Bliss can be achieved through knowledge of Brahman alone. This is because Brahman alone is that reality by knowing which everything else becomes known. Bliss is synonymous with satisfaction and contentment. This is in the form of the experience I have everything, I don't need anything more. Such contentment is achieved only through knowledge and achievement of that which is full in all aspects. Such a full entity is termed in Vedanta as Brahman. Brahman is full in all aspects. Brahman is of the nature of Sat (existence) Chit (consciousness) Ananda (bliss). Brahman is "I" in each beings which pulsates each moment as "I-exist, I-exist". This "I" is distinct from the body-mind-intellect complex. Knowledge of our own very nature of Brahman as "I" is Moksha as this alone will lead us to bliss. Vedanta is that philosophy which progressively takes us from the clutches of the seen world to the unseen Brahman as our own nature of "I". Once we know our nature of Brahman, there will no more seeking as there will be rejoicing in bliss untainted by sorrow. As Sankara puts it beautifully in Bhaja Govindam, yasya brahmani ramathe chittam nandhathi nandhathi nandhathi eva (he whose mind resides in Brahman, he rejoices, rejoices and verily rejoices).

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Last updated on June 4, 2013