The Vedanta philosophy, as it is generally called at the present day, really comprises all the various sects that now exist in India. The word Vedanta literally means the end of the Vedas – the Vedas being the scriptures of the Hindus.
The Vedas are divided mainly into two portions; the Karma kanda and Jnana kanda – the work portion and the knowledge portion.To the karma-kanda being the famous hymns and the rituals of Brahmanas. Those books which treat of spiritual matters apart from ceremonials are called Upanishads. Upanishads belong to the Jnana-kanda, or knowledge portion. It is not that all the  Upanishads were composed as a separate portion of the Vedas. Some are interspersed among the rituals and at least one is in the Samhita, or hymn portion. Sometimes the term Upanishad is applied to books which are not included in the Vedas- e.g. the Bhagavad  Gita; but as a rule it is applied to the philosophical treaties scattered through the Vedas. These treaties have been collected, and are called the  Vedanta.
The Vedanta, then practically forms the scriptures of the Hindus, and all the systems of philosophy that are orthodox have to take it as their foundation. Even the Buddhas and  Jains, when it suits their purpose, will quote a passage from the Vedanta as authority. All schools of philosophy in India, although they claim to have been based upon the Vedas, took different names for their systems. The last one, the system of Vyasa, took its stand upon the doctrines of Vedas more than the previous systems did, and made an attempt to harmonize  the preceding philosophers, such as the Sankhya and the Nyaya, with the doctrines of the Vedanta.So it is specially called the Vedanta philosophy; and the Sutras  or aphorisms of Vyasa are, in modern India, the basis of Vedanta philosophy. Again, these Sutras of Vyasa have been variously explained by different commentators. In general there are three sorts of commentators in India now; from their interpretations have arisen three systems of  philosophy and sects. One is the dualistic, or Dyaita, a second is the qualified non-dualistic, or Vishishtadvaita; and a third is the non-dualistic, or  Advaita. Of these the dualistic and the qualified non-dualistic include the largest number of Indian people.
All the Vedantists  agree on three points. They believe in God, in the Vedas as revealed, and in cycles.The belief about cycles is as follows. All matter throughout the Universe is the outcome of  one primal matter called Akasha; and all force, whether gravitation, attraction or repulsion , or life, is the outcome of one primal force called Prana. Prana acting on Akasha is creating or projecting the universe. At the beginning of a cycle, Akasha is motionless, unmanifested. Then Prana begins to act, more and more, creating grosser and grosser forms out of Akasha – plants, animals, men, stars and so on. After an incalculable time this evolution ceases and involution begins, everything being resolved back through finer and finer forms into the original Akasha and Prana, when a new cycle follows. Now there is something beyond Aksha and Prana. Both can be resolved into a third thing called Mahat – Cosmic Mind. This Cosmic Mind does not create Akasha and Prana  but changes itself into them.
The above are the very basis of Vedanta Philosophy. The real happiness is God, Love is God, freedom is God; and everything that is bondage is not God.” TAT TWAM ASI ”

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