Vedanta (Devanagari: वेदान्त, Vedānta) was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a sandhied form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedas".
Well, when I was browsing through the TV channels today, I was brought to a halt when one of the Spiritual Gurus were talking about Vedanta and in that 20 minutes of the program, he told a few things about the differences or rather the transformation of Vedas to Vedanta.
The most important thing that I liked was the order of facts. In Vedas, he said, the faith is imposed on. As in, “You need to do that this way and this way alone” the tone in the four Vedas were more orthodox – where the Slokas or the chants instructs one to follow whatever is written/told and not to question. This is similar in other religions, like Christians and Islam, where questioning God or the faith is prohibited in some forms. This looks autocratic on the upfront, but if one thinks deeply, one would find that coercing knowledge or faith or belief at that era, where light was only thing that could bring life to the lifeless, was inevitable and inimitable for most of the people in different parts of the world who were taught different religions and faiths with different outlooks. It was tough to make someone understand those hard languages and thoughts that otherwise sounded irrational and out of the world. Hence, coercing faith was implemented.
At a later stage, when Hinduism softened and was practiced by more developed and civilized people, they understood that faith cannot be imparted by force. It has to come from within – the thought of self realization – self education and self implementation. This is when they started to show people the reality as it is. Not telling them what to do or what not to do, but just showing that this is what has happened and this is what the result of that was. Opening the window towards reality! This was the time when the spiritual gurus showed the mass that if you do so, it might happen like this, as it happened previously. The orders in Veda became stories and tales in Upanishads – and people could see that more clearly. They would now know why they were asked to do a certain thing in the Veda. The mass would question now – to themselves, to their Gurus or to the environmental variables around them. They got the right to question – through Vedanta – which led to self actualization.
Vedanta is based on two simple propositions:1. Human nature is divine.2. The aim of human life is to realize that human nature is divine.
As in Science, people asked questions like, ‘why, what, how, why not’ etc. and discovered things that were there already and a step further, they invented things that were never there. It was this time, during the divination of Vedanta, when the mass started thinking and questioning the faith – Hinduism and its sermons – and they went a few steps further and deeper into the religion. People questioned more and more and discovered and re-discovered many more outlooks of the faith. Vedanta gave us the modern Hindutwa – the practice of Hinduism.
It is a very vast concept and an ocean of knowledge where I would love to dip sometimes. Hope the time comes soon. For more information on Vedanta or to explore more about the same, please visit the following weblinks: