Hinduism Essays

Essays on the Vedanta Philosophy

The Vedas are divided into four parts, Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads. The first one is the ritual portion of the Vedas. The fourth one is the philosophical part. The middle two are a mixture of both. The essential knowledge derived from the four parts of the Vedas is collectively known as Mimansa. Of it, the knowledge principally derived from the Samhitas is known as Purva Mimansa, and the one which is derived from the Upanishads is known as Vedanta, or Uttara Mimansa. Vedanta means the end of the Vedas, and the Upanishads rightfully represent the end part of the Vedas. The Vedanta school which is as ancient as the Upanishads, speaks about the nature of existence, and the truths concerning Brahman, Atman and their relationship and roles in the manifested worlds. There are many sub schools of Vedanta, of which three are most well known, the school of non-dualism (advaita), dualism (dvaita), and qualified dualism (vishstadvaita). The following essays cover some of these aspects in considerable detail.