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Hinduism Through Questions & Answers

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Question1 Question2
Question3 Question4
Question5 Question6
Question7 Question8
Question9 Question10
Question11 Question12
Question13 Question14
Question15 Question16
Question17 Question18
Question19 Question20
Question21 Question22
Question23 Question24
Question25 Question26
Question27 Question28
Question29 Question30
Question31 Question32
Question33 Question34
Question35 Question36
Question37 Question38
Question39 Question40

  

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HINDUISM THROUGH QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
 
Question 21. What Is Vedanta? Are there different schools in it? If so, what is the essential teaching of each school? 

Meaning of the word anta is end or essence. Since the Upanishads form the end portions of the Vedas and contain their essence, they have been termed as Vedanta. The
Brahmasutras (of the sage Badarayana) which try to systematize the teachings of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita which has been described as the milk from the cows of the Upanishads, as also all other works based on these, have been included under the term Vedanta. All these works generally deal with four topics: Brahman (God the Absolute), Jivatman (the individual self), creation of the world and Moksha, (liberation), the final goal of human life. 

Different interpretations of the fundamental texts of Vedanta have given rise to three main schools: Advaita, Visishtadvaita and Dvaita. The three well known Acharyas Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva are the chief exponents of these three schools.  According to the Advaita system, Brahman alone is the reality, the one without a second. This world has emanated from It, is established in It and will return to It at the end of creation. In effect, this world is only an appearance on Brahman and is Brahman Itself in reality even as the illusory snake that appears in a rope is actually the rope itself.

The Jivas, (the individual souls) are also, in the ultimate analysis, Brahman, The difference and Separation between them is only apparent, brought about by Ajnana or nescience. Since the Atman, the real nature of the Jiva, is identical with Brahman, experience of the Atman is the same as experience of Brahman. That itself is Moksha.  The Vishistadvaita recognizes multiplicity of Jivas, which are identical with one another, though separate from one another and from Brahman, also called Isvara.

This world, which is a modification of the insentient Prakriti (nature) is different from Brahman and from the Jivas. However, the Jivas and Prakriti exist in Brahman or Isvara  as a part of Him and are fully under His control. But Brahman is beyond both. Visishtadvaita considers the triune of Isvara, Jivas and Prakriti as one reality. Devotion to Isvara is the primary means of obtaining Moksha. It is only by His grace that Moksha can be secured.  The Dvaita system is similar to Visishtadvaita. However, it carries the differences still further and states that the Jivas differ from one another; so also do the various things of the world. 

 Hinduism Q&A ] About the Author ] Questions 1- 10 ] Questions 11 - 20 ] [ Questions 21 - 30 ] Questions 31 - 40 ]

Questions: 21 - 30
What Is Vedanta?
What is the meaning of Yoga?
In this connection one is.........?
Is there rebirth for human beings?
Can the theory of Kama stand the.. ?
The world we live in the universe..? Pg1
The world we live in the universe ..? Pg2
The caste system has take...? Pg1
The caste system has take...? Pg2
Allied to this problem, two....?
All thoughtful people are.....? Pg1
All thoughtful people are.....? Pg2
What is the Varna Ashrama..... ? Pg1
What is the Varna Ashrama..... ? Pg2
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