Krishna playing the flute

Krishna playing the flute

What is Vedanta

Vedanta arose in India over 5,000 years ago, and its central ideas guide the spiritual lives of more than a billion people today. The Sanskrit word Vedanta means end of the Vedas—the word “end” meaning the peak or high point.

The Vedas are the oldest spiritual writings in wide use today. They were passed from teacher to disciple for countless generations before being put into writing by the great sage Vyasa about 3,000 years before the birth of Christ. The Vedas describe many religious rituals and practical rules for everyday living, but they also contain many short books called Upanishads that delve deeply into the meaning of life and how to live it to the fullest.

Vedanta is based on the philosophy and practice described in the Upanishads. Its penetrating applied psychology shows how to reach peace and inner freedom by training the unruly mind. As applied psychology, Vedanta can give aid to all people in their spiritual unfoldment, whatever their religious faith may be. It is a constantly-growing philosophy that draws insights from every religion, every age, and every realm of human inquiry—as must be the case to meet human needs in this ever-changing world.

Vedanta is a universal philosophy, belonging to no one group of people, but to humanity as a whole.