About Vedanta

What is Vedanta

Vedanta is the world’s oldest continuously practiced religion. It teaches that humanity’s real nature is divine, that the true object of human life is to unfold and manifest this divinity. Based on the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India, Vedanta accepts all the religions of the world and reveres the great prophets, teachers and children of God, because it recognizes the same divine inspiration in all.

Vedanta is a way of living and realizing. It gives full freedom to each individual to evolve morally and spiritually according to their own faith and conviction. It offers different spiritual paths according to the nature of each individual.

Modern Vedanta is exemplified in the lives and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda.

Sri Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna (18 February 1836 – 16 August 1886) was a fully realized spiritual luminary. After adhering to various religious practices from the Hindu traditions of Bhakti yoga, Tantra, and Advaita Vedanta as well as from Islam and Christianity, he proclaimed the world’s various religions as “so many paths to reach one and the same goal”, thus validating the essential unity of religion. Ramakrishna’s followers came to regard him as an avatar, or divine incarnation, as did some of the prominent scholars of his day.

Sri Sarada Devi

Sarada Devi (22 December 1853 – 20 July 1920), was the spiritual consort of Ramakrishna, a nineteenth-century fully realized soul. Sarada Devi is also reverentially addressed as the Holy Mother (Sri Sri Maa) by the followers of the Sri Ramakrishna monastic order. The Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission situated at Dakshineshwar is based on the ideals and life of Sarada Devi. She played an important role in the growth of the Ramakrishna Movement.

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekandanda (12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), was a Vedantist monk and primary disciple of spiritual luminary Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of Eastern spiritual thought to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness.

Oneness of Religion

Vedanta teaches that there are various methods by which the individual, in accordance with their temperament, can realize God. The four primary paths are: jnana yoga (knowledge); bhakti yoga (devotion); karma yoga (selfless action); and raja yoga (concentration). By following one or more of them under the guidance of a qualified teacher, one can fully come to know the ever-present Divine Reality.

Vedanta holds that all religions lead to the same goal. It holds a great reverence for all the teachers and prophets of the world’s major spiritual traditions. It maintains a deep respect for their teachings as sourced in the same eternal truth, adapted to the needs and temperaments of all humankind.