Do you say the goal of Vedanta is to become one with Brahman?And can you explain? Thank you, Tom

Dear Tom,

Vedanta is knowledge according to the Hindu scriptures. It has no goal. Do physics or chemistry have a goal? It is the people who use physics and chemistry who have goals. Similarly, people use Vedanta to arrive at their different conclusions of the great mystery of the universe and our existence.

Just as we have many theories in physics, Vedanta too, has many theories and schools, as understood by six Indian religious stalwarts, which cover all shades of hindu religious thought from 'duality' (there is a God different from the living beings) to 'non-duality' (all things are the undefined 'it'). We call these religious stalwarts as 'Acharyas' (great teachers) or :) in modern terms, Professors Emeritus. I give below one-line descriptions of the philosophies, more cn be found in the various articles of Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedanta#Sub-schools_of_Vedanta):

1 Advaita Vedānta - (Shankara - 8th Century)
(Brahman is the only reality, and the world, as it appears, is illusory)
2 Dvaitādvaita - (Nimbarka - 13th Century)
(the living being is at once the same as yet different from Brahman)
3 Vishishtadvaita - (Ramanuja - 10th Century)
(the living being is a part of Brahman, and hence is similar, but not identical)
4 Achindtya Bhedabheda - (Chaitanya - 1th Century)
5 Dvaita - (Madhvacharya - 13th Century)
(Brahman, all individual souls and matter are eternal and mutually separate entities)
6 Shuddhādvaita - (Vallabha - 14th Century)
(Devotion is the only means of liberation)

My views are similar to the first school. Brahman, the undefined 'it' (probably what we know as 'physical energy'), not necessarily to be seen as a God, is the only reality. As such, we all are already one, already merged, never separated. The only thing left is to realize this. That is 'jnana', the ultimate knowledge, and the deliverance from our misconceptions of God, souls, heaven and hell. With best regards,

Yours sincerely,



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Especially religious history of India. I follow 'advaita' philosophy (non-duality) and am an atheist. My answers would be consistent with science and practicality.


Explaining Hinduism for about 8 years.


Science graduate. Extensive studies of hindu scriptures.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.