Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Fredrica R. HalliganEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_724

A philosophy of classical Hinduism Vedanta means “the culmination of the Vedas,” referring to the Upanishads as the final portion of that scripture. In essence, Vedanta is theology, with its main concern focused on divine power. In the past 100 years, Vedanta has been popularized in the West, a movement initiated by Swami Vivekananda who carried the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna from Calcutta to Vedanta Society centers in many major cities of the world.

Principal teachings embody the harmony of all religions: “As many faiths, so many paths.” With its aim to experience the oneness of all creation, Vedanta preaches kindness to all, nonviolence and service to others (seva). God (Brahman) can be known as form or formless. In form, for example, God can be found in Divine Incarnations (Avatars) and as the Indweller of every human heart (Atman). As formless, God is perceived as all-pervading and as pure consciousness.

See Also


  1. Shraddhananda, S. (1996). Seeing God everywhere: A practical guide to spiritual living. Hollywood: Vendanta Press.Google Scholar
  2. Yatiswarananda, S. (1995). Meditation and spiritual life. Bangalore: Ramakrishna Math.Google Scholar

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mind Body Spirit InstituteStamfordUSA