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Vedanta, one of the ancient schools of Hindu thought, has left its imprint on most of Hinduism's many traditions. Literally the end of knowledge, it distills the philosophical and metaphysical fundamentals from the Vedic sacrificial culture and expounds a series of universals culminating in the concept of atman, the primeval and transcendent spirit-being. The textual roots of Vedanta lie in the Brahma-sutra and the many Upanishads composed by India's sages of yore.

Mainstream Vedanta, following the commentaries of Shankara, fetures a doctrine of non-duality (Advaita), marginalizing the ultimacy of a personal god followed by Hindus in general. Its employment of logic and analysis has made contrasting Vedanta with science into a permanent internet favorite. A great deal of parallels with Buddhism has been a frequent subject of discussion for a fair millennium now, and diverging schools haven't toned down their mutual challenges in the internet age to say the least.

Most contemporary Hinduism features a blend of Vedanta, whether we're talking about Mother Amma the hugging saint who's probably been in a city near you, Swami Sivananda the grandfather of yoga, or any other among the Hindu teachers who have crossed the oceans in person or with their message. Chances are you know a bunch of Vedanta without even having thought about it twice — now go think and blog about it!

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