Vedanta (Sanscrit Veda [q.v.] and anta, "end;" literally the end or ultimate aim of the Vedas) is the second great division of the Mimansa (q.v.) school of Hindu philosophy. It is chiefly concerned in the investigation of Brahman, or the supreme spirit, and the relation of the universe and the human soul to it; and in contradistinction from the Purvani-mansa, or the investigation of the former part of the Vedas, it is called Uttara-mansa, or the investigation of the latter part of the Vedas, i.e. the Aranyakas and Upanishads (q.v.), which treat of (the neuter) Brahman,or supreme spirit.
The Vedanta endeavors to prove that the universe emanates in a successive development from a supreme spirit or soul, which is called Brahman or Parmamatam; that the human soul is therefore identical in origin with Brahman; that the worldly existence of the human soul is merely the result of this sameness between itself and the supreme spirit; and that its final liberation or freedom from transmigration (q.v.).is attained by a removal of this ignorance, that is, by a proper understanding of the Vedanta doctrine. See Ballantyne, A Lecture on the Vedanta, embracing the Text of the Vedanta Sara (Allahabad, 1850); Bibliotheca India (Calcutta, 1863).