What defines the Vedanta school from other schools? Is it believing that meditating on Brahman gives moksha? Is it the acceptance of the Prasthana Trayi (Upanisashads, Vedanta Sutras, Bhagavad Gita)?

  • All the Astika schools accept the authority of the Vedas, including the Upanishads. And you'll find works of numerous Astika schools that quote the Bhagavad Gita and other Smriti texts. And you'll even find other statements from other Astika schools that knowledge of/meditation on God leads to Moksha. But what distinguishes the Vedanta from other Astika schools is that it subscribes to the Brahma Sutras. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 17 '17 at 0:56
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    Vedanta is another name for the Uttara Mimamsa school - the philosophical school that applies the methods of Mimamsa to the Jnana Kanda of Vedas, i.e. the Upanishads. (That's where the term Vedanta comes from - Vedanta is another name for the Upanishads, so it eventually came to denote the philosophical school that focuses on them.) The Brahma Sutras are Vyasa's (wildly successful) attempt to analyze the Upanishads using the methods of Mimamsa. The Vedanta school derives its philosophical beliefs from the conclusions that the Brahma Sutras draw based on analyzing the Upanishads. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 17 '17 at 0:59

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