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Vedānta is the most popular 'School of Thought' within Hinduism.

As per Wikipedia:

Vedānta also (called) Uttara Mīmāṃsā, is one of the six (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy.

Literally meaning "end of the Vedas".

My question concerns the origins and usage of this word - 'Vedānta'.

Questions:-

  1. Which text mentions this word with the intended meaning as used in contemporary times? Where exactly is Uttara Mīmāṃsā used to connote Vedānta?

  2. Which all traditional ācāryas mentions this word and explain its significance?

  3. What are the earliest historical records for this word's usage?

  4. Is the word - 'Vedānta' given by non-indigenous people to define the said philosophy, just like Hindu/Hinduism was originally used by non-native Indian people to define 'people beyond Sindhu'?

Any work of traditional ācārya and/or any modern scholarly interpretation on this issue is welcome.

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  • Would answer citing BhagavadGita work here?
    – Pandya
    Feb 4, 2022 at 15:52
  • Well, ofc. Gitā is a canonical text @Pandya ... :)
    – Vivikta
    Feb 4, 2022 at 17:16
  • Although, I just don't want a verse with a mention of Vedânta, but it's connection with Uttara Mīmāṃsā too, and other things, as I ask for in four parts of my question. 1(a) been already answered by Rick Ross.
    – Vivikta
    Feb 5, 2022 at 2:18

1 Answer 1

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The word Vedanta is found in various ancient Hindu scriptures. So it is not a term that was coined by non-Hindus.

For example, Manu Smriti 6.83 mentions the word:


अधियज्ञं ब्रह्म जपेदाधिदैविकमेव च ।
आध्यात्मिकं च सततं वेदान्ताभिहितं च यत् ॥ ८३ ॥

adhiyajñaṃ brahma japedādhidaivikameva ca |
ādhyātmikaṃ ca satataṃ vedāntābhihitaṃ ca yat || 83 ||

He shall constantly recite Vedic texts bearing upon sacrifices, those dealing with deities and those dealing with the Soul, which have been called ‘Vedānta.’—(83)

And there can be various other scriptures too where the word is found. It refers to either Upanishads or to the last Darshana among the six Hindu philosophies.

Manu Smriti 6.94 mentions the word too:

दशलक्षणकं धर्ममनुतिष्ठन् समाहितः ।
वेदान्तं विधिवत्श्रुत्वा संन्यसेदनृणो द्विजः ॥ ९४ ॥

daśalakṣaṇakaṃ dharmamanutiṣṭhan samāhitaḥ |
vedāntaṃ vidhivatśrutvā saṃnyasedanṛṇo dvijaḥ || 94 ||

The twice-born person, performing, with collected mind, the ten-fold Duty, and having duly learnt the Vedānta texts, and become free from debts, should take to Renunciation.—(94).


In the verses given here, the word is referring to the Upanishads.
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    also in Taittariya Aranyaka we find; yo vedAdau swara prokto vedAnte cha pratisthita...
    – Tezz
    Feb 4, 2022 at 9:27
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    Yes, I believe its found in almost all Hindu scriptures. So there can be numerous such instances @Tezz
    – Rickross
    Feb 4, 2022 at 9:28
  • "Vedanta texts" = any verses which clearly explain what are these texts exactly?
    – Vivikta
    Feb 4, 2022 at 9:46
  • @Vivikta I can't remember now any such verses which clearly explain what Vedanta texts are but they are the Upanishads.
    – Rickross
    Feb 4, 2022 at 9:58
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    Okay but as I have said in my previous comment, right now no such verses coming to my mind. If I find them I will update my answer then @Vivikt
    – Rickross
    Feb 4, 2022 at 11:13

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