Indian Civilization
Ancient Indian Literature
Introduction to the Vedas
Four Vedas
Parts of the Vedas
Philosophy of the Vedas
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The Philosophy of the Vedas

In the beginning, it seems that the Vedas propagate the philosophy of polytheism. This illusion gradually disappears as one approaches the Upanishadic period. The Upanishads inconspicuously pronounce the philosophical thoughts that may lead one to the realization of  the Ultimate Truth.

After all, the Vedic Rishis are in search of the Ultimate Truth. What they are seeking is  knowledge par excellence. They have set out in the quest of Divine Truth. Their search intensifies as they enter the era of the Upanishads. As Shri Aurobindo says: “The Upanishadic hymns are the epic hymns of self-knowledge, world-knowledge and God-knowledge.”

The Rishis are inquisitive and they pose diverse questions: What is the Ultimate Truth? What is the Srishti? Who is the creator? How and why is the Samsara (Jagat) created? What is the Brahman? What is the jiva or the jivatma? Is there any relationship between the Brahman and the jivatma? What is life? What is death? What is moksha?

The Vedic philosophical thoughts reach the peak in the Upanishads. The Upanishads unveil the Ultimate Truth. The philosophy expressed in the Upanishads is referred to as the Vedanta.

Truly speaking, the Upanishads reflect the sublime knowledge and wisdom of man in its most exalted form. But the significance of the other parts of the Vedas - with their seemingly cryptic statements expressing esoteric truth and profound philosophy – should not be undermined.