basic principles of the philosophy are essentially presented in
a very elaborate manner in the Upanishad portions of the Vedas.
It is further explained through the six Dharsanas and subsequent
Bhashyas written on them by many great Acharyas who have helped
to preserve this treasure for all ages. The system of Vedantha by
Vyasa Maharishi is widely followed as the Hindu Philosophy in modern
times. A study of the other five Dharsanas is also essential to
understand Vedantha philosophy fully.
theories of Adhvaitha, Visishta-adhvaitha and Dhvaitha schools explain
the philosophy very well. Religion, for Hindus, is experience and
full realization of the Divine Spirit in one's heart and not the
mere acceptance of certain time-honored dogmas or creeds, reading
of scriptures or performing certain rituals or prayers. The rituals
were only the means to reach and understand the faith. The one who
has fully realized the Divine needs to perform no rituals.
The basic thought of Hinduism, both in the Vedic teachings and Agamic
practice, is the belief that there is One formless God or Nirguna
Brahman. According to Vedantha, Adhvaitha and Smartha Sampradaya,
He manifests through His Yoga Maya as the Saguna Brahman in the
material Universe created by Him and He takes the various forms
for our understanding. We are created as a part of His Divine spirit
which goes through endless cycles of rebirth until it is purified
to be liberated, to be united with the Divine, by performing its
various Karma according to each one's Dharma.
of other schools of philosophy, such as Sankhya, Poorva Mimamsa,
Dhvaitham, the Bhakthi schools, and followers of Agama forms of
worship are slightly different. These will be explained later. Sankhya
and Mimamsa are based on the practice of Karma and Rituals as the
basic approach without an important role for a God.
Bhakthi schools support the theories of devotion and surrender to
God and that all individual souls are different from the Divine
Reality and do not attain equality with God but only serve Him to
reach His abode as ultimate liberation from the cycle of Samsara,
of birth, death and reincarnation.