Vedanta, or the End of the Vedas
The last school in this system is the Vedanta school. Arising from the scriptures of the Upanishads, the Vedanta system took many shapes and forms but always resulted in a monistic philosophy of the universe. This view represents the dominant philosophical outlook of Hinduism today.
How can our finite minds understand atman?
The Upanishads described atman thus: “Whole is that, whole (too) is this; from whole, whole cometh; take whole from whole, (yet) whole remains.” The individual soul is not a separate entity, but that absolute soul itself, though limited in some ways. It is compared to the space enclosed in a jar, the atman being universal space.
According to this view, the only existing metaphysical entity is the atman or absolute soul. This is the experiencing subject of the world; all else is objective. It is unclear from a logical point of view how all of the multiplicity of the world can belong to one thing, for if the absolute is one thing and indivisible, how can there be many things? Perhaps logic cannot account for it.
It says in the Brahmanas, “Desiring heaven, one should perform sacrifice.” Consequently, the Mimamsakas emphasize the “desire for heaven,” which is the basic rationale for performing a sacrifice.