“Veda” means complete knowledge and “anta” means end. So, Vedanta literally translates as that knowledge which comes at the end of the Vedas and, in another sense it means the culmination of Vedic wisdom. It can also be recognized as the final step on our spiritual journey.
It is a knowledge-based study focused on a lasting and true understanding of reality. Hence it does not come and go which means it is unchanging.
When scientists discovered atoms, they didn’t invent them, they became aware of something that was already there and so the knowledge of them is also not coming and going. This is the case in all forms of knowledge, as you seek to know more about a specific subject, whatever the topic such as physics, biology, mathematics or anthropology. Any knowledge-based study is an attempt to know more about that particular subject area. You believe by gaining that additional knowledge, you will feel more empowered and/or increase your ability to function in the world. And while it is true that any form of knowledge may give you strength and the capacity to improve your life, knowledge of a specific topic can give only finite results because it is limited to just that one topic.
But if there is a knowledge that talks about something infinite, that indeed is true knowledge. Vedanta is a study of what is infinite. The knowledge that is presented through Vedanta must unfold into a greater understanding as it reveals to you the meaning of the infinite and how it relates to you.
Mental challenges, body or health issues, and outside world problems are going on around us all the time. We often feel these challenges are limiting or overwhelming and we seek to get past the sense of weakness and smallness. When we think and feel this way, it is helpful to have a way to focus beyond those limitations.
Vedanta is a study that reveals that the limitations we feel are not challenges that must be embraced because, by our very nature, we are something bigger than that. So then, Vedanta is a study about the true nature of our self and our innate capacity to see beyond the limitations that seem to cause us suffering.
In a sense, Vedanta is everything and beyond everything as it is based upon an abiding understanding revealing a reality that is eternally true. All other knowledge is intended to give you some understanding of your world. But when you say you are going to study something that is infinite, it requires a methodology to remove the veils that hide the nature of your true, infinite self simultaneously giving you the ability to see past all limitations. That process begins with awareness that an inquiry should be done which naturally leads to the study of Vedanta. As it expands and unfolds from there it further builds with meditation which totally reinforces who you really are, as you really are.