Religions Tree: The Evolution of the World's Religions from Beginning to Present

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Part of Hinduism. Introduced 600 BCE.

Vedanta (meaning 'End of the Vedas') is the formalization of the Hindu philosophy first expressed in the Vedic Upanisads (written between 600 and 400 BCE). These texts introduced the concepts of Karma ('whatever action he does, that he attains') and Samsara.

Samsara is the cycle of rebirth, wherein one remains trapped in the cycle of rebirth into successive earthly forms until one realizes the ultimate truth - that there is no distinction between Self (Atman) and the Absolute (Brahma), and which point one's soul is united with Brahma, the Absolute.


'Vedanta', 'Samsara' and 'Karma' in The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, ed. by John Bowker (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).

Child Religions:
NameStart DateEnd Date 
Early Buddhism483 BCE300 BCE
Shaktism600 CE 
Saivism400 BCE 
Sikhism1499 CE 
Jainism500 BCE 
Smartism820 CE 
Lingayat1200 CE 
Theravada Buddhism300 BCE 
Mahayana Buddhism100 CE