The word Vedanta can be looked at from two angles:
- The knowledge that is contained in the texts called Upanishads at the end of each Veda.
- The knowledge that ends the quest for the knowledge.
From the perspective of the core source texts (Prasthānatrayī) Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita jointly can be referred to as Vedanta. However, there are very large number of texts that are studied in the tradition of Vedanta.
A teaching tradition has developed out of the work of several sages over a span of last 3000 years or so based on Upanishads which is also known as Vedanta. Vedanta is a proven systematic teaching method of Self Realisation. Since, one can know oneself directly (if qualified) by following the teachings of Vedanta, it is not really a philosophy but is a direct means of Self knowledge.