Vedanta uses the word ‘Ishvara.’ When teaching, my teacher, who is western, never uses the word ‘God.’
Why? Well, the word ‘God’ can be very loaded, and often for us born in the west, negatively so.
So what is Ishvara? When I first met my teacher, I noticed she used the word ‘Ishvara’ a lot, and I never really know what she meant by it.
The first time I met Swami Dayananda and heard him teach, he said, “If you want to see Ishvara in action, look around you.”
I looked out the window at the autumn leaves on the trees moving in the wind. I looked at the little squirrels playing at the bottom of the tree. I looked at the clouds moving in the sky, and I thought, “Oh, Ishvara is everything.”
So that is what ‘God’ is in Vedanta. Ishvara is everything, the maker, i.e. intelligence, and the material, of all that is seen and perceived.
Ishvara doesn’t stand apart from the creation. Ishvara is the very creation itself–all the laws that govern the creation, both seen and unseen (or discovered and perhaps undiscoverable).
Ishvara is also the material–the warp and woof of the whole thing. There is nothing that stands apart–or is not a part–of Ishvara, not the body, not the mind, not the sense organs, not the individual, not the rules that govern the individual’s behavior–they are all part and parcel of Ishvara.
So that is God in Vedanta.
Although Vedanta is not a religion, here is a nice quote from Swami Dayananda, “Some religions say ‘there is only one God.’ Vedanta says ‘there is only God.'”
And what is the ultimate reality of Ishvara? The ultimate reality of Ishvara is the nondual (in Sanskrit brahman). So since everything is Ishvara, and the reality of Ishvara is nondual brahman–the reality of everything is nondual.