[Advaita-l] Advaita-The Vedanta.

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 7 12:50:09 CDT 2012


A scholar has said in another forum, in reply to a query of mine, that the
term 'vishiShTAdvaitam' is found in the srIkanTha bhAShya (for the Brahma
sutra) as 'shiva-vishiShTAdvaitam' and 'vishiShTashivAdvaitam'. He says
that it is said that the srIbhAShyam of Ramanuja does not use this


He could be right. Srikantha Sivacharya lived after Ramanujacharya. I find that Appaya, who lived in the second half of the 16th century, in his Sivadvaita Nirnaya calls Shrikantha's philosophy as Vishishtadvaita. It could be possible that Srikantha  lived after Narayana Tirtha, who passed away in early 14th century.  Srikantha thus could have lived during the period between early 14th century and late 16th century and that could also be the time when the term "Vishishtadvaita' was coined.

Sunil KB

 From: V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>
To: kuntimaddi sadananda <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> 
Sent: Monday, August 6, 2012 11:50 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Advaita-The Vedanta.
It would be interesting to note that:

   1. Just as in Advaita,in Dvaita and V.advaita too there is no
   independent existence/reality to the jiva-jagat.
   2. While Advaita uses 'vyavaharika satyam' nomenclature, D uses
   paratantra to signify the dependent reality consisting of jiva-jagat.  In
   VA they have a sheSha-sheShi bhAva where too the former (jiva-jagat) is
   dependent on the latter (Brahman).  In the Bhagavadgita bhashya 14.1
   Shankara has used the term 'paratantra' to denote the prakRti-puruSha duo
   (jagat - jiva) - ईश्वरपरतन्त्रयोः क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोः जगत्कारणत्वम्, न तु
   सांख्यनामिव स्वतन्त्रयोः....[the cause of the world is the jiva-prakRti duo
   which are subservient to/dependent on Ishwara (Brahman) and not the duo
   which are independent as held by the Sankhya system.]
   3. While only Advaita openly denies an absolute existence-reality to the
   dependent jiva-jagat, the other two systems do not openly say so, although
   they clearly imply that the duo does not have an existence/reality
   independent of Brahman.
   4. Since a sattA, existence, that is derived from another entity,
   Brahman, is similar to the sattA of the superimposed snake (which derives
   its sattA from another entity, the substratum rope), the dependent's sattA
   is really no sattA at all.  In other words the dependent (jiva jagat) does
   not have any existence of its own. By extension, just like the superimposed
   snake, the dependents have no reality too of their own; their reality is
   only relative. Says Dr.B.N.K.Sharma:

   // Though *existence is thus ‘reality’*, Madhva recognizes that its
highest expression must be
   metaphysical independence of every other form of existence in
*finite reality*, in respect of its being,
   powers and activity. Everything in *finite reality* is therefore
grounded in the *Independent Reality,*
   known as Brahman and needs it for its being and becoming. //

   5. Thus one can see all the three schools have this in common: The
   world/jiva duo has no independent existence/reality.  Brahman alone has
   independent/infinite existence/reality. The dependent entities are grounded
   in Brahman.
   6. This commonality will come to the limelight only when one examines
   the Brahman of each school to determine that the 'attributes' of Brahman
   are all ONLY jiva-jagat dependent and therefore do not really belong to
   Brahman as intrinsic to It.  In other words, for example, the
   jagatkAraNatvam (cause of the world/creation) attribute of Brahman depends
   on the world.  To explain further: Brahman gets this epithet of
   jagatkAraNam ONLY through the agency of prakRti without which no creation
   is possible by Brahman. Says Shankara in the BSB 1.4.3: //But this primal
   state is held by us to be subject to the Supreme Lord, but not as an
   independent thing. That state has to be admitted, because it serves a
   purpose. Without that latent state, the creatorship of God cannot have any
   meaning, inasmuch as God* cannot *act without His power (of Maya)...//
   We can see how Brahman does not enjoy limitless power in creation.  मया
   अध्यक्षेण *प्रक्तिः सूयते* सचराचरम् (Bh.Gita).  This shows that
   Brahman's is only a supervisory role/sAkShi providing sattA and sphuraNa.
   The actual creating is on the part of the prakRti (called Lakshmi, etc. in
   other schools). Without the world this attribute of Creatorship can not
   inhere in Brahman.  यत्सत्वे यत्सत्वम्, यदभावे यदभावः This means: जगत्सत्वे
   जगत्कारत्वम् ब्रह्मणः, जगद्विना तत्कारणत्वाभावः ब्रह्मणि. In this manner
   each of the attributes can be seen to be 'attached', tagged on, to Brahman
   ONLY on the basis of something that is extraneous to /different from
   Brahman. As we saw at the beginning all schools admit jiva-jagat to be
   different from Brahman. When thus the attributes are discerned to be not
   belonging to Brahman, we arrive at the attributeless Brahman of Advaita.

Thus one can see that there is no real difference between/across the three

A scholar has said in another forum, in reply to a query of mine, that the
term 'vishiShTAdvaitam' is found in the srIkanTha bhAShya (for the Brahma
sutra) as 'shiva-vishiShTAdvaitam' and 'vishiShTashivAdvaitam'. He says
that it is said that the srIbhAShyam of Ramanuja does not use this


On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 11:01 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>wrote:

> Namaste.
> Here are my observations.
> I think the name 'vishiShTAdvaita' stands for 'chid-achid vishShTa
> advaita'.  In other words, for Ramanuja Brahman is no doubt Advaitam but is
> qualified too.  By what? By the chit ( sentient jiva-s) and the achit (the
> inert world of objects).  Brahman's body is constituted by these two.
> While in Advaita, Brahman is kevala/shuddha Advaita, it is as above for
> Ramanuja.
> Regarding this point in their system:
> //4. Brahman is not attributeless – He is, in fact, ananta kalyaana guna
> aashraya – infinite auspicious qualities. Nirguna is interpreted as
> doshaguna rahitam.//
> I would say that all the ananta kalyAna guNa-s are either jiva or jagat
> specific and hence cannot truly be stated to be Brahman's svarUpa niShTha.
> Advaita too admits of such gunas but as a taTastha lakShaNa of Brahman.
> Only those guNas that can stand alone, without the need to be tagged to
> either the jiva or the jagat, can be legitimately called Brahman's true
> nature.  And that will be satyam, jnAnam and anantam. That school will not
> accept this but this is what would be amenable to vichAra.
> regards
> subbu
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