saattvika tyaagam

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Tue Oct 12 19:37:58 CDT 1999

Vivek Anand Ganesan <v_ganesan at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

> > <ramakris at EROLS.COM> wrote:
> > > More on the fundamental differences between these
> > two
> > > philosophies sometime later.
> >   I am very interested to learn about this.  If I
> > may make a rather
> > simplistic framework, wherein Advaita is placed on
> > one end and Dvaita
> > on the other :
> >
> >   a) Is VishishTadvaita in the "middle", truly?
> >                   ( or )
> >   b) Is it closer to Advaita but with a few
> > important differences?

It is true to a certain extent. An example: According to Dasgupta, the
role of shruti is similar in advaita and vishishhTAdvaita, whereas the
dvaitins are midway bewteen the naiyyAyika-s and these two schools.
But, really the role of shruti is somewhat different even between
advaita and vishishhTAdvaita. It's not a trivial difference.

I don't know when I can mail something on the differences between the
two schools. I can give some references which may be useful. See the
analysis of the waking, dream and deep-sleep states in Ramanujas
bhAshhya to sUtra 1.1.1.  A useful precis of this is given in
M.Yamunacharya, "Ramanuja's teaching in his own words," Bharatiya
Vidya Bhavan, pp. 65-70. Compare that with the bhAshhya of sha.nkara
on bR^ihadAraNyaka upanishhad 4.3. You'll see how many of the
fundamental differences between these two philosophies arise from
this. Most of vedAntadeshikas objections in the shatadUshaNi can be
traced back to the way these two schools treat the three states. IMO,
any reconciliation is absolutely impossible.

Personally I find Ramanujas analysis of the three states extremely
unsatisfactory and going directly against the method outlined in the
bR^ihadAraNyaka. Of course, for a vishishhTAdvaitin the opposite would
hold true, I can very well understand that.

> >     I recently learned that ShrI RamanujAchArya did
> > not call his
> > philosophy "VishishTadvaita".  Is this true?  If so,
> > why this curious
> > terminology?

There was some discussion in the bhakti list sometime back. I wasn't
interested in finding out more on this.  I think the analysis of the
three states is the corner stone of the upanishhadic teachings and
vishishhTAdvaitas explanation and interpretation of these passages is
very unsatisfactory. The whole of advaita is built on this analysis of
the three states (sadly not realized by many modern authors). So I
have not bothered about the finer details of vishishhTAdvaita once I
found that disagreement on this fundamental point. After all, the
finer differences can only spring from the fundamental differences. If
there is no disagreement in the axioms, how can the theorems be


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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