[Advaita-l] ***UNCHECKED*** Re: [advaitin] Understanding Srimad Bhagavad Gita from the perspectives of Visishtadvaita and Advaita - an exposition

Vikram Jagannathan vikkyjagan at gmail.com
Thu Jan 25 12:14:11 EST 2024

Namaskaram all,

Acharya Shri Sadananda ji,

In my book, Journey Beyond in one of the volumes, I have answered Shree
> Ramanujas seven objections on avidya - just for info.

Alongside your book, Dr. John Grimes's excellent book 'The Seven Great
Untenables' and the recent seminar published as "Vedanta without Maya", I
have also briefly covered all seven anupapattis in my article "Reflections
on Avidya" (https://archive.org/details/reflections-on-avidya) that I have
been soliciting review and guidance from you.


Shri Bhaskar ji,

 Ø     Brahman has Swagata bheda ?? Do we advaitins agree to this??  Yes as
> per Sri Vikram prabhuji and here Sri Sada also seems to agree like in
> advaita *even in* vishishtAdvaita there is svagata bheda in brahman !!??
> Here is Sri Vikram’s observation in his alignment article :
> //quote //
> VA: In Brahman there is no sajatiya bheda and there is no vijatiya bheda;
> however, there is svagata bheda or internal distinctions in the form of
> distinctions between Brahman, Jiva and Jagat 11 14.
> A: Brahman being the one and only efficient & material cause of the
> manifested universe implies there is no sajatiya or vijatiya bheda in
> Brahman. But the manifestation of distinct names and forms, by maya,
> implies the existence of internal differences or svagata bheda in the form
> of distinct parts.
> //unquote//
May I dare say that you are mistaken and have misunderstood the context?
The answer to your question is in the very same quote itself. With maya as
the viseshana, there is svagata bheda in Brahman (Isvara). This much is in
alignment with VA philosophy. I am fully aware that in absolute reality
there is no bheda (sajatiya, vijatiya, svagata) whatsoever in Brahman /


Shri Subbu ji,

One point that can't be reconciled at all is:  The Ramanuja system holds
> going to Vaikuntha to be the sine qua non for moksha.  The member of that
> system has the sole goal of being in the company of the Lord, serving him,
> singing his praise, fanning him, etc. of his life.  This idea is severely
> criticised by Shankara in his Mundaka bhashyam:
> ...
> The position of the VA on this matter cannot be compromised. Hence on this
> crucial issue there can't be a reconciliation between the two systems.

Yes, agreed that true liberation cannot imply 'going' somewhere. However,
this VA point can be reconciled by the Krama Mukti marga of Advaita. This
is in points 51 and 52 in my article, and is reproduced below:

51. VA: The nitya-atmans and mukta-atmans reside in Brahman’s very own
eternal abode called SriVaikunta or nitya-vibhuti, which is transcendental
to the created material universe of samsara or leela-vibhuti wherein
badha-atmans reside
52. A: In Advaita, per krama-mukti, this liberated world is called as the
saguna Brahman loka. Depending on the characteristics of the saguna
Brahman, as cognized by the jiva, to be such as Vishnu or Shiva, the world
could be called as SriVaikunta or SriKailasa. Though this world is still
within the realm of distinctions, this can be considered as liberated world
since the inhabitants are all guided through the full jnana of
Brahman-Atman ekatvam prior to pralaya. There is also the other perspective
of certain references to Brahman’s abode, even as SriVaikunta or
SriKailasa, referring to the eternal state of Brahman (nirguna) realization
itself. In this perspective, reaching Brahman’s eternal abode is same as
attaining Brahman which is same as realizing the true nature of Brahman /
Atman / Self. Therefore, from both the perspectives all scriptural
statements as well as the Visishtadvaita perspectives are reconciled within

The same is explained by Bhagavan Swami Sankaracharya in BSBh-4.3.10.


Shri Raghav ji,

In other words, there are two attitudes of bhakti which are mutually
> irreconcilable
> 1. Bhakti and upAsanA of Srimannarayana as taught by the Advaita acharyas
> - this is not exclusivist and shows equal empathy towards worship of Shiva
> or
> Devi etc. The idea of ishTa devatA validates and brings under the ambit of
> the Advaita sAmpradAya *all* devotion to Srimannarayana which is not
> exclusivist or theologically sectarian. This type of devotion to Narayana
> is part of the Advaita tradition.
> 2. Bhakti and upAsanA of Srimannarayana as explained by Sri Ramanuja which
> insists on the superiority of devotion to Srimannarayana over devotion to
> Shiva or Devi. (As per my understanding).
I agree with you on the two attitudes. The alignment is only on the (do not
know the appropriate technical term) 'positive' / 'acceptance' tenets of VA
philosophy. Those tenets that 'restricts' or 'limits' may not be
reconcilable within Advaita. For another instance, Lord Sriman Narayana
having the highest power to grant moksha is indeed acceptable within
Advaita's purview of Saguna Brahman or Isvara. However, VA's claim that
Lord Sriman Narayana 'alone' can grant moksha and someone like Bhagavan
Shiva (who is considered as a jiva in VA) doesn't have that power is not
acceptable within Advaita. This claim is irreconcilable. To avoid conflicts
and criticisms in a comparative study one has to focus on the 'positives'
rather than the 'restricts'.


Shri Sudhanshu ji,

Thank you for sharing the highly nuanced feedback and it requires a
separate response email. Will respond soon.

with humble prostrations,

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