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Advaita - Vishishtadvaita - Dvaita

From: Vijay Srinivasan (Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com)
Date: Fri Feb 16 1996 - 05:09:33 PST

I really enjoyed the discussions on the above subject that was contributed by 
Kalale, Vidya Sankar (it is so nice to have him in our group), Sampath and 
Bharadwaj.

Time and again, eventhough I have been part of these discussions,  they have 
never proved to be dull even for a moment.  One thing is very clear to me.  The 
more one thinks, the more is he inclined to beleive that all the three 
philosophies have much in common at the Vyavaharika level.  Adisankara adored 
Govinda and he was one of his greatest bhaktas (eventhough adoration has no 
place in advaita at the paramarthika level).  Ramanujacharya's philosophy is 
indeed a philosophy of a religion.  A religion of rishis who gave us the 
upanishads and of alwars whose outpourings gave us the divya-prabhandham.  He 
philosophized the vyavaharika level (if I may say so).  All the three acharyas 
respected the vaidika dharma and taught us to conduct our lives according to 
shastras giving due consideration to time and place.  All the three acharyas 
emphasized bhakti towards Govinda, while the later two Acharyas said Govinda 
alone.  Even if someone prefers to worship other Gods, it ultimately reaches 
Govinda (Keshavam prati gachhathy).  Instead of handing over the letter 
directly, why send it through a post man.  The sages tell us Narayana resides 
in each and every one of us and He is closer to us than we are to ourselves 
(and therefore there is no need for a post man).

Like Vidya Sankar says all the three philosophies have an equal place in the 
system of Vedanta and it is just natural that each one considers his own system 
superior to the other (and as far as the Lord is concerned he considers 
Vishishtadvaita as His own!!!).


Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan