You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : July 1999

Re: mutual exclusion - 2

From: Anand Karalapakkam (
Date: Fri Jul 16 1999 - 14:40:24 PDT

SrI Lakshminrusimha ParabrahmaNE namaha
SrI Lakshminrusimha divya pAdukA sEvaka SrIvaN-
SatakOpa SrI nArAyaNa yateendra mahAdESikAya namaha

 Dear devotees,
 namO nArAyaNA.

  Some more ........

> Sri Ravi wrote :
> But in many ways visihtadwaita is close to the doctrine of
> that there is no mayaavada and the nirguna brahmam is replaced with
> sriman-narayana.
> we are all extensions of Naraayana,just as the hands and legs of our
> are attached to us and are part
> of even emperumanaar's doctrine is adwaita only.Only that
> sriman-narayana is ever brimming with
> all kalyana gunaas.

  ViSishtAdvaita is certainly a philosophy of "advaita". But
  this "advaita", has nothing to do with the "advaita" of

  ViSishtAdvaita : There is only one Brahman (advaita), who has
  chit and achit as its inseparable attributes (chit-achit
  visishta). It is only the "advaita" of this sense that is
  present in the actual reality (previous posting involved the
  reference to the fact that jIvAtma and matter are inseparable
  attributes of Brahman). Brahman/Iswara, chit and achit are
  distinct from one another, though related ( with chit and achit
  as inseparable attributes to Brahman). Thus, the concept of
  sankara's advaita, which denies the existence of Iswara/God,
  jIvAtma and matter (in the ultimate reality), is very much
  different from the "advaita" in ViSishtAdvaita. The "advaita"
  in ViSishtAdvaita is of the nature of "viSishta aikya"
  (adjectival identity, cit and acit being the inseparable
  attribute of Brahman) and not that of "svaroopa aikya"
  (svaroopa aikya => jIvAtma is verily the paramAtman in its
  nature itslef ).

   Quotes from Sri SMS Chari's
  "Fundamentals of VisishtAdvaita vEdAnta" based on
  SwAmi dESikan's Tattva muktA kalApa :

  Introduction :  "....................Cit and acit depend on
  Iswara for their very existence and are organically related to
  Iswara in the same way as the physical body is related to the
  soul within (*). The oneness of Reality is to be understood
  not in the sense of absolute identity, but as organic unity
  (ViSishtaikya). As VEdAnta dESika says, Brahman alone, as
  organically related to the entire cit and acit, is the one
  ultimate Reality (aSEsha-cidacit-prakAram brahmaikamEva tattvam).
  Though there is absolute difference between Iswara and the
  other two reals and also among individual souls and matter,
  the ultimate Reality is considered as one because as an organic
  unity it is one ( tatra prakAra-prakArinOhO prakArANAm-ca mithO
  atyanta-bhEdE api viSishtaikyAdi-vivakshayA yEkatva-vyapadEshaha).
  In this sense, the system of vEdAnta expounded by RAmAnuja is
  described as ViSishtAdvaita which means oneness of the
  organic unity (ViSishtasya advaitam). ... "

  Note (by Sri SMS Chari) : It may be noted that, the term
  ViSishtAdvaita is not used by RAmAnuja in any of his works. It
  was adopted at a later period by his followers on the basis
  of the definition offered by VEdAnta dESikA in nyAya-siddhAn~jana.
  It is generally rendered into English as "qualified monism" or
  "pan-organismal monism". Both do not bring out the fuller
  implications of the term. A better expression which approximates
  to the concept is "pan-en-theism". Pan-en-theism as understood
  in the western philosophy, refers to the view that "deity as
  eternal is distinguishable from and independent of any and all
  relative items and yet as an actual whole, it includes all
  relative items".

  In the first chapter "Fundamental Metaphysical categories" :

  " ...The central theme of ViSishtAdvaita vEdAnta is that cit
  ( the individual souls) and acit (the cosmic matter) are
  organically related to Iswara, in the same way as an essential
  attribute is related to a substance. The term ViSishtAdvaita
  thus presupposes that, substance and attribute are distinct
  but the two are integrally related and, as an integral complex
  whole, it is one (ViSishtasya advaitam). It also presupposes
  that cause and effect are the different states of the same
  substance (viSishtayOh: advaitam). ...."

 (*) : In the sarIra-sarIri bhAva, the three relationships
       are to hold good ( SarIri<Atma> supports(1) and
       controlls(2) the SarIra <body> and SarIra exists for
       the pleasure of SarIri (3)).
       The body-soul relationship between jIvAtma and its body
       ( with jIvAtma being the supporter, controller of the body
       and uses body for its purposes) is used as an analogy to
       explain the Body-soul relationship between Brahman, the
       sarIri(Atma) and all sentients(chit) and non-sentients
       (achit), which constitute Brahman's sarIra(body). This
       Body-Soul relationship doesn't mean that, Brahman has to
       physically reside inside a jIvAtma, such that "jIvAtma"
       is "body", and the Brahman present inside it is "Atma".
       The body-soul relationship does not address this issue
       at all. The Body-soul relationship alias SarIra-SarIri
       bhAvam is regarding the acts of supporting, controlling
       and usage of the body(sarIra) for the pleasure/purpose
       of the Soul(SarIri). If these three criterions are
       satisfied, then the sarIra-sarIri bhAvam holds good.

       It is not a botheration as to whether the sarIri(Atma)
       is physically present inside a sarIra. The antarvyApti
       and bahirvyApti of Brahman (ie. Brahman pervading
       inside and outside of everything) is the thing which
       discusses the issue of whether Brahman is physically
       present inside a substance or not. SwAmi dESikan, in
       His chillarai rahasyam "virOdha parihAram" declares
       that Brahman is not physically inside a jIvAtma, since
       there is nothing called as "inside" for a jIvAtma
       in the first hand (jIvAtma is avavaya ie.shapeless ;
       only things that have a concrete shape will have
       something called inside ; eg: a square has inside and
       outside); Similarly, Brahman is not present outside
       "kAlam" (time), since there is nothing called "outside"
       for time, since time is already vibhu ie. all pervading
       ie. acts everywhere. Brahman pervades "in" and "out" of
       other things (achit). This is the understanding of
       antarvyApti (pervading inside) and bahirvyApti
       (pervading outside). Sometimes, the word "body" is
       used to denote the "matter/prakruti" with respect to
       Brahman as its "soul", just because Brahman is present
       inside it (this should not be confused with the sarIra-
       sarIra bhAva, which anyway holds good between Brahman
       and achit ). For example, the body of the demi-god Indra
       is the body of Brahman also (ie.the all pervading
       Brahman, pervades inside the body of Indra and thus has
       the materialistic body of Indra as His "body" ( here, in
       this sentence, the sarIra-sarIri bhAva ie. body-soul
       relationship is not told, though sarIra-sarIri bhAva
       holds good. The intention od that sentence is to convey
       that Brahman is inside the body of demi-god Indra; Also
       this materialistic body of Indra is not at all concerned
       with the "divya mangaLa vigraha" of Brahman, which is
       actually made up of Suddha-sattvam material; Also, it has
       to be noted again that Brahma sUtrAs in ubhalingAdhikaraNam
       as mentioned above states that, though Brahman is all
       pervading in the midst of achit and chit, it is free from
       all defects). Thus, one has to understand the meaning
       conveyed by the term "body"/"sarIra" etc according to the

       For the SarIra-SarIri bhAvam existing between Brahman and
       (chit + achit), the act of "support" (first functionality)
       is done by Brahman through itself ie. the all-pervading
       divyAtma svaroopam acts as the supporter of "cit and acit",
       which are the sarIrAs (bodies, in the sense of sarIra-sarIri
       bhAvam) of Brahman. Thus, the all-pervading nature of
       Brahman is included in the SarIra-SarIri bhAva between
       Brahman and chit+achit. But, the sarIra-sarIri bhAvam here
       as a totallity is not merely due to the all pervasive
       aspect of Brahman. The act of "Controlling chit and achit"
       (second functionality) is performed by Brahman through
       its will ie. sankalpam. Ofcourse, chit and achit exists
       for the pleasure of Brahman (third functionality).

       The end effect of this SarIra-SarIri bhAvam between
       Brahman and "chit + achit" is that, "chit + achit" become
       inseparable attributes of Brahman (appruthak siddham).
       Thus, the relationship between the substance and its
       inseparable attributes ( eg: Red rose having the color
       "red" as an inseparable attribute) holds good for the
       relationship between Brahman and "chit + achit".


1.    Bhagavad rAmAnuja only propagated the vEdAnta matam
     (religion of vEdAnta) alias vaidIka matam (religion
     of vEdAs/followers of vEdAs). He never started some
     "new" philosophy and thus, there was no need to coin
     some new name for the philosophy, when He is verily
     explaining vEdAnta. But later, for the purpose of
     identification in the midst of other vEdAntins, the
     term "ViSishtAdvaita" has been used to represent the
     crux of vEdAnta as propagated by bhagavad rAmAnuja.
     vEdAnta and ViSishtAdvaita are synonyms in this sense.

2. "ViSishtayOh: advaitam" => Cause and effect are different
   states of the same substance. Brahman has "cit + acit" as
   its inseparable attributes. During praLayA(deluge), the
   chit and achit are present in their sookshma(subtle) state.
   During creation, the whole material world is created by
   Brahman from that subtle primordial matter and thus, achit
   (non-sentients) attains the sthUla state (manifested).
   Similarly, baddha jIvAtmAs were in the sookshma state
   during praLayA (with their dharmabhUta jn~anam shrunk
   completely). During creation, Brahman gives them the
   appropriate material bodies according to their karma and
   thus baddha jIvAtmAs are in their sthUla state. Thus,
   the process of creation is nothing but transformation
   of chit+achit from their sookshma state to their sthUla
   state. But, Brahman (ie.divyAtma svaroopam) is not
   changing in this process. Thus, "Cause" for creation is
   Brahman having sookshma chit+achit as its inseparable
   attributes. The "effect" (of creation) is the presence
   of Brahman with sthUla chit+achit as its attributes.
   Thus, the "substance" Brahman in both the cause
   and effect (chit+achit are Brahman's inseparable
   attributes). But cause and effect represent two different
   "states" of Brahman, because of the change in the type of
   attributes it has. Thus, it is the same Brahman who is
   the cause and the effect (only there is some change in
   its inseparable attributes). Thus, Brahman is both the
   material and instrumental cause of the universe.

   < It is to be noted that SrI VaikuNTham is not affected in
   this process of creation >.

   crude analogy : Assume that on day one, a flower was fully
   red and on day two, yellow color also was present alongwith
   the red color in that flower. Now, the "substance" flower
   is the same ; only its attribute color has changed from
   "red" to "red + yellow". In both the states, only "one"
   "substance" exists and the change in color is only a change
   in its attribute. Thus, this change in color represents the
   change of state of the "substance" flower, with red color
   as its "attribute" to the state wherein the "substance"
   flower has "red + yellow" color as its attribute.
AzhwAr,yemperumAnAr,dESikan, Azhagiyasingar thiruvadigaLE SaraNam

 adiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan
 ananthapadmanAbha dAsan