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Fwd: Article from The Hindu: Philosophy of Ramanuja - A Book Review

From: Ram Chandran (
Date: Mon Sep 10 2001 - 17:47:50 PDT

This article is emailed to you by Ram Chandran ( rchandran@c... )
Source: The Hindu (

Philosophy of Ramanuja 

Visishtadvaita -- Metaphysics Epistemology and Philosophy): Sri 
Ramachandra Publishers, Fourth Floor, Laxmi Plaza, Entrenchment 
Road, East Marredpally, Secunderabad. Rs. 250.

THE SIXTH volume of Complete works of Dr. K. C. Varadachari 
extensively deals with the metaphysical doctrines expounded by 
Sri Ramajuna in his Sri Bashya, the epistemological truths, 
logical implications of the mind which is not a machine but an 
organism, the synthetic approach of Visishtadvaita philosophy and 
the Visishtadvaita system of thought explained in terms of 
philosophy of religion. Dr. Varadachari gives a vivid picture of 
the entire gamut of the philosophy of Visishtadvaita ranging from 
the theory of knowledge, which is based on its ontology 
elucidating the harmony of the physical, moral, and spiritual 
orders or Reality. The relation between physical matter and 
metaphysical ideologies have been thoroughly analysed in a 
logical way and the author calls such a unity as organismic and 
personalistic. Since the culmination of philosophical inquiries 
is religion and forms the basis for metaphysics, it brings out 
the deepest aspirations of religious life based on the 
realisation of Visishtadvaita ideologies.

The metaphysical system of Sri Ramanuja as elucidated effectively 
and efficiently by the author treats the theory of cause or the 
cause-effect continuum, about the evolution of the universe or 
the process as in space-time continuum and about the ontological 
status of the ultimate reality or the substance. Suitable 
citations are given at appropriate places to substantiate the 

Prof. Varadachari has made a comparative analysis of 
Visishtadvaita with the other systems like Nyaya, Vaiseshika, 
Sankhya, Sankara-bashya and Kant. It is also interesting to note 
that the author resorts to the purva-paksha-siddhanta-model 
(rival faith-one's own faith) for the augmentation and permeating 
of Visishtadvaita thought. It is customary among Indian thinkers 
to start their inquiry with epistemology and proceed to discuss 
the metaphysical issues. 

According to the author, the method of Ramanuja is ontological 
and not epistemological, for what exists is perceivable and not 
what perceived only exists. In this sense "the epistemological 
conclusion is only a portion of the ontological and supports the 

The key concepts in Visishtadvaita viz., aprathaksiddha-
viseshana, dharma bhutta jnana, sarira-sariri bhava, and 
antaryamin are well explained. The realistic trend maintained by 
Ramajuna throughout is tactfully and skilfully elucidated by the 
author against absolutistic and idealistic trends. 
The academic excellence of Dr. Varadachari is revealed in every 
page of his book. His mission was to establish the Visishtadvaita 
system of thought as a systematic presentation of philosophy of 
religion and he has succeeded in his endeavour.


Copyrights: 1995 - 2001 The Hindu

Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are 
prohibited without the consent of The Hindu
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