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

meaning of "Vaikuntha"

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_be.com)
Date: Wed Sep 08 1999 - 11:21:10 PDT

Dear Bhaktas,

I had erroneously written yesterday that the etymology of 
the word "Vaikuntha" has been mentioned by Sri Vedanta Desika.
Actually, it is Sri Sudarsana Suri who discusses this
topic in his commentary on Ramanuja's Saranagati Gadya.

"vaikuNTha" is derived from "vikuNTha".  Sudarsana Suri
cites an authority which states that "vikuNTha" is 
based on the word "kuThi", which means "to obstruct
knowledge" (gati-pratighAta).  The prefix "vi" means
without, so "vi-kuNTha" means "without obstruction of
knowledge".  Those whose knowledge is unobstructed by
karma are known as "vikuNThAH".  The place that is 
associated with them is "vaikuNTha".

>From this we can gather that Vaikuntha refers to that
place where one's knowledge is unlimited. From the 
previous discussions, we can conclude that moksha 
consists of both a state as well as a place, though not 
in any conventional sense.  I refer readers to both 
Srikanth's and Murali's excellent observations on this 
subject.

rAmAnuja dAsan,
Mani