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Thread: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

  1. #11
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    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    I got my book yesterday and since Wednesday is an auspicious day, I started reading it today. It is actually a used book that I could manage to get for $18! Although the site never said it is a used book anywhere!

    Today I got through the introduction, and here is something for Spirit Seeker from the introduction: Vishishtadvaita considers Brahman as inseparable from Intelligence (Cit) and matter devoid of intelligence (acit). Just as every object in nature is never without attributes, so also, we the jivatmas and the 'acit' (matter) are 'attributes' of Brahman and we and him are inseparable from each other! But nevertheless we are distinct from him and not the same as Brahman because jivas and acit are not 'all pervading'.

    To me this made sense because, when considering Trivikramavadara, we wonder how the lord took a form that was even bigger than the 3 worlds put together! Now this is apparent if we keep in context that Brahman is really all jivas and acit put together as his attributes and if sum all that there is in the entire Universe, that would still comprise within 'brahman' and thus he is able to take his huge form!

    I just made this little post for some small enthusiasm, I promise not to pass on my preliminary understanding on Vishishtadvaita until I've read the entire book!
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  2. #12
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    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Seeker View Post
    Hi can anyone give me a brief summary of the beliefs & fundamentals of Vishishtadvaita ?
    Visishtadvaita [VA] traces itself to Vedas/Upanishads/Puranas. It aims at reconciling the simultaneous immanence and absolutism of God. Per VA, God is at once immutable and yet capable of delivering suffering selves out of mercy.

    VA differs from Advaita in that VA is realist in its world view. That is

    (1) objects exist independent of subjective cognition of them,
    (2) we only perceive what exists and is real.

    So, all that we perceive are real. Thus, the self (whose existence was not questioned) and insentient matter are all as real as God. They are also absolutely dependent on God for their very being. The relationship between God and selves/matter is analogous to the relationship between our self and our body. So, God, is the supersoul (antaryamin) or the inner controller of selves and matter alike. We constitute God's body.

    In terms of epistemology, VA believes that there is no such thing as simple/atomic [technically, nirvikalpa] perception. All and every perception are and only can be of existing/real objects that are qualified by something else. The first time that a child sees a cow, it is a nirvikalpa perception of the form, "This is a complex [composed of subparts/attributes/qualities] entity called 'cow'". The next time another cow is seen, the recognition is of the form "This is also a cow." This is savikalpa perception.

    The concept of an all-pervading unity/reality which is ultimately held aloft by God has interesting corrolaries within the VA system.

    For one, VA has an interesting way in which it explains misperceptions.

    When a shell is perceived as silver, because the system only accepts perception of real/existents, VA believes that some traces of silver actually reside in the shell. That is, both the shell and the silver share common properties. The error in perception is really not an error in the absolute sense because what is presented is actually 80% shell and maybe 20% silver.

    What about dreams? VA believes that even dream objects are real. God creates these based on our past Karma so that we can experience the Karmic consequences of our thoughts/actions.

    More when I get time! Ramakrishna Mission has published Ramanuja's translation of the BG which is useful. Also of use are books by S.M. Srinivasa Chari published by Motilal Banarasidass Publishers.

  3. #13
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    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    What about dreams? VA believes that even dream objects are real. God creates these based on our past Karma so that we can experience the Karmic consequences of our thoughts/actions.
    Good intro!

    One thing about dreams though. I thought that VA holds that the dreamed objects are unreal but the cognisions or the conscious states experienced are real. But these are all, ofcourse, ordained by God a/c to our karma, as you say.

  4. #14

    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    Quote Originally Posted by jignyAsu View Post
    Good intro!

    One thing about dreams though. I thought that VA holds that the dreamed objects are unreal but the cognisions or the conscious states experienced are real. But these are all, ofcourse, ordained by God a/c to our karma, as you say.
    The cognition is real. I'm not sure about the dream objects exactly, but I got the sense from what I read that they are "real" in the sense that a movie is real, i.e. it is played for the very specific purpose of entertainment. Similarly, the dream is played for the purpose of letting the living entity enjoy or suffer some of its karma while it is asleep.
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

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    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    The cognition is real. I'm not sure about the dream objects exactly, but I got the sense from what I read that they are "real" in the sense that a movie is real, i.e. it is played for the very specific purpose of entertainment. Similarly, the dream is played for the purpose of letting the living entity enjoy or suffer some of its karma while it is asleep.
    I think I have my quote now. Please search for:

    "The cognitions are real, but the things are not real"

    in: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe48/sbe48025.htm

    I think this is not Purvapakshi, it is Sri Ramanuja.

    My thought is that the problem with making objects real is that the basic VA philosophy of truth being not contrary to perception (clear) maybe violated. If objects in dreams got real, then maybe it will become the object of other people's perception - just a thought.

  6. #16

    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    Namaste all.

    Thank you EVERYONE for your input. What a great introduction to vishishtadvaita phil and WM.

    I'll check out the books and sources everyone mentioned. Vishishtadavaita sounds like so far the branch of Hinduism that fits most well closest with my Philosophical Viewpoint on God, And it's relation towards towards the universe.

    Great thread.

    I cant wait to dig in.
    For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice. ~Joseph Dunninger

  7. #17
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    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    Namaste HDF,

    I was introduced to the lectures of Sri Velukkudi Krishnan by a HDF member. Since that day my spiritual growth rate has exponentially increased.

    I found this video easy to understand the basics of Vishishtadvaita. Hope this will be of use to the devotees who are new to this philosophy.
    Anirudh...

  8. #18

    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    Its a lot like advaita, but with qualities.
    Both advaita and VA agree the reality is one Brahman, but from two perspectives.
    Advaita perspective is from meditation perspective, thus with the senses retracted Brahman appears as a nondistinct homogeneous energy.
    Vishishtadvaita is from a empirical perspective, and thus unlike advaita sense data is seen as real, thus Brahman is percieved as havng infinite qualities.

    In truth it seems both are true.

    In advaita, the enegy is called satchitnanda,truth-consciousness-bliss, but in Value that one energy is divided into 3main aspects, chit- living beings, achit- nonliving objects, and isvara- the controller of destiny or karma

  9. #19
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    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Dear new member,


    It is our custom to begin a post with a hello, or a namasté , or some salutation. We ask you to join in on this custom. If this feels foreign to you, or perhaps just not right, that is fine. We then ask you to reconsider if this forum is best suited to your needs.

    iti śivaṁ


    Quote Originally Posted by the sadhu View Post
    Its a lot like advaita, but with qualities.
    Both advaita and VA agree the reality is one Brahman, but from two perspectives.
    Advaita perspective is from meditation perspective, thus with the senses retracted Brahman appears as a nondistinct homogeneous energy.
    Vishishtadvaita is from a empirical perspective, and thus unlike advaita sense data is seen as real, thus Brahman is percieved as havng infinite qualities.

    In truth it seems both are true.

    In advaita, the enegy is called satchitnanda,truth-consciousness-bliss, but in Value that one energy is divided into 3main aspects, chit- living beings, achit- nonliving objects, and isvara- the controller of destiny or karma
    Last edited by yajvan; 20 November 2013 at 05:59 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  10. #20

    Re: Teach me about Vishishtadvaita.

    namaste. Sorry, I don't know what to say, I did not mean to offend you

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