Re: Visishtadvaita for DUMMIES - Post 1 - Nature of God
Post 2 - The salient features and dictates of Visishtadvaita, which includes discussion on 'Nature of Jeevatma':
* The chit and achit are body of Paramatma. Paramatma is the soul he pervades, directs the jeevatma and the chit. This is the connection between the two.
* If we call a person by his name and he turns back, we do not ask him if it his jeevatma that responded or his body that responded. This is because they both are so intrinsically connected that they both seem to be one. This
is the concept of abheda shruti of the vedas.
Accoring to abheda shruti, everything is body of brahmam, so there is no differentiation between an achit, a jeevatma and paramatma. Since a jeevatma is the body of the paramatma (supersoul) and since the soul is realized, naturally the body (individual soul) is realized. Whereas even within this relationship, if we ask the question of whether the jeevatma and the sarira are the same, then the bheda shruti steps in and says no. This is
the reason why we see both bheda shruti and the abheda shruti in the vedas. Visishtadvaita tries to reconcile the both using the 'Sarira-atma bhava' concept. According to Sarira-atma bhava, even though the body (jeevatma) is distinct from the paramatma (soul), they are both INSEPARABLE from each other, just as White color cannot be separated from a cloth which is White. It is distinct from bheda shruti in that, Sarira atma bhava recognizes the indistinguishable nature of jeevatma from paramatma, and it is different from abheda shruti in that, it recognizes the distinctness of jeevatma from paramatma. Thus this sarira-atma bhava becomes one of the important
concepts of Visishtadvaita.
* Unlike advaita, world is not an illusion in Visishtadvaita, everything is real. All objects we see, everything that happens to us and around us, are all real.
* Artha-panchakam is a crucial tenet of Visishtadvaita. It deals with 1.Nature of jeevatma 2. Paramatma swaroopa or 'Nature of Destination' 3. Way to go to the destination (upaayam) 4. The obstacles that stand in the way of you reaching the destination (Virodhi swaroopam) and 5. Nature of pleasure
experienced at reaching destination (Praapya Swaroopa).
The jeevatma swaroopa (nature of jeevatma) is one of Satyam(truthfulness), Gnana (Knowledge), Anantha (happiness) and Brahmam (bliss). Verily, these are termed in the right sense to be the 'attributes of the jeevatman'.
In Visishtadvaita, there are two kinds of consciosness (Knowledge), attributive and substantive. The attributive is known as "dharma-bhUta-jnAna", and is liable to contraction or expansion. The substantive is
known as "svarUpa-bhUta-jnAna" and is immutable. The 'I'ness with which an individual jeevatma perceives itself is known as 'Substantive Consciousness' and this is immutable. Whereas the 'Attributive Consciousness' expands or contracts depending on the level of spiritual ascension of the jeevatma. It can be very limited, as in not knowing anything as in the case of an animal to knowing everything like a god as in the case of
a fully-realized yogi.
The nature of destination (also called paramatma swaroopa or 'nature of paramatma') is to enjoy one of the 9 different types of connectivity between jeevatma and paramatma namely 'father and son', 'Protector and Protected', 'Master-Servant', 'Husband and Wife', 'Knower and Known', 'Owned and Owner', 'Bearer and Borne', 'Body and Soul', 'Enjoyer and Enjoyed'.
Upaaya Swaroopa or 'Way to reach destination': One would reach the goal of attaining the abode of god by practicing 'Saranagathi'.
Virodhi Swaroopa: One's own internal enemies or the shadripus are the ones that stand against his goal of attaining the Lord.
Prapya Swaroopa: What you do when you attain the abode of god? You do 'kainkaryam' or 'Services to god'.
* * *
Notes to the reader:
1. Kindly comment and correct the above.
2. Please address and point to advanced and missing sections in the above.
jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar