Where does Vishishtadvaita fall in the six systems of philosophy?

by July 24, 2014

From Madan Govinda Prabhu

Answer Podcast

Transcription by– Keshavgopal Das & Ambuj Gupta

Question: In the six systems of philosophy where does the philosophy of vishishtadviata fall?

Answer: It is within Vedanta.

The six systems of philosophy come from antiquity. There are different ways in which the Vedic literature has been interpreted by different sages. The vishishtadvaita philosophy was developed much later. It comes from Ramanujacharya primarily. Those thoughts are there in scriptures but the specific integration of those thoughts in a way that both living beings and the soul, and matter are considered to be the body and Lord is considered to be the soul of the body. That is the defining metaphor of vishishtadvaita. That is interpretation of Vedanta. So Vedanta, that is six system of philosophy, which is actually the culmination. In Vedanta sutra Vyasa Deva he analyzes all the other five systems and proves how they all have their limitations and those limitations are rectified in Vedanta sutra. So Vedanta is the culmination of the six system of philosophy.

What does Vedanta actually mean? How is it to be understood? Vedanta Sutra is very concise. Vedanta sutra has been interpreted in different ways by different spiritual teachers. Vedanta essentially talks about the nature of ultimate reality and our relationship with that.

There are two primary ways of interpretation, there is advaitic and there is dvaitic. advaita interpretation is given by Shankaracharya and dvaitic interpretation is primarily given by Madhavacharya. Ramanujacharya was in transition. Historically he came after Shankaracharya and before Madhavacharya. So if we consider pendulum moving from the extreme of advaita to the extreme dvaita, He brought it near balance center point. Actually there is oneness but there is difference also, this is vishishtadvaita. Shri Chaitanya Mahprabhu came after Madhavacharya and then he brought it again back to the center by explaining achintya bhedabheda. advaita, dvaita , vishishtadvaita and achintya bhedabheda, all these are attempted explanations of Vedanta. So within six systems of philosophy they fall within Vedanta .

Jiva Goswami and Baldeva Vidhya Bhushan explain how the achintya bhedabheda is the most coherent and cogent explanation of Vedanta. Thank you.


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