Ramanuja Darshanam

By Dr. Korada Subrahmanyam

Viśiṣṭādvaitadarśanam (Rāmānujadarśanam)
Viśiṣṭādvaitadarśanam is one of the main schools of Vedānta propounded and expounded by Rāmānujācārya of South India in the 11th century A. D. Śrībhāṣyam is the main treatise of this Darśanam. According to this Darśanam Cit is called Bhoktā or Jīva (who gets the results of Karma), Acit is Bhogya (the universe to be experienced) and Īśvara is Niyāmaka (controller). The term Īśvara refers to Hari (Viṣṇu). Bhakti (devotion to Hari) is the cause of Mokṣa. Karma and Jñānam are said in support of Bhakti. Avidyā (Nescience) is not accepted by Rāmānuja. Three Pramāṇas, i.e. Pratyakṣam (Perception), Anumānam (Inference) and Śābdam (Statement) are accepted in this Darśanam.

The term Vedāntadarśanam refers to the Brahmasūtras (and commentaries) authored by Bādarāyaṇa, which deal with the latter (end) part of Veda, viz. Upaniṣats (anta = end, Vedānta = end of Veda). Among the commentaries on Brahmasūtras three are very popular – Brahmasūtraśāṅkarabhāṣyam of Śaṅkarācārya, that advocates Advaitam; Śrībhāṣyam of Rāmānujācārya, that advocates Viśiṣṭādvaitam; and Pūrṇaprajñabhāṣyam of Madhvācārya, that advocates Dvaitam. Advaitam holds that there is no duality such as Jīvātmā (individual soul) and Paramātmā (universal soul). Paramātmā or Brahman itself manifests in many forms. The universe is a myth. Viśiṣṭādvaitam advocates – since Brahman itself manifests as both Cit (Jīvātmā) and Acit (universe) there is no Bheda (dvaitam), i.e. Advaitam is acceptable. At the same time since Brahman is seen as both Cit and Acit, in many forms, Bheda is also acceptable. Īśvara is Hari only. Dvaitam holds that there is difference between Jīva and Īśvara, Jaḍa (stable – trees, hills etc.) and Īśvara, Jīva and Jīva, Jaḍa and Jīva, and Jaḍa and Jaḍa (five kinds of Bheda). Īśvara is Viṣṇu.

Jainamatam (the theory of Jainas) is not acceptable to Rāmānujācārya – the Syādvāda, which advocates a theory, whereby both the existence and non-existence (Sattva and asattva) of a thing are denoted (ghaṭaḥ syādasti ca syānnāsti ca = it may be and may not be a pot) is untenable as it is not possible to have mutually divergent properties simultaneously in a single thing. And thus the Anekāntavāda supported by Saptabhaṅgīnaya is simply illogical.

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Rāmānujācārya, while commenting upon the Brahmasūtram of Bādarāyaṇa, नैकस्मिन् असंभवात् (naikasmin asaṃbhavāt॥2.2.31॥) refuted Jainadarśanam. The above Sūtram means – it is impossible to have two mutually divergent properties, such as Sattva (existence) and Asattva (non-existence), simultaneously in a single thing.

Here is the theory of Viśiṣṭādvaita: there are three different things – Cit (Jīvātmā) who is also called Bhoktā (one who experiences the result of Puṇya and Pāpa, sin), Acit (universe), which is also called Bhogya (to be experienced) and Īśvara (Viṣṇu), who is also called Niyāmaka (controller of Cit and Acit). It is clearly stated –

ईश्वरश्चिदचिच्चेति पदार्थत्रितयं, हरिः।
ईश्वरश्चिदिति प्रोक्तो जीवः, दृश्यमचित् पुनः॥
īśvaraścidacicceti padārthatritayaṃ, hariḥ।
īśvaraściditi prokto jīvaḥ, dṛśyamacit punaḥ॥
There are three things – Īśvara, Cit and Acit. Īśvara is Hari (Viṣṇu), Cit is Jīva and Acit is the universe.

The above said threefold categorization of Viśiṣṭādvaita is not acceptable to Advaitins, i.e. followers of Śaṅkarācārya –

There is only one thing called Brahman, which is in the form of Jñānam (cognition). The same Brahman, although Nitya (eternal), Śuddha (pure), Buddha (in the form of cognition) and Mukta (relieved of any relation / connection), gets connected with Jīva and relieved as well. This phenomenon is understood by the popular Mahāvākyam, i.e. tat tvam asi (you are the Brahman) (Chāndogyopaniṣat 6.8.7) wherein the words have got Sāmānādhikaraṇyam (words denoting the same thing – here both the words, i.e. tat and tvam, denote the same thing – Brahman). Any difference such as Bhoktā (Cit), Bhoktavyam (Acit) etc. is born due to Avidyā (nescience / non-cognition) and in fact it is created (artificially).

सदेव सोम्य! इदमग्र आसीत्, एकमेवाद्वितीयम्। छान्दोग्योपनिषत्, ७.१.३॥
sadeva somya! idamagra āsīt, ekamevādvitīyam।
chāndogyopaniṣat, 7.1.3॥
O! Somya! Earlier to creation this universe that is being perceived was Sat (=Brahman) only and it was only one, no second thing.

मृत्योः स मृत्युम् आप्नोति य इह नानेव पश्यति। कठोपनिषत्, २.१॥
mṛtyoḥ sa mṛtyum āpnoti ya iha nāneva paśyati।
kaṭhopaniṣat, 2.1॥
One who finds difference in Brahman, would get death after death.

The founders of Viśiṣṭādvaita refute the concept of Avidyā itself as no such thing does exist as per either Prabhākara or Kumārilabhaṭṭa, i.e. both the propagators of different schools of Pūrvamīmāṃsā. Even the term Māyā in “मायां तु प्रकृतिं विद्यात् मायिनं तु महेश्वरम्। श्वेताश्वतरोपनिषत्, ४.१॰॥ (māyāṃ tu prakṛtiṃ vidyāt māyinaṃ tu maheśvaram। śvetāśvataropaniṣat 4.10॥)” is interpreted differently by Advaita and Viśiṣṭādvaita.

The Prakṛti is Māyā (Ajñānam / nescience) and Maheśvara (Brahman) is associated with it – Advaitadarśanam. They hold that Māyā is a kind of Ajñānam that cannot be defined – i.e. Anirvacanīya. Viśiṣṭādvaita refutes Advaita – Māyā means the Prakṛti that creates many divergent things of the universe with the help of the three Guṇas (properties) that are embedded in it. So it is not “anirvacanīyam ajñānam” as taken by Advaitins.

According to Viśiṣṭādvaita not only the word “tat” in “tattvamasi” but also the word “tvam” denotes Paramātmā, that is the Ātmā of Jīva. In fact all the words denote Paramātmā only because all the “things” in the universe are abodes of Brahman. This concept is elaborated in fourth Sara (chapter) of Tattvamuktāvalī of Vedāntadeśika.

So Viśiṣṭādvaita proposes that the popular Mahāvākyam, i.e. tattvamasi (śvetaketo), can be employed not only with regard to Śvetaketu, but also against anything in the universe, such as dog and pot. Vedāntadeśika (Veṅkaṭanātha) in his word Tattvamuktākalāpa (1.7) offered definitions of Dravya etc. –

तत्र द्रव्यं दशावत्प्रकृतिरिह गुणैः सत्त्वपूर्वैरुपेता
कालोऽब्दाद्याकृतिः स्यादणुरवगतिमान् जीव ईशोऽन्य आत्मा।
संप्रोक्ता नित्यभूतिस्त्रिगुणसमधिका सत्ययुक्ता तथैव
ज्ञातुज्ञेयावभासो मतिरिति कथितं संग्रहाद्द्रव्यलक्ष्म॥
tatra dravyaṃ daśāvatprakṛtiriha guṇaiḥ sattvapūrvairupetā
kālo’bdādyākṛtiḥ syādaṇuravagatimān jīva īśo’nya ātmā।
saṃproktā nityabhūtistriguṇasamadhikā satyuktā tathaiva
jñātujñeyāvabhāso matiriti kathitaṃ saṃgrahāddravyalakṣma॥

Among the things enumerated earlier, the one which has got stability is called Dravyam. Prakṛti is the one associated with the three Guṇas (properties) viz. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Kāla (time) is the one in the form of year etc. Jīva is of the size of atom (Aṇu) and is the resort of Jñānam (cognition). Another Ātmā is Īśvara. Nityavibhūti is different from Pradhāna, which is associated with the three Guṇas and full of Sattvaguṇa. Mati (intellect) is the knowledge of things that is there in Jīva. Thus the brief definitions of Dravyas are given.

Jīvātmā and Paramātmā

According to Viśiṣṭādvaita, the Jīvātmas called Cit, are different from Paramātmā and they are eternal. Veda says –

द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया . . . । मुण्डकोपनिषत्, ३.१.१; श्वेताश्ववतरोपनिषत्, ४.६ ॥
dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā।
muṇḍakopaniṣat, 3.1.1; śvetāśvavataropaniṣat, 4.6॥

Both the birds, viz. Jīva and Īśvara, have got the same properties and both have got similarity.

Kaṇāda in Vaiśeṣikadarśanam (3.2.20) rules –

नानात्मनो व्यवस्थातः ।३.२.२॰॥
nānātmano vyavasthātaḥ ।3.2.20॥

The Jīvātmas are many as we find people with different situations, i.e. one is comfortable, another is worried, one is bounden whereas another is relieved.

Kaṭhopaniṣat (2.18) says that Jīvātmā is Nitya (eternal) –

न जायते म्रियते वा विपश्चिन्नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे॥
na jāyate mriyate vā vipaścinnāyaṃ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ।
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato’yaṃ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre॥

A Jñānī (the one who attained cognition), i.e. the Jīva who will become a Jñānī one day or other, is not born, nor would die, nor will be there for some time and then perish. He is eternal, would always be there, is very old (in time). Even if the body is killed, he is not killed.

Even the Nyāyasūtram (3.1.35) says that the one who renounced the world is not born again –

वीतरागजन्मादर्शनात्
vītarāgajanmādarśanāt

The birth of a person who renounced the world is not seen.

Veda itself vouches to the fact that Jīvātmā is of the size of an atom (Aṇu) –

वालाग्रशतभागस्य शतथा कल्पितस्य च।
भागो जीवः स विज्ञेयः स चानन्त्याय कल्पते॥ श्वेताश्वतरोपनिषद् ॥
vālāgraśatabhāgasya śatathā kalpitasya ca।
bhāgo jīvaḥ sa vijñeyaḥ sa cānantyāya kalpate॥ śvetāśvataropaniṣad ॥

Jīva is the size of hundredth part of the hundredth part of the end of the tail and he is eligible to get Mokṣa.

The perceivable universe (Jaḍa or the one without Caitanyam / consciousness) called Acit is of three fold – Bhogyam (that can be experienced), Bhogopakaraṇam (the instrument for experience) and Bhogāyatanam (place of experience, i.e. Śārīram / body). The Kartā (doer) and upādānam (the real cause) of the universe is Puruṣottama (Viṣṇu), denoted by the term Īśvara and known through the words like Vāsudeva etc. It is stated –

वासुदेवः परं ब्रह्म कल्याणगुणसंयुतः। भुवनानामुपादानं कर्ता जीवनियामकः॥
vāsudevaḥ paraṃ brahma kalyāṇaguṇasaṃyutaḥ।
bhuvanānāmupādānaṃ kartā jīvaniyāmakaḥ॥

Vāsudeva, associated with auspicious virtues only is Parabrahma. He is the Upādānakāraṇam (essential cause, such as gold for ear-ring and clay for pot) and Kartā (builder, like a potter for a pot) of the worlds and Jīvaniyāmaka (controller of beings).

Vāsudeva only, who is kind and pleasing, manifests in five forms by his play-acting in order to grant various things to his worshippers – Arcā, Vibhava, Vyūha, Sūkṣma and Antaryāmī.

Arcā means existence of Vāsudeva in houses and temples in the form of idols made of stone etc. Such an idol is called Arcāmūrti (personification of Īśvara for worship). The Arcaka (priest) is responsible for the bath, food, sleeping, sitting etc. of Vāsudeva.

Vibhava means incarnation of Vāsudeva as Rāma, Kṛṣṇa etc.

Vyūha is of four types – Paramātmā takes four forms, viz. Vāsudeva, Saṇkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha, in order to be reachable to worshippers and perform duties such as creation etc.

Sūkṣma is Parabrahma, called Vāsudeva and filled with the six virtues – Jñānam (cognition), Bala (strength), Aiśvarya (wealth), Vīrya (vigour), Śakti (capacity) and Tejas (brilliance).

Antaryāmī is one who is there within Ātmā and controls the beings.

Vāsudeva, who is the Sūkṣmarūpam (minute form) and Parabrahma, is Nārāyaṇa and he lives in Śrīvaikuṇṭhapuram with three Godesses, viz., Śrī, Bhū, Nīlā and the Muktas (who got Mokṣa) have to reach him.

There are three devices that are useful in attaining Mokṣa – Bhakti (devotion), Karma (rites) and Jñānam (cognition). Advaita advocates Jñānam as the only device to attain Mokṣa. Bhakti and Karma are useful in cleansing the mind so that achieving Jñānam is possible. Viśiṣṭādvaita believes that Karma and Jñānam support Bhakti and such a Bhakti would reach one to Mokṣa. Bhakti, Upāsanā and Upāsti are synonyms.

In the work Śrīpāñcarātram, the five kinds of Upāsanā are described –

1. Abhigamanam – Sweeping, paving etc. of the way to temples is Abhigamanam.
2. Upādānam – Providing things required for worship, such as flowers, water, sandlewood powder etc. is called Upādānam.
3. Ijyā – Worship of God is Ijyā.
4. Svādhyāya – Reciting the Mantas while meditating the meaning, reading the literature of Viṣṇu, singing the names of Viṣṇu, study of treatises that propose the noumenon (Tattvam) of Viṣṇu – all these fall under Svādhyāya (according to Taittirīyāraṇyakam 2.10 Svādhyāya is reciting one’s branch of Veda and it is called Brahmayajña, one of the five Mahāyajñas).
5. Yoga – Meditating the deity is Yoga.

Puruṣottama (Viṣṇu) would reach a devotee – who with a Karma (activity) in the form of the said five kinds of Upāsanā (worship) associated with Antaryāmivijñānam (the knowledge of inner controller) killed the Draṣtṛdarśanam (looking at Jīva only) and fixed self in Bhagavān (God) – his place, that is full of bliss and an abode of no return. This is stated in Smṛti –

मामुपेत्य पुनर्जन्म दुःखालयमशाश्वतम्।
नाप्नुवन्ति महात्मानः संसिद्धिं परमां गताः॥भगवद्गीता, ८.१५॥
māmupetya punarjanma duḥkhālayamaśāśvatam।
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ saṃsiddhiṃ paramāṃ gatāḥ॥bhagavadgītā, 8.15॥

The great people, who attained the virtuous Siddhi (Mokṣa), having reached me, will not have rebirth, that is an abode of worries and short-lived.

Elsewhere also it is stated –

स्वभक्तं वासुदेवोऽपि संप्राप्यानन्दमक्षयम्। पुनरावृत्तिरहितं स्वीयं धाम प्रयच्छति॥
svabhaktaṃ vāsudevo’pi saṃprāpyānandamakṣayam।
punarāvṛttirahitaṃ svīyaṃ dhāma prayacchati॥

Vāsudeva also, reaches out to his devotee and provides place in his abode, that is full of endless bliss and a place of no return.

Having borne all the above in mind and having noticed that the Brahmasūtravivṛtti (commentary on Brahmasūtras of Bādarāyaṇa) is too lengthy, Rāmānujācārya did Śārīrakamīmāṃsābhāṣyam.

There was a Mīmāṃsā of twenty Adhyāyas (Chapters). The twelve Adhyāyas of Pūrvamīmāṃsā combined with four Adhyāyas of Saṅkarṣaṇakāṇḍa is considered as one called Ṣoḍaśalakṣaṇī (having sixteen chapters). The last four Adhyāyas are Uttaramīmāṃsā (Brahmamīmāṃsā). The Vṛttikāra, Bodhāyana says Uttaramīmāṃsā of Bādarāyaṇa along with Ṣoḍaśalakṣaṇī is a single Śāstram (system) and Rāmānujācārya endorses the same.

Pūrvamīmāṃsā (or Pūrvatantram / Karmamīmāṃsā / Vākyaśāstram / Mīmāṃsā etc.) deals with the (Pūrva) earlier parts of Veda, which advocate Karma, such as Yāga. Uttaramīmāṃsā (or Brahmamīmāṃsā / Vedānta / Uttaratantram / Śārīrakamīmāṃsā) deals with (Uttara) later parts (Upaniṣats) of Veda, that advocate Brahma.
In this context, the term “atha” (after) of the first Sūtra (elliptical sentence) of Bādarāyaṇa, viz. “atha ataḥ brahmajijñāsā” (after the study of Veda one should try to know the Brahma as it is decided that the result of Karmas is perishable). Here the term “atha” is employed in the same sense as “atha ataḥ dharmajijñāsā” (after the study of Veda, one should try to know Dharma), the first system of Pūrvamīmāṃsā. This is a general view.

Śaṅkarācārya in his Śārīrakabhāṣyam prescribed four prerequisites, called Sādhanacatuṣṭayam, for Brahmajijñāsā –

1. Nityānityavastuviveka – Discriminative knowledge of eternal and non-eternal things.
2. Ihāmutrārthabhogavirāgaḥ – Renunciation of the enjoyment of things in this and other worlds.
3. Śamadamādisādhanasampat – Control of internal and external sense-organs etc. – the six virtues that is the wealth of instruments.
4. Mumukṣutvam – The desire to attain Mokṣa.

Rāmānujācārya follows Bodhāyanavṛtti and Viśiṣṭādvaita (which was already established by Yāmunācārya, Rāmānuja’s teacher) and argues – “In order to achieve Sādhanacatuṣṭayam one requires Pūrvamīmāṃsā. So the term “atha” in the quoted Sūtram means “after having the knowledge of Karmas (rites / rituals)”. Bodhāyana also explained the meaning of the Sūtram – after attaining Karmajñanam one wants to know about Brahma (due to non-eternity of the results of Karmas).

According to Śaṅkara there is no any inseparable relation between Karma and Jñānam and therefore both, viz. Mīmāṃsā and Vedānta, are independent systems. While some people may perform rites for “Cittaśuddhi” (cleansing the mind) it is not necessary for everybody. One, without any knowledge or performance of Karmas, may get Mokṣa, due to Brahmajñānam. The following sentences from Veda are quoted in support –

ब्रह्मचर्यादेव प्रव्रजेत् (जाबालोपनिषत्)
brahmacaryādeva pravrajet (jābālopaniṣat)

One should renounce the world (take Saṃnyāsa) from celibacy, i.e. without going to Gārhasthyam (household life) and Vānaprastham (forest life).

यदहरेव विरजेत् तदहरेव प्रव्रजेत्
yadahareva virajet tadahareva pravrajet

On whichever day one renounces the world the same day he should go for Saṃnyāsa.

Viśiṣṭādvaitadarśanam advocates that neither Karma nor Jñānam can independently be instrumental in attaining Mokṣa, but together they can –

परीक्ष्य लोकान् कर्मचितान् ब्राह्मणो निर्वेदमायात् , नास्त्यकृतः कृतेन। मुण्डकोपनिषत् १.२.१२॥
parīkṣya lokān karmacitān brāhmaṇo nirvedamāyāt , nāstyakṛtaḥ kṛtena।
muṇḍakopaniṣat 1.2.12॥

Brāhmaṇa should get detachment by observing the universe achieved through Karma. The eternal Mokṣa cannot be attained through Karma.

Veda denounces only Karma and only Jñānam and declares that Jñāna, associated with Karma only can achieve Mokṣa –

अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति येऽविद्यामुपासते। ततो भूय इव ते तमो य उ विद्यायां रताः॥
बृहदारण्यकोपनिषत्, ४.४.१॰, ईशावाश्योपनिषत्, १॰॥
andhaṃ tamaḥ praviśanti ye’vidyāmupāsate।
tato bhūya iva te tamo ya u vidyāyāṃ ratāḥ॥
bṛhadāraṇyakopaniṣat, 4.4.1…, īśāvāśyopaniṣat, 10॥

Those who serve only Karma, i.e. without Jñānam, would enter blind darkness. Those who are involved in Jñānam only, giving up the Karmas, would end up in deeper darkness.

विद्यां चाविद्यां च यस्तद्वेदोभयं सह।
अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययाऽमृतमश्नुते॥
ईशावाश्योपनिषत्, ११॥
vidyāṃ cāvidyāṃ ca yastadvedobhayaṃ saha।
avidyayā mṛtyuṃ tīrtvā vidyayā’mṛtamaśnute॥ īśāvāśyopaniṣat, 11॥
One who knows both Vidyā (Jñānam) and Avidyā (Karma) would cross death by Avidyā and attains Mokṣa through Vidyā.

So, the Sūtram “athāto brahmajijñāsā”, means “for Mokṣa, Brahma, to be known by the words like Puruṣottama (Viṣṇu) etc., is to be desired by those who are suffering from the three kinds of miseries – Ādhyātmika (that is due to love, hatred etc.), Ādhibhautika (that is due to enemies, wild animals etc.) and Ādhidaivika (that is due to heavy rain, drought, disease etc.).”

Jñānam, here, means Upāsanā (worship) denoted by words like Dhyānam etc. but not mere knowledge of sentences.

आत्मा वा अरे द्रष्टव्यः श्रोतव्यो मन्तव्यो निदिध्यासितव्यः। बृहदारण्यकोपनिषत्, २.४.५॥
ātmā vā are draṣṭavyaḥ śrotavyo mantavyo nididhyāsitavyaḥ।
bṛhadāraṇyakopaniṣat, 2.4.5॥

O! man! Ātmā should be perceived (known), heard, thought and meditated.

Brahmanandī, who is referred to as “Vākyakāra”, authored a commentary called “Vākyam” on Chāndogyopaniṣat. He concluded that Jñānam (Vedanam) is Upāsanā (Bhakti / devotion) only – वेदनमुपासनं स्यात्, vedanam upāsanam syāt. Chāndogyopaniṣat 2.4.5. Vāsudeva himself would try to reach the Upāsaka (worshipper) the destination, i.e. Paramātmā and this is stated by Vāsudeva himself –

तेषां सततयुक्तानां भजतां प्रीतिपूर्वकम्।
ददामि बुद्धियोगं तं येन मामुपयान्ति ते॥ भगवद्गीता १॰.१॰॥
पुरुषः स परः पार्थ भक्त्या लभ्यस्त्वनन्यया । भगवद्गीता ८.२२ ab॥
teṣāṃ satatayuktānāṃ bhajatāṃ prītipūrvakam।
dadāmi buddhiyogaṃ taṃ yena māmupayānti te॥ bhagavadgītā 10.10॥
puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha bhaktyā labhyastvananyayā। bhagavadgītā 8.22 ab॥

I would offer the intellect, that is useful to reach me to those who always desire my relation and worship me with love. Arjuna! The Paramapuruṣa (Viṣṇu) can be reached only through such a devotion, that is not there in any other deity.

The Brahma to be known is of what kind? The answer is given in the form of a definition – जन्माद्यस्य यतः, janmādyasya yataḥ (Brahmasūtram 1.1.2) – from which Sṛṣṭi (creation), Sthiti (existence) and Pralaya (destruction) happen.

To put at rest the Ākāṅkṣā (expectancy) – what is the authority in such a Brahma, Bādarāyaṇa offered the third Sūtram – शास्त्रयोनित्वात्, śāstrayonitvāt (Bramhasūtram 1.1.3) – since Brahma has got Veda as authority.

When there is a doubt as to how to decide Brahma through Veda, then Bādarāyaṇa reads the fourth Sūtram – तत्तु समन्वयात्, tattu samanvayāt (Brahmasūtram 1.1.4) – that Brahman is to be understood by construeing the Vedic sentences in proper manner.

Brahmanandī, who is called by the name Vākyakāra, asserted that Bhakti (devotion) is a kind of Jñānam only. Seven factors are enumerated by Brahmanandī for attaining Bhakti –

तल्लब्धिः विवेकविमोकाभ्यासक्रियाकल्याणानवसादानुद्धर्षेभ्यः।
tallabdhiḥ vivekavimokābhyāsakriyākalyāṇānavasādānuddharṣebhyaḥ।

Attainment of that (Bhakti) is through i) Viveka, ii) Vimoka, iii) Abhyāsa, iv) Kriyā, v) Kalyāṇam, vi) Anavasāda and vii) Anuddharṣa

1. Vivekaḥ – Cleansing the mind by consuming pure food.
2. Vimokaḥ – Detachment on worldly things.
3. Abhyāsaḥ – Always having thoughts related to Īśvara
4. Kriyā – Performing the rites prescribed by Veda and Dharmaśāstra
5. Kalyāṇam – Truth, honesty, mercy, donation etc.
6. Anavasādaḥ – Not succumbing to depression (due to worry).
7. Anuddharṣaḥ – Not succumbing to satisfaction (due to comfort).

विशिष्टाद्वैतम् (Viśiṣṭādvaitam)

द्वयोः भावः द्विता, dvayoḥ bhāvaḥ dvitā. The occurrence of two things is Dvitā. The one borne out of Dvitā is Dvaitam. A system / school related to / born out of Dvitā – it means Jñāna and Brahma are different. If it is said that both the things are not different then it is Advaitam. They are different but when they are together then it is Viśiṣṭādvaitam – viśiṣṭam ca viśiṣṭam ca viśiṣṭam, viśiṣṭasya advaitam viśiṣṭādvaitam or viśiṣṭayoḥ advaitam viśiṣṭādvaitam.

Some scholars explain it as – dvaitaviśiṣṭam advaitam viśiṣṭādvaitam – Advaita associated with Dvaita is Viśiṣṭādvaita.

By and large Viśiṣṭādvaita holds that it is Bhakti (Jñānam for Advaita) that is the instrument in getting Mokṣa and the so called Jñānam also means Bhakti. Viṣṇu only is Brahman and he is to be worshipped, i.e. Saguṇopāsanā (worshipping Brahman in the form of Viṣṇu and not Nirguṇopāsanā, i.e. worshipping Brahman without any form as Advaita says) and Mukta (who got Mokṣa) would live with Viṣṇu in Vaikuṇṭham without rebirth. Acit or the universe is a form of Viṣṇu, i.e. Brahman and real (not Mithya / myth as it is projected by Śaṅkarācārya – jagat mithyā brahma satyam).

Bibliography

1. Vedāntadīpam, Rāmānujācārya, (Telugu), Meher Caitanya Niketan Trust, Tapeswaram, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, 1994.
2. Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha, Sāyaṇamādhava, Chowkhamba, Varanasi, 2001.
3. Sarvadarśanasaṃgraha (Telugu), Ācārya P. Srīrāmacandruḍu, Sanatana Supatha Publishers, Bhimunipatnam, AP, 2008.
4. Śrībhāṣyam, Rāmānujācārya, Vedāntadesika Vihārasabhā, 1960.
5. A Compilation of well-known 120 Upaniṣads, Naryana Ram Achaya (Ed.), Nirnay Sagar Press, Bombay, 1948.
6. The Bhagavadgītā with 11 Commentaries, Shastri Gajanana Shambhhu Sadhale (Ed.), Gujarati Printing Press, Bombay, 1935.
7. Nyāyakośa, Bhīmācārya, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institue, Poona, 1978.

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