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THE FOUR SAMPRADAYAS' PHILOSOPHY

COURSE OUTLINE

1. Sampradaya - definition & description of.

2. The brahma-madhva-goudiya sampradaya - the lineage, acaryas &


the books

3. Sad-darsanas (six systems of philosophy) and Catu:sampradayas


a simple,close study.

4. The history of philosophy - The position of Advaita

5. Kumara Sampradya - Sripada Nimbarka

6. -do-

7. Rudra Sampradaya - Sripada Visnuswami

8. -do-

9. Sri Sampradaya - Sripada Ramanuja

10. -do-

11. -do-

12. -do-

13. Brahma Sampradaya - Sripada Madhva

14. -do-

15. -do-

16. -do-
17. Comparison of the philosophy of the four sampradayas

18. Acintya bhedabedha - basic tenets

19. Sambanda - abhideya - prayojana

20. The Prameyas

21. An introduction to Dasamulas

22. Vedanta sutras in their most munificient form - Tattva sutras

23. Question & answer session

24. -do-

List of Quotes for 4 sampradayas paper

3/12/4 - whole purport

4/22/5 - Kumara sampradaya in the purport

4/22/12 - about Nimbarka sampradaya in the purport

4/24/18 - purport , 1st paragraph

4/24/77 - Lord siva and sampradaya

4/28/31 - the whole purport

6/8/42 - Purport: In the Padmapurana....(till end)

CC Adi

1/19 - last two paras of purport

7/101 - verse, purport

CC Madya
25/56 - last para of purport

CC Antya

2/95 - verse, translation & purport

In seperate files, compile referrences on the following subjects from


the books mentioned asunder:

B.G. S.B.
CC

1.Krsna is the SPG- 2 5 5


-text &purport

-excerpt from purport 5 10 10

2.He is omnipotent,i.e., He is
is controller of various
energies -------------do------------------

3.He is the reservoir of bliss


(tastes, eternal relationships) "

4.The jiva is part & parcel "

5.Some jivas are conditioned "

6,Some jivas are liberated "

7.The material existence is


one with and different from
Krsna "

8.Pure devotional service is the


only process for deliverance "

9.The goal of life is Love for


Krsna "

10.Knowledge received through


disciplic succession is the
best evidence (sabda pramana)
compared to sensuous and inference "

LESSON 1 - SAMPRADAYA

In the disciplic succession we simply find repetition of the same subject as they were spoken by Krsna. In the
Bhagavad Gita (9.34) Sri Krsna says:

man mana bhava mad bhakto


madyaji man namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat parayanah
"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances, and worship Me. Being
completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me." These very instructions were reiterated by all the acaryas,
such as Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya and Caitanya Mahaprabhu.(SSR-Who is a Guru)

Just as a king gives protection to his citizens, these devotees, following the principles of devotional service, will
give protection to all the people of the world. The people of the world are very much harassed by so-called
religious-principled svamis, yogis, karmis and jnanis, but none of these can show the right way to become elevated
to the spiritual platform. There are primarily four parties spreading devotional service all over the universe. These
are the Ramanuja-sampradaya, the Madhva-sampradaya, the Visnusvami-sampradaya and the Nimbarka-
sampradaya. The Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya in particular comes from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All these
devotees are spreading this Krsna consciousness movement very widely and giving protection to innocent people
who are being so much embarrassed by pseudo-avataras, -svamis, -yogis and others.
(SB 4/28/32)

In the Padma Purana it is also said, sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah. There are four sampradayas,
or disciplic successions, namely the Brahma-sampradaya, the Rudra-sampradaya, the Sri-sampradaya and the
Kumara-sampradaya. If one wants to advance in spiritual power, one must receive his mantras from one of these
bona fide sampradayas; otherwise he will never successfully advance in spiritual life. (SB 6/8/42)

The devotees of Orissa are called Udiyas, the devotees of Bengal are called Gaudiyas, and the devotees of southern
India are known as Dravidi devotees. As there are five provinces in Aryavarta, so Daksinatya, southern India, is
also divided into five provinces, which are called Panca-dravida. The four Vaisnava acaryas who are the great
authorities of the four Vaisnava disciplic successions, as well as Sripada Sankaracarya of the Mayavada school,
appeared in the Panca-dravida provences. Among the four Vaisnava acaryas, who are all accepted by the Gaudiya
Vaisnavas, Sri Ramanuja Acarya appeared in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh at Mahabhutapuri, Sri Madhva
Acarya appeared at Pajakam (near Vimanagiri) in the district of Myangalore, Sri Visnusvami appeared at Pandya,
and Sri Nimbarka appeared at Mungera-patana in the extreme south.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the chain of disciplic succession from Madhva Acarya, but the Vaisnavas in His
line do not accept the tattva-vadis, who also claim to belong to the Madhva-sampradaya. To distinguish themselves
clearly from the tattva-vadi branch of Madhva's descendants, the Vaisnavas of Bengal prefer to call themselves
Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Sri Madhva Acarya is also known as Sri Gaudapurnananda, and therefore the name Madhva-
Gaudiya-sampradaya is quite suitable for the disciplic succession of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Our spiritual master,
Om Visnupada Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, accepted initiation in the Madhva-Gaudiya-
sampradaya.
(CC ADI 1/19)

As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (4.2): evam parampara praptam imam rajarsayo vidhu: "This supreme science was
thus received through the chain disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way." This
parampara system extends from Manu to Iksvaku and from Iksvaku to his sons and grandsons. The rulers of the
world in the line of hierarchy execute the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the parampara sysem.
Anyone interested in peaceful life must participate in this parampara system and perform yajnas. As Gaudiya
Vaisnavas in the parampara system of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we must perform sankirtana yajna all over the
world (yajnaai sankirtana prayair yajanti hi sumedhasasah)(SB 8.14.6)

arthasrayatvam sabdasya
drastur lingatvam eva ca
tanmatratvam ca nabhaso
laksanaam kavayo viduh

Translation: Persons who are learned and who have knowledge define sound as that which cveys the idea of an
object, indicatesthe presence of a speaker screened from our view and constitutes the subtle form of ether

Purport:...because vedic knowledge was imparted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental to
material creation, it is pefect. If we receive that Vedic knowledge from Brahma in disciplic succession, then we
receive perfect knowledge.
..mental speculators or so called philosophers who are researching what is actually God will never understand the
nature of God. The science of God has to be understood in disciplic succession from Brahma, who was first
instructed about knowledge of God by God Himself.

(SB 3.26.33)

LESSON 2

THE BRAHMA MADHVA GOUDIYA SAMPRADAYA

A summary of the Chapter Nine has been given as follows by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his amrta pravaha
bhasya. In the Nineth Chapter the author of Caitanya Caritamrta has devised a figurative example by describing the
"plant of bhakti" He considers Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is known Visvambhara, tobe the gardener of this
plant because He is the main personality who has taken charge of it. As the Supreme enjoyer, He enjoyed the
flowers Himself and distributed them as well. The seed of the plant was first swn in Navadvipa, the birthsite of
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then the plant was brought to Purusottama ksetra ( Jagannath Puri) and then to
Vrndavana. The seed fructified first in Srila Madhavendra Puri and then his disciple Sri Isvara Puri. It is
figuratively described that both the tree itself and the trunk of the tree are Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The devotees
headed by Paramananda Puri and eight other great sannyasis, are like the spreading roots of the tree. From the main
trunk there extended two special branches, Advaita Prabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu,, and from those branches
grow other branches and twigs. The tree surrounds the entire world, and the folowers of the tree are to be
distributed to everyone. Inthis way the tree of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu intoxicates the entire world. It should be
noted that this is a figurative example meant to explain the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.(CC.Adi Ch.9
introduction)

On the western side were the fortythird, forty fourth and forty fifth branches Sri Sanatana, Sri Rupa and Anupama.
They were the best of all.(CC Adi Ch 10 - 84)

Among these branches, Rupa and Sanatana were principal. Anupama, Jiva Goswami and others, headed by
Rajendra were their sub branches.(CC Adi Ch 10 - 85)

Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswami, the forty sixth branch of the tree, was one of the most dear servants of Lord
Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He left all his material possessions to surrender completely unto the Lord and live at His
lotus feet. (Adi.10-91)

Srila Gopala Bhatta Goswami, the forty seventh branch, was one of the great and exalted branches of the tree. He
always engaged in discourses about love of Godhead in the company of Rupa Goswami and Sanatana
Goswami.(CC Adi Ch 10 - 105)

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed at the house of Tapana Misra, Raghunatha Bhatta who was then a boy,
washed His dishes and massaged His legs.

While he stayed with Srila Rupa Goswami, his engagement was to recite Srimad Bhagavatam for him to hear. As a
result of this Bhagavatam recitation, he attained perfectional love of Krsna, by which he remained always
maddened.(CC Adi Ch 10 - 155,158)

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is none other then the combined form of Sri Radha and Krsna. He is the life of all those
devotees who strictly follow in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Goswami. Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Sanatana
Goswami are the two principle followers of Srila Swarupa Damodara Goswami, who acted as the most confidential
servitor of Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, known as Visvambhara in His early life. The author of Sri
Caitanya Caritamrta Srila Krsna das Kaviraj Goswami is a direct disciple of Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila
Raghunatha dasa Goswami.

The direct disciple of Srila Krsna dasa Kaviraja Goswami was Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who accepted Srila
Visvanatha Chakravarti as his servitor. Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti thakura accepted Sri Jagannatha dasa babaji,
who initiated Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who in turn initiated Srila Gourakisora das Babaji the spiritual master of
Om Visnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, the divine master of our humble self.
(CC adi Ch 1 introduction)

Rupa Goswami:

Bhakti rasamrta sindhu

Sanatana Goswami:

Hari Bhakti Vilasa

Jiva Goswami:

Hari namamrta Vyakarana, Gopala champu,

Krama, tattva, Bhagavat, Paramatma, Krsna, Bhakti & Priti


sandarbhas

Gopala Bhatta Goswami

Sat kriya sara dipika

LESSON 3

SIX DARSANS OF FOUR SAMPRADAYAS

Madhya-lila, Chapter 25

TEXT 49

yei grantha-karta cahe sva-mata sthapite


sastrera sahaja artha nahe tanha haite

TRANSLATION

"Anyone who wants to establish his own opinion or philosophy certainly cannot explain any scripture according
to the principle of direct interpretation.

TEXT 50

mimamsaka kahe -- isvara haya karmera anga


sankhya kahe -- jagatera prakrti karana-prasanga

TRANSLATION

"The Mimamsaka philosophers conclude that if there is a God, He is subjected to our fruitive activities.
Similarly, the Sankhya philosophers who analyze the cosmic manifestation say that the cause of the cosmos is
material nature.
TEXT 51

nyaya kahe -- paramanu haite visva haya


mayavadi nirvisesa-brahme hetu kaya

TRANSLATION

"The followers of nyaya, the philosophy of logic, maintain that the atom is the cause of the cosmic
manifestation, and the Mayavadi philosophers maintain that the impersonal Brahman effulgence is the cause of
the cosmic manifestation.

TEXT 52

patanjala kahe -- isvara haya svarupa-jnana


veda-mate kahe tanre svayam-bhagavan

TRANSLATION

"The Patanjala philosophers say that when one is self-realized, he understands the Lord. Similarly, according to
the Vedas and Vedic principles, the original cause is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

TEXT 53

chayera chaya mata vyasa kaila avartana


sei saba sutra lana vedanta-varnana

TRANSLATION

"After studying the six philosophical theses, Vyasadeva completely summarized them all in the codes of Vedanta
philosophy.

TEXT 54

vedanta-mate -- brahma sakara nirupana


nirguna vyatireke tinho haya ta saguna

TRANSLATION

"According to Vedanta philosophy, the Absolute Truth is a person. When the word nirguna [without qualities] is
used, it is to be understood that the Lord has attributes that are totally spiritual.

TEXT 55

parama karana isvara keha nahi mane


sva-sva-mata sthape para-matera khandane

TRANSLATION
"Of the philosophers mentioned, none really cares for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all
causes. They are always busy refuting the philosophical theories of others and establishing their own.

TEXT 56

tate chaya darsana haite tattva nahi jani


mahajana yei kahe sei satya mani

TRANSLATION

"By studying the six philosophical theories, one cannot reach the Absolute Truth. It is therefore our duty to
follow the path of the mahajanas, the authorities. Whatever they say should be accepted as the supreme truth.

PURPORT

In his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives the following summary of the six philosophical
porcesses. Prakasananda admitted that Sripad Sankaracarya, being very eager to establish his philosophy of
monism, took shelter of the Vedanta philosophy and tried to explain it in his own way. The fact is, however, that
if one accepts the existence of God, he certainly cannot establish the theory of monism. For this reason
Sankaracarya refuted all kinds of Vedic literature that establishes the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead.
In various ways, Sankaracarya has tried to refute Vedic literature. Throughout the world, ninety-nine percent of
the philosophers following in the footsteps of Sankaracarya refuse to accept the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. Instead they try to establish their own opinions. It is typical of mundane philosophers to want to
establish their own opinions and refute those of others. Therefore: (1) The Mimamsaka philosophers, following
the principles of Jaimini, stress fruitive activity and say that if there is a God, He must be under the laws of
fruitive activity. In other words, if one performs his duties very nicely in the material world, God is obliged to
give one the desired result. According to these philosophers, there is no need to become a devotee of God. If
one strictly follows moral principles, one will be recognized by the Lord, who will give the desired reward.
Such philosophers do not accept the Vedic principle of bhakti-yoga. Instead, they give stress to following one's
prescribed duty. (2) Atheistic Sankhya philosophers like Kapila analyze the material elements very
scrutinizingly and therby come to the conclusion that material nature is the cause of everything. They do not
accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the cause of all causes. (3) Nyaya philosophers like Gautama and
Kanada have accepted a combination of atoms as the original cause of the creation. (4) Mayavadi philosophers
say that everything is an illusion. Headed by philosophers like Astavakra, they stress the impersonal Brahman
effulgence as the cause of everything. (5) Philosophers following the precepts of Patanjali practice raja-yoga.
They imagine a form of the Absolute Truth within many forms. That is their process of self-realization.

All five of these philosophies completely reject the predominance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and
stive to establish their own philosophical theories. However, Srila Vyasadeva wrote the Vedanta-sutra and,
taking the essence of all Vedic literature, established the supremacy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All
five of the philosophers mentioned above understand that impersonal Brahman is without material qualities, and
they believe that when the Personality of Godhead appears, He is contaminated and covered by the material
qualities. The technical term used is saguna. They say, "saguna Brahman" and "nirguna Brahman". Nirguna
Brahman means impersonal, and saguna Brahman means "accepting material contamination." More or less, this
kind of philosophical speculation is called Mayavada philosophy. The fact is, however, that the Absolute Truth
has nothing to do with material qualities because He is transcendental. He is always complete with full spiritual
qualities. The five philosophers mentioned above do not accept Lord Visnu as the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, but they are very busy refuting the philosophy of other schools. There are six kinds of philosophical
processes in India. Vecause Vyasadeva is the Vedic authority, he is known as Vedavyasa. His philosophical
explanation of the Vedanta-sutra is accepted by the devotees. As Krsna confirms in Bhagavad-gita (15.15):

sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto


mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
vadais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham

"I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the
Vedas, I am to be known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas."

The ultimate goal of studying all Vedic literature is the acceptance of Krsna as the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. This Krsna consciousness movement is propagating the philosophical conclusion of Srila Vyasadeva
and following other great acaryas like Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbarka and Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu Himself.

TEXT 57

tarko pratisthah srutayo vibhinna


nasav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam
dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam
mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

TRANSLATION

"'Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not
considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path
by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an
unadulterated self-realized person. Consequently, as the sastras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive
path the mahajanas advocate.'

PURPORT

This is a verse spoken by Yudhisira Maharaja in the Mahabharata, Vana-parva (313.117).

TEXT 58

sri-krsna-caitanya-vani -- amrtera dhara


tinho ye kahaye vastu sei tattva -- sara

TRANSLATION

"The words of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are a shower of nectar. Whatever He concludes to be the ultimate truth
is indeed the summum bonum of all spiritual knowledge."

TEXT 92

tanra sutrera artha kona jiva nahi jane


ataeva apane sutrartha kariyache vyakhyane

TRANSLATION

"The purpose of the Vedanta-sutra is very difficult for an ordinary person to understand, but Vyasadeva, out of
his causeless mercy, has personally explained the meaning.

TEXT 93

yei sutra-karta, se yadi karaye vyakhyana


tabe sutrera mula artha lokera haya jnana

TRANSLATION

"If the Vedanta-sutra is explained by Vyasadeva himself, who has written it, its original meaning can be
understood by the people in general.
TEXT 94

pranavera yei artha, gayatrite se haya


sei artha catuh-slokite vivariya kaya

TRANSLATION

"The meaning of the sound vibration omkara is present in the Gayatri mantra. The same is elaborately explained
in the four slokas of Srimad-Bhagavatam known as catuh-sloki.

TEXT 95

brahmare isvara catuh-sloki ye kahila


brahma narade sei upadesa kaila

TRANSLATION

"Whatever was spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to Lord Brahma in the four verses of Srimad-
Bhagavatam, was also explained to Narada by Lord Brahma.

TEXT 96

narada sei artha vyasere kahila


suni veda-vyasa mane vicara karila

TRANSLATION

"Whatever Lord Brahma told Narada Muni was again explained by Narada Muni to Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva later
considered these instructions in his mind.

TEXT 97

ei artha -- amara sutrera vyakhyanurupa


bhagavata klariba sutrera bhasya-svarupa

TRANSLATION

"Srila Vyasadeva considered that whatever he had received from Narada Muni as an explanation of omkara he
would elaborately explain in his book Srimad-Bhagavatam as a commentary on Brahma-sutra.

TEXT 98

cari-veda-upanisade yata kichu haya


tara artha lana vyas karila sancaya

TRANSLATION

"Vyasadeva collected whatever Vedic conclusions were in the four Vedas and 108 Upanisads and placed them in
the codes of the Vedanta-sutra.

TEXT 99

yei sutre yei rk -- visay-vacana


bhagavate sei rk sloke nibandhana

TRANSLATION

"In Vedanta-sutra, the purpose of all Vedic knowledge is explained, and in Srimad-Bhagavatam the same purpose
has been explained in eighteen thousand verses.
TEXT 100

ataeva brahma-sutrera bhasya -- sr-bhagavata


bhagavata-sloka upanisat kahe eka mata

TRANSLATION

"That which is explained in the verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam and in the Upanisads serves the same purpose.

TEXT 34

sruti-purana kahe -- krsnera cic-chakti-vilasa


taha nahi mani pandita kare upahasa

TRANSLATION

"Vedic literatures, the Upanisads, the Brahma-sutra and the Puranas all describe the activities of the spiritual
potency of the Lord. If one cannot accept the personal activities of the Lord, he jokes foolishly and gives an
impersonal description.

TEXT 35

cid-ananda krsna-vigraha mayika kari mani


ei bada papa -- satya caitanyera vani

TRANSLATION

"The Mayavadis do not recognize the personal form of the Lord as spiritual and full of bliss. This is a great sin.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's statements are actually factual.

PURPORT

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement especially aims at defeating the Mayavada conclusion about the Absolute
Truth. Since the memebers of the Mayavada school cannot understand the spiritual form of the Lord, they
incorrectly think the Lord's form is also made of material energy. They think that HE is covered by a material
body just like other living beings. Due to this offensive understanding, they cannot recognize that Sri Krsna's
personal form is transcendental, not material. Their conclusion is a great offense at the lotus feet of the Lord. As
explained by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Krsna has His eternal, blissful form that is full of knowledge, and all
Vaisnava acaryas accept this. That is the proper understanding of the Absolute Truth.

TEXT 41

sutrera parinama-vada taha na maniya


vivarta-vada sthape vyasa bhranta baliya

TRANSLATION

"Not accepting the transformation of energy, Sripad Sankaracarya has tried to establish the theory of illusion
under the plea that Vyasadeva has made a mistake.

Adi-lila, Chapter 7

TEXT 106
prabhu kahe, vedanta-sutra isvara-vacana
vyasa-rupe kaila yaha sri-narayana

PURPORT

Srila Vyasadeva, the powerful incarnation of Narayana, compiled Vedanta-sutra, and in order to protect it from
unauthorized commentaries, he personally composed Srimad-Bhagavatam on the instruction of his spiritual
master, Narada Muni, as athe original commentary on Vedanta-sutra. Besides Srimad-Bhagavatam, there are
commentaries on the Vedanta-sutra composed by all the major Vaisnava acaryas, and in each of them devotional
service to the Lord is described very explicitly. Only those who follow Sankara's commentary have described
Vedanta-sutra in an impersonal way, without reference to Visnu-bhakti, or devotional service to the Lord, Visnu.
Generally people very much appreciate this Sariraka-bhasya or impersonal description of the Vedanta-sutra, but
all commentaries which are devoid of devotional
ervice to Lord Visnu must be considered to differ in purpose from the original Vedanta-sutra. In other words,
Lord Caitanya definitely confirmed that the commentaries or bhasyas written by the Vaisnava acaryas on the
basis of devotional service to Lord Visnu, and not the Sariraka-bhasya of Sankaracarya, give the actual
explanation of Vedanta-sutra.

TEXT 110

tanhara nahika dosa isvara-ajna pana


gaunartha karila mukhya artha acchadiya

TRANSLATION

"Sankaracarya is not at fault, for he has thus covered the real purpose of the Vedas under the order of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead.

PURPORT

The purpose of the discussion in the Upanisads and Vedanta-sutra is to philosopically establish the personal
feature of the Aboslute Truth. The impersonalists, however, in order to establish their philosophy, accept these
discussions in terms of laksana-vrtti, or indirect meanings. Thus instead of being tattva-vada, or in search of the
Absolute Truth, they become Mayavada, or illusioned by the material energy. When Sri Visnusvami, one of the
four acaryas of the Vaisnava cult, presented his thesis on the subject matter of suddhadvaita-vada, immediately
the Mayavadis took advantage of this philosophy and tried to establish their advaita-vada or kevaladvaita-vada.
To defeat this kevaladvaita-vada Sri Ramanujacarya presented his philosophy as visistadvaita-vada, and Sri
Madhvacarya presented his philosophy of tattva-vada, both of which are stumbling blocks to the Mayavadis
because they defeat their philosophy in scrupulous detail. Students of Vedic philosophy know very well how
strongly Sri Ramanujacarya's visistadvaita-vada and Sri Madhvacarya's tattva-vada contest the impersonal
Mayavada philosophy. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, accepted the direct meaning of the Vedanta
philosophy and thus defeated the Mayavada philosophy immediately. He opined in this connection that anyone
who follows the principles of the Sariraka-bhasya is doomed.
LESSON 4

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY AND SANKARA

Excerpts from "Teachings of Lord Caitanya."

P. 209

According to Mayavadi philosophers, Vedanta refers to the Sariraka commentary of Sankaracarya. When
impersoanl philosophers refer to Vedanta and the Upanisads, they are actually referring to the commentaries of
Sankaracarya, the greatest teacher of Mayavadi philosophy. After Sankaracarya came Sadananda-yogi, who
claimed that the Vedanta and Upanisads should be understood through the commentaries of Sankaracarya.
Factually this is not so. There are many commenatries on Vedanta and the Upanisads made by the Vaisnava
acaryas, and these are preferred to those of Sankaracarya. However, the Mayavadi philosophers influenced by
Sankaracarya do not attribute any importance to the Vaisnava understandings.

There are four different sects of Vaisnava acaryas - the Suddhadvaita, Visistadvaita, Dvaitadvaita and Acintya-
bhedabheda. All the Vaisnava acaryas in these schools have written commentaries on the Vedanta-sutra, but the
Mayavadi philosophers do not recognize them. The Mayavadis distinguish between Krsna and Krsna's body,
and therefore they do no recognize the worship of Krsna by the Vaisnava philosophers.

P. 212

Lord Caitanya admitted that Sankaracarya was an incarnation of Lord Siva, and it is known that Lord Siva is one
of the greatest devotees (a mahajana) of the Bhagavata school. There are twelve great authorities on devotional
service, and Lord Siva is one of them. Why, then, did he adopt the process of Mayavadi philosophy? The
answer is given in Padma Purana, where Lord Siva states:

mayavadam asac-chastram
pracchannam bauddham ucyate
mayaiva kalpitam devi
kalau brahmana-rupina

"The Mayavadi philosophy is veiled Buddhism." In other words, the voidist philosophy of Bhuddha is more or
less repeated in the Mayavadi philosophy of impersonalism, although the Mayavadi philosophy claims to be
directed by the Vedic conclusions. Lord Siva, however, admits that this philosophy is manufactured by him in
the age of Kali in order to mislead the atheists. "Actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead has His
transcendental body," Lord Siva states. "But I describe the Supreme as impersonal. I also explain the Vedanta-
sutra according to the same principle of Mayavadi philosophy."

In the Siva Purana the Supreme Lord says:

dvaparadau yuge bhutva


kalaya manusadisu
svagamaih kalpitais tvam ca
janan mad-vimukhan kuru

"In the beginning of the Dvapara-yuga, directed by My orders, many sages will bewilder the people in general
by Mayavadi philosophy."
In the Padma Purana Lord Siva personally tells Bhagavatidevi:

srnu devi paraksyami


tamasani yatha-kramam
yesam sravana-matrena
patityam jnaninam api

apartham sruti-vakyanam
darsayal loka-garhitam
karma-svarupa-tyajyatvam
atra ca pratipadyate

sarva-karma-paribhramsan
naiskarmyam tatra cocyate
paratma-jivayor aikyam
mayatra pratipadyate

"My dear Devi, sometimes I teach Mayavadi philosophy for those who are engrossed in the mode of ignorance.
But if a person in the mode of goodness happens to hear this Mayavadi philosophy, he falls down, for when
teaching Mayavadi philosophy, I say that the living entity and the Supreme Lord are one and the same."
Sadananda-yogi, one of the greatest Mayavadi acaryas, has written in his book, Vedanta-sara: "The Absolute
Truth of eternity, knowledge and bliss is Brahman. Ignorance and all products of ignorance are non-Brahman.
All products of the three modes of material nature are covered by ignorance, and all are different from the
supreme cause and effect. This ignorance is manifested in a collective and individual sense. Collective
ignorance is called visuddha-sattva-pradhana. When that visuddha-sattva-pradhana is manifest within the
ignorance of material nature, it is called the Lord, and the Lord manifests all kinds of ignorance. Therefore He is
known as sarvajna." Thus according to Mayavadi philosophy, the Lord is a product of this material nature, and
the living entity is in the lowest stage of ignorance. That is the sum and substance of Mayavadi philosophy.

If, however, we accept the import of the Upanisads directly, it is clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead
is a person with unlimited potency. For example, in the Svetasvatara Upanisad it is stated that the Supreme
Personality of Godhead is the origin of everything and that He has multiple potencies. The Supreme Personality
of Godhead is transcendental to the cosmic manifestation. He is he origin of all religion, the supreme deliverer
and the possessor of all opulences. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is just like the sun, profusely
distributes His energies while situated beyond the cloud of this material cosmic manifestation. He is the master
of masters and He is the Supreme of the supremes. He is known as the greatest Lord, the Personality of
Godhead. His energies and potencies are multiple and variously distributed. It is also stated that Visnu is the
Supreme and that ssaintly persons are always anxious to see His lotus feet (Rg Veda 1.22.20). In the Aitareya
Upanisad it is also stated that the cosmic manifestation came about when the Lord glanced over material nature
(1.1.1-2). This is also verified by the Prasna Upanisad (6.3)

In the negative descriptions of the Lord which occur in Vedic literature (as in apani-padah) there are indications
that the Lord has no material body and no material form. However, He does have His spiritual transcendental
body and His transcendental form. Because the Mayavadi philosophers misunderstand His transcendental
nature, they explain Him as impersonal. The Lord's name form, quality, entourage and abode are all in the
transcendental world. How can he be a transformation of this material nature? Everything connected with the
Supreme Lord is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge.

In effect, Sankaracarya preached Mayavadi philosophy in order to bewilder a certain type of atheist. Actually he
never considered the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, to be impersonal or to have no body or form. It
is best for intelligent persons to aviod lectures on Mayavadi philosophy. We should understand that the Supreme
Personality of Godhead Visnu is not impersonal. He is a transcendental person, and the basic principle of the
cosmic manifestation is His energy. Mayavadi philosophy cannot trace the energy of the Supreme Lord, but all
Vedic literatures give evidence of the Supreme Lord's various energetic manifestations. Visnu is not a product of
material nature, but material nature is a product of Visnu's potency. The Mayavadi philosophers understand
Visnu to be a product of material nature, but if Visnu is a product of material nature, He can only be counted
amongst the demigods. One who considers Visnu to be a demigod is certainly mistaken and misled. How this is
so is explained in Bhagavad-gita: "Deluded by the three modes, the whole world does not know Me who am
above the modes and inexhaustible. This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material
nature, is difficult to overcome, but those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it." (Bg. 7.13-
14)

P. 221

When explaining the first aphorism of the Vedanta-sutra, Sankara most unceremoniously tried to explain that
Brahman, or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is impersonal. He also cunningly tried to switch the doctrine of by-
product into the doctrine of change. For the supreme Absolute Truth, there is no change. It is simply that a by-
product results from His inconceivable powers of action. In other words a relative truth is produced, out of the
Supreme Truth. The Supreme Absolute Truth, Brahman, is immutable, and when we find a by-product - the
living entity or this cosmic manifestation - it is a transformation, or a by-product of the Supreme. It is like milk
being transformed into yogurt. In this way, if we study the living entities in the cosmic manifestation, it will
appear that they are not different from the original Absolute Truth, but from Vedic literatures we understand that
the Absolute Truth has varieties of energy and that the living entities and the cosmic manistation are but a
demonstration of His energies. The energies are not separate from the energetic; therefore the living entity and
cosmic maniestation are inseparable truths, part of the Absolute Truth. Such a conclusion regarding the Absolute
Truth and the relative truth should be acceptable to any sane man.

The Supreme Absolute Truth has His inconceivable potency, out of which this cosmos has been manifested. In
other words, the Supreme Absolute Truth is the ingredient, and the living entity and cosmic manifestation are the
by-products. In the Taittriya Upanisad it is clearly stated, yato va imani bhutani
jayante: "The Absolute Truth is the original reservoir of all ingredients, and this material world and its living
entities are produced from those ingredients."
Unintelligent persons who cannot understand this doctrine of by products cannot grasp how the cosmic
manifestation and the living entity are simultaneously one and different from the Absolute Truth. Not
understanding this, one concludes, out of fear, that this cosmic manifestation and the living entity are false.

P. 222

The sun has been producing unlimited energy from time immemorial, and so many by-products result from the
sun; yet there is no change in the heat and temperature of the sun itself. Despite its being a material product, if
the sun can maintain its original temperature and yet produce so many by-products, is it difficult for the Supreme
Absolute Truth to remain unchanged in spite of producing so many by-products by His inconceivable energy?
Thus there is no question of transformation as far as the Supreme Absolute Truth is concerned.

In Vedic literatures there is information of a material product called "touchstone" which simply by touch can
transform iron into gold. The touchstone can produce an unlimited quantity of gold and yet remain the same.
Only in the state of ignorance can one accept the Mayavadi conclusion that this cosmic manifestation and the
living entities are false or illusory. No sane man would impose ignorance and illusion upon the Supreme
Absolute Truth, who is absolute in everything. There is no possibility of change, ignorance or illusion being in
Him. The Supreme Brahman is transcendental and completely different from all material conceptions. In the
Supreme Absolute Truth there is every possible inconceivable energy existing. In the Svetasvatara Upanisad it
is stated that the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead is full of inconceivable energies and that on one else
possesses such energies.

By misunderstanding the inconceivable energies of the Supreme, one may falsely conclude that the Supreme
Absolute Truth is impersonal. Such a deluded conclusion is experienced by a living being when he is in an acute
stage of disease. In Srimad-Bhagavatam also there are statements to the effect that the supreme atma, the Lord,
has inconceivable and innumerable potencies. (Bhag. 3.33.3) It is also stated in Brahma-sutra that the supreme
spirit has many variegated and inconceivable energies. Nor should one think that there is any possibility of
ignorance existing in the Absolute Truth. Ignorance and knowledge are conceptions in this world of duality, but
in the Absolute there is no duality. It is simply foolishness to consider that the Absolute is covered by ignorance.
If the Absolute Truth can possibly be covered by ignorance, how can it be said to be Absolute? Understanding
the inconceivability of the Absolute is the only solution to the question of duality. This is because duality arises
from the inconceivable energy of the Absolute. By His inconceivable energies, the Supreme Absolute Truth can
remain unchanged and yet produce this cosmic manifestation with all its living entities, just as touchstone can
produce unlimited quantities of gold and yet remain unchanged. Because the Absolute Truth has such
inconceivable energies, the material quality of ignorance cannot pertain to Him. The true variegatedness which
exists in the Absolute Truth is a product of His inconceivable energy. Indeed, it can be safely concluded that this
cosmic manifestation is but a by-product of His inconceivable energies. Once we accept the inconceivable
energies of the Supreme Lord, we will find that there is no duality at all. The expansion of the energy of the
Supreme Lord is as true as the Supreme Lord. As far as the manifestation of the Supreme energy is concerned,
there is no question of transformation. The same example can be cited: in spite of producing unlimited quantities
of gold, the touchstone remains the same. We therefore hear same sages say that the Supreme is the ingredient or
cause of this cosmic manifestation.

P. 224

Thus this cosmic manifestation is not false, as Sankaracarya maintains. Actually there is nothing false here. The
Mayavadis say that this world is false because of their ignorance. It is the conclusion of Vaisnava philosophy
that this cosmic manifestation is a by-product of the inconceivable energies of the Supreme Lord.

P. 225

Sripada Sankaracarya has inceremoniously obscured the Krsna consciousness described in the Purusa-vedanta-
sutra by manufacturing an indirect interpretation and abandoning the direct interpretation. Unless we take all the
statements of Vedanta-sutra as self-evident, there is no point in studying Vedanta-sutra. Interpreting the verses
of Vedanta-sutra according to one's own whim is the greatest disservice to the self-evident Vedas.

P. 211
Actually in the first two chapter of Vedanta-sutra the relationship between the living entities and the Supreme
Lord is explained, and in the Third Chapter the discharge of devotional service is explained. The Fourth Chapter
deals with the relationship which results from discharging devotional service. The natural commentary on
Vedanta-sutra is Srimad-Bhagavatam. The great acaryas of the four Vaisnava communities (sampradayas) -
namely, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami and Nimbarka - have also written commnetaries on
Vedanta-sutra by following the principles of Srimad-Bhagavatam. At present the followers of all the acaryas
have written many books following the principles of Srimad-Bhagavatam as the commentary on the Vedanta.
Sankara's commentary on Vedanta-sutra, known as Sariraka-bhasya, is very much adored by the impersonalist
scholars, but commentaries written on the Vedanta written from the materialistic point of view are completely
adverse to the transcendental service of the Lord. Consequently Lord Caitanya said that direct commentaries on
the Upanisads and Vedanta-sutra are glorious, but that anyone who follows the indirect path of Sankaracarya's
Sariraka-bhasya is certainly doomed.

LESSON - 5

DVITADVAITA OF NIMBARKA
INTRODUCTION:-

Nimbarka's philosophical position is known as `Dvaita-advaita' or `Bhedabheda'. The


categories of existence, according to him, are three, i.e., `Cit', `Acit', and `Isvara'. Cit and
Acit are different from Isvara, in the sense that they have attributes and capacities, which
are different from those of Isvara. Isvara is independent and exists by Himself, while Cit
and Acit have existence dependent upon Him. At the same time Cit and Acit are not
different from Isvara, because they cannot exist independently of Him. Difference means
a kind of existence which is separate but dependent, (`para-tantra-satta-bhava') while
non-difference means impossibility of independent existence (`svatantra-satta-bhava').
Thus Nimbarka equally emphasises both difference and non-difference, as against
Ramanuja, who makes difference subordinate to non-difference, in as much as, for him Cit
and Acit do not exist separately from Brahman, but its body or attributes. Thus, according
to Nimbarka, the relation between Brahman, on the one hand, and the souls (`cit') and
universe (`acit') on the other, is a relation of natural difference-non-difference
(`Svabhavika-bhedabheda'), just like between snake and coil, or between sun and its
rays. Just as the coil is nothing nut the snake, yet different from it, just as the different
kinds of stones, though nothing but earth, are yet different from it, so the souls and the
universe, though nothing but Brahman (`brahmatmaka'), are different from Him because
of their own peculiar natures and attributes.

Thus, according to Nimbarka, there are three equally real and co-eternal realities, viz.
Brahman, the cit and the acit. Brahman is the Controller (`Niyantr'), the `cit' the enjoyer
(`bhoktr') and the `acit' the object enjoyed (`bhogya').

Nimbarka accepts `parainamavada' to explain the cause of animate and inanimate


world, which he says exist in a subtle form in the various capacities (`saktis') which
belong to Brahman in its natural conditon. Brahman is the material cause of the universe
in the sense that Brahman brings the subtle rudiments into the gross form by manifesting
these capacities.

For Nimbarka the highest object of worship is Krsna and his consort Radha, attended by
thousands of Gopis, or cowherdesses, of the celestial Vrndavana. Devotion according to
Nimbarka, consists in `prapatti', or self-surrender.

DEFINITIONS:

1.BRAHMAN:-
The Highest Reality, according to Nimbarka, is Brahman, Krsna or Hari, a personal
God. There is nothing that is equal to Him, nothing that is superiou. He is the Lord of all,
and Controller of all. He is called `Brahman' because of the unsurpassed greatness of His
nature and qualities, because He is beyond any limit of any kind of space, time or thing.

Brahman is the sole cause of creation, maintenance and destruction of the Universe. All
beings arise from Him, nothing that is superior to Him. The Lord alone is the First cause,
the manifestor of all names and forms, and none else.

This Brahman is both the `Upadana' (material cause) and the `Nimitta' (efficient cause).
It is the material cause in the sense that it enables its natural `Saktis', viz. the cit and the
acit in their subtle forms, to be manifested in gross forms; and it is the efficient cause in
the sense that it unites the individual souls with their respective fruits of actions and
means of enjoyments.

Nimbarka discusses two aspects of Brahman. On one hand, Brahman is eternal and
great, the greatest of the great, the Highest of the high,-the Creator, etc. of the Universe,
high above the individual soul, of which He is the Lord and the Ruler. But, on the other
aspect He is the abode of infinite beauty, bliss and tenderness, and in intimate
connection with the soul. He is the abode of supreme peace, supreme grace, and the
ocean of all sweetness and charms.

Thus, Brahman possessed of attributes and adorable by all, has four forms or `vyuhas'
(ie., Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha) and appears under various
incarnation as Matsya, Kurma etc.

2. JIVA (CIT):

The cit or individual sol is of the nature of knowledge (`Jnana-svarupa); it is able to


know withoutr the help of the sense-organs and it is in this sense that words like
`Prajnana-ghanah' `Svayamjyotih' `Jnanamayah'
etc. as appleid to Jiva are to be understood. The Jiva is the knower also; and he can be
both knowledge and the possessor of knowledge at the same time, just as the sun is both
light and the source of light. Thus the soul, who is knowledge, and his attribute,
knowledge, though they are both identical as knowledge, can be at the same time
different and related as the qualified (`dharmin') and the quality (`dharma'), just as the
sun and his light, though identical as light (`taijasa'), are still different from each other.
Ths there is both a difference and a non-differnce between the `dharmin' and `dharma';
and the extreme similarity between them implies, not necessarily their absolute identity,
but only a non-perception of their difference.

The Jiva is also Ego (`ahamarthah'). This Ego continues to persist not only in the state of
deep sleep, (because our consciousness immediately after getting up from sleep has the
form `I slept happily' or `I knew nothing') but also in the state of liberation. It even
belongs to the Parabrahman. Hence it is that krsna refers to Himself so frequently in the
first person in the Gita, of which the chief object is thus Purusottama, who is omniscient
and at the same time non-different from the Ego or `Asmadartha'.

The Jiva also essentially active (`kartr'). This quality belongs to it in all its conditions,
even after release. But the `kartrtva' is not independent. The Jiva is also enjoyer
(`bhoktr') essentially in all its conditions.

For his knowledge and activity, however, the Jiva depends on Hari; thus, though
resembling Him in being intelligent and knower, he is at the same time distinguished from
him by his dependence. This quality of dependence or of being controlled (`Niyamyatva')
is the very nature of Jiva even in the state of release, just as `Niyamyatva' or the quality
of being the controller, forms the eternal nature of Isvara.
The Jiva is atomic in size; at the same time his attribute, knowakedge, is omni-present,
which makes it possible that he can experience pleasure and pain in any part of the body,
just as, for instance, the light of a lamp can spread far and wide and illumine objects
away from the lamp. The Jivas are different and in different bodies, and so are infinite in
number.

3. ACIT: THE JAGAT:

The `acit' os of three different kinds: viz. `prakrta', `aprakrta', and `kala'. Prakrta, or
what is derived from Prakrti, the primal matter, Aprakrta is defined negatively as that
which is not the product of Prakrti, but its real nature is not clearly brought out. These
three categories in their subtle forms are as eternal as the `cit' or the individual souls.
[ Nimbarka does not explain what exactly the `aprakrta' is, nor does he define `kala'
more precisely, beyond noticing, as pointed out above, that the `aprakrta' and the `kala'
are species of the `acit'. But, Purusottamacarya of the Nimbarka school has, in his
`Vedantaratna-manjusa', described `acit aprakrta' as the material cause of the `dham'
(celestial abode) of Brahman and the bodies and ornaments etc. of Brahman and his
associates]

Prakrti, or the primal matter-the stuff of the entire universe is real and eternal like the
individual souls, and like tem, though eternal and unborn, has yet Brahman for its cause.
It consists of the three qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas, such as prakrit, mahat,
ahamkara etc. (just similar to 24 principles of the Samkhyas).

4. BONDAGE:

The Jiva has his true form distorted and obscured owing to his contact with `karma'
resulting from ignorance, which is beginningless, but which can come to an end, by the
grace of God, when its true nature is fully manifested.

5. MUKTI:

To attain deleverance, the Jiva has to commence with a xomplete submission to the
Paramatman, or `prapatti', whoxe six constituents are:-

a) a resolution to yield (`anukulasya samkalpah')


b) the avoidance of opposition (`pratikulasya varjanam')
c) faith that God will protect (`raksisyati ity visvasah')
d) acceptance of him as saaviour (`goptrtva-varanam')
e) throwing one's whole soul upon him (`atmaniksepah') and
f) a sense of helplessness (`karpanya').

God's grace extends itself to those who are possessed of these 6 constituents of
`prapatti', i.e., who are `prapanna'; and by that grace is generated `bhakti' consisting of
special live for him, which ultimately ends in the realisation (`saksatkara') of the
Paramatman. For a devotee knowledge of the following 5 things is quite necessary:-

a) the nature of the supreme soul'


b) the nature of the individual soul,
c) the fruit of God's grace or Moksa'(which is an uninterrupted realisation of the nature
and attributes of Brahman, following from the absolute destruction of all action and
the conscquent extinction of all nescience),
d) the feeling of enjoyment consequent on Bhakti and
e) the nature of the obstacles in the way of the attainment of GOd, such as
regarding the body and the mind as the soul, depending on someone who is
neither God nor the preceptor, neglecting their commands, and considering God as
nothing more than an ordinary being.

Sri Nimbarka also refers to 4 other methods of Sadhanas: viz.

(i) `karma' (performed conscientiously in a proper spirit, with one's varna and ashrama
thereby giving rise to knowledge which is a means to salvation),
(ii)`vidya' or knowledge (not as a subordinate factor of karma but as n independent
means),
(iii) `Upasana' or `Dhyana' (3 kinds)
(a) meditation on the Lord as one's self, i.e. meditation on the
Lord as the Inner Controller of the sentient,
(b) meditation on the Lord as the Inner Controller of the non-
sentient,
(c) meditation on Lord Himself, as different from the sentient and
non-sentient.
(iv) `gurupasatti' (devotion and self surrender to Guru).

LESSON 6

SUDDHADVAITA OF VALLABHACARYA

Introduction:

Suddhadvaita means the non-duality of Brahman which is pure, free from `maya'. Thus the Jiva and acit are
essentially the same as Brahman, without involving the idea of Maya. According to Sankara, for instance,
Brahman creates this world only when it is conditioned by illussion, Maya; but according to Vallabha, it is
Brahman, pure without any connection to illussion, that creates the world.

Source Of Knowledge:

The highest authority is Veda in the system of Vallabhas's philosophy. For metaphysical teachings he accepts
the authority of Upanisads. He accepts Smrtis only if they agree with the Vedas like Manu's book of law. From
philosophical sutras, only the sutras composed by Krsna in His incarnation as Vyasa are worthy of importance.
For the same reason he accepts Mahabharata. Srimad Bhagavad Gita possesses unique significance in his
philosopy. The Ramayan possesses full authority, because Valmiki composed it in `Samadhi bhasa'. Puranas form
a needful supplement to Sruti and Smrti; if the latter are like eyes, then the former is like the heart for
knowledge.
The Bhagavata is the highest means of help for salvation, because it calls forth the love for Krsna, which
warrants welfare; and brings us to maturity. No other book is so highly valued by Vallabha.

The works of Pancaratra are expressly pointed out as authoritative and cited so often.

Thus, the Upanisads, the Brahmasutras and Gita are the pillars on which Vallabha erects his building of
Doctorines. To these 3 `prasthanas', the Bhagavata is joined as the fourth one, which he considers to be expressly
of the similar worth because it was told by Vyasa in `Samadi bhasa'. The four holy scriptures complete and
explain each other in a reciprocating way (i.e, they supplement and complement each other); as the Bhagavata
explains the Brahmasutras, these explain the Gita and the Gita explains the Veda.

DEFINITIONS:-

1. BRAHMAN:
According to Sri Vallabhacarya's doctrine of `Suddhadvaita', Brahman is a pure entity, free from `Maya'. It is
conceived as non dual, one without a second. The Universe with souls and matter, `maya' or `prakrti', `kala' or
time, exists in one Supreme Reality. All these constitute the being of Brahman and as parts of the Brahman are
not distinct from Him.

Brahman is free from the 3 kinds of difference known as `Svajatiya-bheda' (difference which appears between
things of the same category), `vijatiya-bheda' (difference which appears between things of different category)
and `svagata-bheda' (difference which manifests itself in one and the same thing, either between its essence and
form or between its component parts). It is omniscient and omnipotent and possesses an infinite number of
attributes. It has marvellous powers (`aisvarya') by virtue of which it can even hold together things or attributes
which are mutually opposed. Thus it is both qualified (`saguna') and unqualified (`nirguna'). It is one, eternal,
omniscient, omnipotent, possessed of an infinite number of attributes, and essentially of the nature of `sat'
(existence), `cit'(intelligence) and `ananda'(bliss). It is `Suddha' (pure), i.e, never contaminated by connection
with ~Maya".

Brahman has three forms, (i) the highest Divine Form (`adhidaivika') as Krsna or Purusottama, possessing an
infinite number of auspicious attributes, attainable by a devotee; (ii) the `aksara' form (`adhyatmika'),
in which all the attributes have become non-manifest and which alone is attainable by sages (`jnanin'), and (iii)
the `antaryamin' form as seen in the incarnation or avataras of Visnu.

Jiva and the world are identical with Brahman. Jiva is Brahman with the quality of bliss obscured and the
physical world is Brahman with the quality of both bliss and intelligence obscured. Creation and destruction in
their case mean the appearance (`avirbhava') and disappearace (`tiraobhava') of Brahman in these forms.
Brahman is both material and efficient cause of jiva and the world, manifesting itself in these forms simply for
the purpose of sport (`lila'). In doing so, it does not undergo any change in essence. It is just like snake forming
itself into coils.

2. JIVA:

Jiva is an atomic part of Brahman, produced from its `cit' (intelligence) part, just as sparks are produced from
fire. It is not an adjective of Brahman, but Brahman under limit. Jiva, being identical with Brahman, is endowed
with all the divine powers (`aisvarya'). It is bound by `avidya' when, by the will of Brhaman, its divine powers
are obscured.

There are three categories of Jiva: `suddha' (pure), `samsarin' and `mukta'. Jiva is `suddha' when its divine
qualities, such as `aisvarya', are not obscured by `avidya' (ignorance); `samsarin' when, by the will of Brahman,
its divine qualities are obscured and it comes in contact with `avidya', identifying itself with the gross and subtle
bodies; and `mukta' when, again by the will of Brahman, it is freed from bondage by `vidya'.
The Jiva, though atomic can pervade the whole body by virtue of its quality of intelligence (`caitanya'), just as
sandal-wood can by its fragrance make its existence known even where it does not exist.

The souls to be found in `Samsara' fall in 3 classes viz. (i) the divine (`daivi') souls, whch are fit for salvation
(`mukti yogya'), (ii) the middle (`madhyama') or human souls who are destined for wandering (`srusti yogya')
and (iii) the demoniac (`danava') souls who are condemned to gloom or darkness. This division of souls finds its
reference in the old `Pancaratra' texts.

The souls are also classified in another way in `Pusti-Pravah Maryada Bheda'. Here four sorts of souls are
distinguished. (i) Pusti souls which are redeemed by grace of God, (ii) Maryada souls who attain salvation by
following the Vedic precepts in the way of knowledge, (iii) Pravaha souls who swim in the "current" of Samsara
in a demoniac way, and are (a) either `durgna' or bad nature and therefore sink down in darkness in the end, or
(b) `agna' who are led astray at times by other demoniac (`asuras') people, but who can be improved again later,
and lastly (iv) Sambandhin souls, that is such as are without fixed character, who do not come out of Samsara, let
themselves be driven here and there, just like corrupt women (`charsani') who throw themselves in the arms of
this and that paramour now and then.

As a matter of salvation, the Pusti souls can enter into Goloka and participate in the joyful nature of God.
Maryada souls carry in them only the spiritual, not the joyful nature of God, and are therefore capable of only
intellectual salvation - the entrance in the soul of the world (`aksara'). The Pravaha souls have nothing to do,
either with God's joyful body, or with his spiritual nature, they can neither attain a commonplace with the
Purusottama, nor enter the `aksara' but dissolve themselves in the blind darkness, an existence free from joy and
spirit. There no question of salvation for the fourth class.
Thus it follows that according to Vallabha only a few souls are fit for salvation, while others remain
continuously in Samsara or enter the darkness for ever. Vallabha also teaches the perpectual damnation of
abandonded souls.

3. JADA:

The inanimate world (`jada') is created from the `sat' (existence) part of Brahman. It is, therefore as real as
Brahman. But the Jiva, under the influence of `avidya', endows it with illusory forms. The world is real, but its
appearance (`pratiti') to the Jiva under the spell of `avidya', is erroneous. It is like a man sitting on a moving boat
perceiving a tree on the bank, to whom the tree appears to be in motion. The tree is real, but the perception of the
motion of the tree is illusory. Similarly, the world which is essentially of the nature of Brahman and, therefore,
purely subjective and free from difference, is real, but the objectivity and multiplicity, which the Jiva in
ignorance perceived in it, are unreal.

Brahman is the non-different material and efficient cause of the Universe. Vallabha however does not use the
term `upadana'. He has described Brahman as the `samavayikarana'. Beacause, `Upadana' involves change while
Brahman is unchangeable. The word `samavaya' implies identity. Thereby Vallabha stresses the complete
identification of Brahman with the world.

Brahman creates the cosmos not like a potter, who creates a pot from material different from that of his own
self, and by turning the potter's wheel which is something found outside his ownself, but He creates without any
stuff and without instruments; like a Yogin, He turns `Himself' into the world; just as milk becomes sour-milk of
its own accord. This thesis of the enfolding of Brahman to the world finds its proof in the `Satkaryavada', which
accepts a Universal Identiy of cause and work. Just as an unrolled piece of cloth is not different from a rolled up
one, so also the world is not different from Brahman. The plurality of appearances in the world says nothing
against the being of God at their bottom: a bangle and a ring are different from each other, but both of them have
the same material basis, namely Gold. Thus the world created from Brahman (`Brahma-karya') in the sense that
Brahman itself is manifested in the form of the gross world. Thus the creation and destruction of Objects in this
world mean only the manifestation (`avirbhava') and disappearance (`tirobhava') of the Brahman in those forms;
and when Brahman appears as a product and as capable of being experienced (`anubhavayogya') the world is
created; but when it goes back to its causal form and ceases to be the object of ordinary experience, the world is
destroyed. The world is, therefore, as eternal and real as the Brahman itself, its creation and destruction being
nothing but powers (`saktis') of Brahman. It is neither illusory nor essentially different from the Brahman.

Vallabha accepts 23 tattvas in the creation of the world. They are Prurusa, Prakriti, 3 gunas, Mahat, Ahankara,
Manas, 5 Gyanendriyas, 5 Karmendryas and the Pancamahabhutas. It is characteristic in this enumeration that no
difference is made between Purusa and Prakrti and their forms of development, because according to the of
system of Vallabha both are only different ways of manifestation of God.

4. BONDAGE:

According to Vallabha, the Jiva's association with `avidya', as well as his bondage and freedom, are brought
about by the free will of Brahman for the purpose of sport.

5. MOKSA:

The moksa which consists in the absolute cessation of all misery and the experiencing of the bliss which was
observed in the condition of Samsara, can be attained by two means, Bhakti (devotion) and Jnana (knowledge).
Of these the former is superior, since it leads to the realisation of the divine form of the Brahman as Krsna or
Purusottama, in which the Anandamsa is at its best; while the latter is inferior, as it leads to the realisation of the
second or non-determinate form of brahman where the Anandamsa is of an inferior order. bhakti itself is of two
degrees, `Maryadabhakti' and `Pustibhakti'. In the former, the devotee attains moksa by practice of means
(`sadhana') on his own part, such as, the dsciplines laid down in the Sastra, which produce an aversion to worldy
things, or worship and prayer of Bhagavan. In the latter-and this is the higher kind of Bhakti-the devotee,
without having recourse to any Sadhanas, depends upon nothing but pure and simple love of Him; his goal is
only the service of Hari; his highest pleasure is to become one of the associated of Hari and to sport with him in
the celestial Vrndavana. This `pustibhakti' is the privilege of only him whom Bhagavan is pleased to favour; it
begins with `prema' which removes a liking for anything but Hari, and passing through `asakti' which produces a
positive aversion to objects not connected with Hari, culminates in `vyasana' or entire devotion to Hari.
LESSON - 7

VISISTADVAITA OF RAMANUJACARYA

INTRODUCTION:

Visistadvaita philosophy accepts 3 fundamental entities as ultimate reality. They are acit (matter), cit
(individual self) and Iswara (God).
Matter and individual self are absolutely dependent on Isvara for their existence, the dependence being similar to
that of body upon the self. The universe forms the body of Isvara, and he is the Universal Self not only of the
unconscious matter but also of the conscious selfs. Body is that which an indwelling self supports and controls
for its own services. Similarly matter and selfs, being the body of Isvara, are supported and controlled by Him
for His own purposes. This is the unique view of Sri Ramanuja - of the relation of "aprthaksiddhi"
(inseparability) - in which Isvara stands to the world consisting of matter and selves. The inseparable relation of
body to self, in terms of which the relation of the world to Isvara is conceived, brings out clearly the intimate
connection that subsists between `visesya' (substance) and `visesanas' (attribute). Isvara is the substance and the
world of matter and selfs form his inseparable attributes. Therefore the inseparable unity of matter, selfs and
Isvara constitute the Reality Isvara, the substantive element, who directs and predominates over the attributive
elements. Though the world of matter and selfs have a real existence of their own, they are entirely subject to the
control of Isvara in all their conditions. Sri Ramanuja's system is called Visistadvaita, since the attributive
elements (matter and selfs) - visesanas and substantive element (Isvara) - visesya form a synthesis (visista) of
non-duality (advaita)

SCRIPTURES:

Those scriptures that establish the Supremacy of Lord Narayana like


the `Ramayana', the oldest epic; the `Mahabharata' which is regarded as the fifth Veda;the `Bhagavad gita'
`Pancaratra Agamas'; the `Sattvika Puranas especially Visnu purana and `Bhagavata'; `Dharma Sastras'
expounded by great sages such as Manu, Yajnavalkya, etc. the Mula Veda- a branch of Vedas which is
considered as the root of Pancaratra. Among the Upanisads the most important ones which acknowledge
Narayana as Supreme Being are `Subala', `Katha', `Nrsimhatapaniya', `Gopalatapaniya', `Brahma-bindhu' and
`Narayana'.

BRAHMAN:

As mentioned earlier, according to the Visistadvaita Vedanta, the ultimete Reality or Brahman referred
to the Upanisads is a personal God. This Brahman is qualified with infinite auspicious attributes
(`ananta-kalyana-guna-visista'). That ultimate reality is Lord Narayana, the first cause of the Univerese. One
other term which signifies the fuller meaning of the concept of Ultimate Reality is Visnu. It means that which
pervades everything (`visulr vyaptau'). It is therefore used as synonymous with Brahman or Narayana.

The Supreme Being, Narayana possesses six attributes ("sadgunyavigraham devam"); `jnana',
`aisvarya', `sakti',`bala', `virya', and `tejas', besides the infinite auspicious qualities of love, mercy, kindness, etc.

5-fold forms of Isvara:-


ISVARA
*
*
------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * *
* * * * *
PARA * VIBHAVAS * *
[Narayana accom- * Incarnations * *
panied by Sri,Bhu * * *
and Nila] * * *
* * *
* * *
* * *
* ANTARYAMIN *
* [Who abides in the region of *
* the heart of individual self] *
* *
* *
VYUHA ARCA
[Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha. [Is a special form which,
Of these, Vasudeva is replete with the six without remotness of space
qualities. Other three vyuhas also qualified and time, accepts for its
by all six gunas, it however, is body (any) substance chosen
characterized by two predominant gunas. by the devotees, and `desc-
Sankarsana is filled with knowledge and ends' into it with a non-
strength. Pradyumna possesses in highest material body; (He) becomes
degree lordship and virility. Aniruddha dependent on the worshipper
has consummate potency and splendour. for bath, food, sitting,
Each vyha has two sets of activities - sleeping, etc.; (He) bears
cosmic and ethical. everything and is replete
(with knowledge and other
According to Ramanuja Sankarsana, Pradyumna, attributes); (He) is present
Aniruddha are the beings ruling over the in houses, villages, towns,
individual selves, internal organs and organs sacred places, hills, etc. of egoity; and consequently Sankarsana is
denoted by `jiva', Pradyumna by `manas' and He is fourfold, because
Aniruddha by `ahankara'. of the difference as `svayam- vyakta' (self-manifest),
The (cosmic) activities of Sankarsana are `daiva' (consecrated by the
to destroy the universe and propound divine beings), `saiddha'
scriptures. Pradyumna creates the universe (consecrated by sages),
and introduces all dharmas. Aniruddha and `manusa' (consecrated
protects the creation and makes known by human beings)
tattva. The ethical activities of the
three vyhas are declared to be teaching
(i)by Sankarsana of Sastra or "theory"
namely of monotheism (ekantikamarga),
(ii) by Pradyumna, of its translation
into practice (tatkriya); and (iii)
by Aniruddha, of the gain resulting
from such practice (kriya-phala),
liberation]

In all these above mentioned fivefold states Bhagavan is ever present with Sri.

JIVA:

Is of the nature of consciousness and possesses `dharmabhutajnana' as an inseparable attribute.

DHARMABHUTAJNANA:- It is known as attributive (`dharma') knowledge (jnana') i.e, it is the attribute of


both Isvara and jiva both of whom are conscious and full of knowledge. It is distinct from the jiva or the
knowing subject which as a permanent spiritual entity is also of the nature of consciousness (jnana svarupa).
Jnana as defined by Ramanuja is that which reveals an object to its subject by virtue of its intrinsic capacity. As
an essential attribute of the jiva, it necessarily pertains to the self. In view of this knowledge is known as
`dharmab-bhuta-jnana'It is eternal and all-pervasive.
Jiva is real, eternal and unborn. It is distinct from the body, sense organs, mind and vital airs. Though
the individual self, as a mode of Brahman, is essentially of the same nature, it is actually distinct; for it is of
monadic size and resides in a separate body. It is the agent, the enjoyer, the embodied Self, and the body. It is
embodied Self with regard to its physical body. It is the body with regard to Isvara. It is not only sentient, but it
is also of the essence of ananda.

In spite of its monadic size, the jiva can contact the ends of space through its attributive knowledge.

Classification of Jivas:

JIVA
*
-----------------------
NITYAS MUKTAS BADDHAS
(eternals) (liberated) (the bound)
*
*
-----------------------------------------------
* *
BUBHUKSU MUMUKSU
(the pleasure seeker) (the salvation seeker)
------------------------------ -------------------------
ARTHAKAMAPARA DHARMAPARA KAIVALYAPARA MOKSAPARA
(votary of (votary of dharma) *
artha & kama) * [`kaivalya' is- *
* defined as the nature- *
----------------------- of self-realization of the- *
* * self as distinct from- *
* * prakrti] * DEVATAPARA BHAGAVATPARA
*
(4 kinds, Bg.vii.16) *
*
------------------------------------------------------
BHAKTA PRAPANNA
(lover of God) (one who has surrendered
himself to God)
*
*
--------------------------------------
* *
* *
EKANTIN PARAMA-EKANTIN
(one pointed) (extremely one pointed)
[he is ekantin who seeks [he is `parama-ekantin' who does not
from Bhagavan alone liberation desir any other fruits even from
along with other (worldy) fruits] bhagavan Himself except devotion &
knowledge]
*
*
-------------------------------
* *
* *
DRPTA ARTHA
(patient aspirant who experiences (impatient aspirant who desires
the fruits of his past deeds and release immediately after the
desirs perfection at the time of act of self-surrender)
casting off his body)
JAGAT:

The world, (apart from the Jivas) is consisting of Jada and Adravya.
Jada is divided into Prakrti and Kala. Adravya is cnsisting of 10 ingredients.

PRAKRTI:- Which is characterised by three gunas, constitutes the stuff out of which the universe evolves. It is
the abode of individual self in mundane existence. It is called "Mulaprakrti", since it is the primordial cause of
the cosmos. It is known as "Akasa", as it is eternal in spite of its manifold changes and modifications. It is
termed as "Avyakta", as it is very subtle in its causal state. It is called "Avidya", as it is opposed to the
knowledge of Reality, and is known as "Maya", as it is the cause of cosmic wonders.

KALA:- It is defined as a particular kind of non-sentient, eternal, all pervasive inert substance which is devoid
of three gunas. It is divided into thre kinds as past, present and future. It serves as an instrument in the cosmic
functions of Isvara.

There are two kinds of time: `akhandakala' (impartite time) and


`karyakala (time as a effect). The former is eternal and is the cause of the effected time, whereas the latter, which
we experience in our ordinary life, is changing and non-eternal. Time has independemce in this manifested world
(`lilavibhuti'), but it has no independent status in the eternal spiritual manifestation (`nityavibhuti').

ADRAVYA:- It is the non-substance. This non-substance is tenfold: sattva, rajas, tamas, sabda (sound), sparsa
(touch), rupa (colour), rasa (taste), gandha (smell), samyoga (conjunction) and sakti (potency).

Three (gunas) in their turn pervade the entire prakrti and belong to the individual self controlled by
matter; they are non-eternal. They are in state of continuous flow; they become equipoised in the state of
dissolution and are disturbed at the beginning of creation; they are conducive to (the cosmic funtions of)
creation, sustentation and dissolution; they bring about the rise of the one by the fall of the other two, on account
of the difference of co-operant causes such as Isvara's will etc.

Conjunction is that non-substance which is the cause of knowledge of external relation (of substance). It is a
generic attribute and is found in all the six substances i.e, prakrti, kala, suddhasattva (nityavibhuti),
dharmabhtajnana, jiva and Isvara.

Potency is that particular non-substance which is the effecting agent (nirvahaka) of the causation among all
causes. It exists in Bhagavan.

BONDAGE:-

Beginningless Karma is considered to be the cause of bondage of the Jivas in Samsara. Because of this
the souls are caught up in a continuous cycle of births and deaths.

Samsara is due to avidya which is of the nature of karma, accumulated by the jiva in its previous births.
In this condition jnana and ananda are obscured but fully manifest in the state of liberation.

MOKSA:-

Bhakti:- According to Visistadvaita Vedanta,`bhakti' is the means or `upaya' to `moksa', as this is evident from
numerous Sruti and Smrti texts. Bhakti is defined as unceasing meditation done with love on the Supreme Being
(`snehapurvam-anudyanam'). It is regarded as knowledge in the form of love for God (`pritirupa jnana'). It is
generated by scrupulous observance of religious duties as laid down by scripture in accordance with one's `varna'
and `asrama', along with spiritual knowledge. The performance of one's duties and rituals (`karma') will have to
be observed, as explained in Gita, purely as divine service for the pleasure of God (`bhagavat priti') and not in
expectation of any rewards thereof. This in brief is the Visistadvaita view of `sadhana' for Moksa.
Prapatti:- Visistadvaita philosophy discusses besides Bhakti, `prapatti' or absolute self surrender to God as an
alternative means to `moksa'. Bhakti is a rigorous discipline, and for those, who are incapable of undertaking it,
`prapatti' is advocated as an alternative easy path to `moksa', This doctorine is adopted on the strength of the
teachings contained in the Vedas as well as the Itihasas, Puranas, and Pancaratra literature.

The Nature of Mukti:- According to the Visistadvaita Vedanta, `moksa' is not merely freedom from bondage but
it is also a positive state of existence for the Jiva in a supra-mundane realm (`parama-pada') without losing its
individuality. This state of highest achievement is described as `paripurna-brahmanubhava', the full and perfect
enjoyment of the bliss of Brahman. It is admitted that the individual soul in the state of `moksa' could assume a
body out of its free will (`sankalpa') for the purpose of enjoying bliss or for movement.

Crux of Sri Ramanuja's philosophy:

Visistadvaita philosophy accepts 3 fundamental entities as ultimate reality. They are


acit (matter), cit (individual self) and Iswara (God).
Matter and individual self are absolutely dependent on Isvara for their existence, the
dependence being similar to that of body upon the self. The universe forms the body of
Isvara, and he is the Universal Self not only of the unconscious matter but also of the
conscious selves. Body is that which an indwelling self supports and controls for its own
services. Similarly matter and selves, being the body of Isvara, are supported and
controlled by Him for His own purposes. This is the unique view of Sri Ramanuja - of the
relation of "aprthaksiddhi" (inseparability) - in which Isvara stands to the world consisting
of matter and selves. The inseparable relation of body to self, in terms of which the
relation of the world to Isvara is conceived, brings out clearly the intimate connection that
subsists between `visesya' (substance) and `visesanas' (attribute). Isvara is the
substance and the world of matter and selves form his inseparable attributes. Therefore
the inseparable unity of matter, selves and Isvara constitute the Reality Isvara, the
substantive element, who directs and predominates over the attributive elements.
Though the world of matter and selves have a real existence of their own, they are
entirely subject to the control of Isvara in all their conditions. Sri Ramanuja's system is
called Visistadvaita, since the attributive elements (matter and selves) and substantive
element (Isvara) form synthetic unity (Monotheism).

A skeleton structure which forms the basic terminology of Sri Ramanuja's philosophy:-

PRAMA
(knowledge or knowable things)
*
*
*
---------------------------------
* *
* *
PRAMANA PRAMEYA
(means of valid knowledge) (object of valid knowledge)
* *
* *
-------------------- ---------------------------
* * * * *
* * * * *
PRATHYAKSA ANUMANA SABDA DRAVYA ADRAVYA
(substance) (non-substance)
* *
* *
10 KINDS
* *
---------------------------* *
* * SATTVA, RAJAS, TAMAS, * *
SABDA,SPARSA,RUPA,RASA,GANDHA JADA AJADA SAMYOGA,
SAKTI.
* *
---------*------- *------------------------------
* * * *
* * * *
PRAKRTI KALA PARAK PRATYAK
(reveals itself to self) (conscious of itself)
* *
-------------------* ----*------------
* * * *
* * * *
NITYAVIBHUTI DHARMABHUTAJNANA JIVA ISVARA
(the eternal - (the attributive - * *
manifestation) knowledge) * *
---------------- *
* * * *
* * * *
BADDHA MUKTA NITYA *
*
*
------------------------------------- * * *
* *
* * * * *
PARA * VIBHAVAS * ARCA
* *
* *
* *
VYUHA ANTARYAMIN

DEFINITIONS:

PRAMA:- It is defined as that knowledge which favours the practical interests of life as
they really are ("yathavasthitavyavaharanugunajnanam prama"). Knowledge is true not
only when it agrees with outside reality, but also when it satisfies with practical interests
of life. Thus according to Visistadvaita, `prama' (valid knowledge) should satisfy two
conditions. As regards the first condition, prama should reveal the existence of an object
or agree with external reality; the second condition of prama is that it should serve some
practical need. Truth is that which is both experientially and experimentally varified.

If it be said `Prama is knowledge', there would be over-pervasion in the (erroneous)


cognition of a nacre in the form, `this is silver'; hence it is said that `adapted to practical
interests of life'. Even then there would be over-pervasion as one may have the
perception (of a nacre) in the form `this is silver" in a state of delusion; hence it is said
`as they really are'. By expression `as they really are', "samsaya" (doubt),
anyathajnana(wrong knowledge) and viparitajnana(contrary knowledge) are excluded.

SAMSAYA is the recollection of several mutually contradictory attributes when a


thing is presented. ANYATHAJNANA is the misapprenhension of one attribute for another.
VIPARITAJNANA is the misapprehension of one thing for another.

PRAMANA:- The distinctive cause of a particular `prama' is `pramana' i.e, the


instrument ("karana") of valid knowledge is pramana. In other words it is defined as one
which makes known what is not already known. A cause is considered `distinctive' or
`best' since knowledge arises without delay through its agency.

These `pramanas' are three - `pratyaksa' (perception), `anumana' (inference), and


`sabda' (verbal testimony).

PRATYAKSA is that which is the instrument of valid perceptual knowledge.


`Perceptual' is usedto differentiate it from inference. `Valid knowledge' is used to
differentiate it from the (erroneous) knowledge arising from the defective sense organ.

And this perception is twofold;

NIRVIKALPA (indeterminate) and


SAVIKALPA (determinate).
The inderminate perception is known as "prathamapindagrahana"`shich means that
thecognition of the individual for the first time in which the generic character of the
object perceived is apprehended. The determininate perception is called
"dvitiyapindagrahana" i.e, the cognition of the individual for the second or third time in
which what was already known becomes explicit. It may be noted that both perceptions
are `savisesa' NOT `nirvisesa' i.e, the apprehension of an object is not bereft of all
distinctions rather the experience includes the attributes configuration etc. of the
perceived object.

An anlysis os the act of perception involves three factors:

1. the knowing subject


2. the objct, not as something constructed by the mind, but as something
relatively independent of it, and
3. the consciousness which issues from the subject and illuminates the object.

In the act of perception, the consciousness which issues out from the atman through
the sense-channels, comes in contact with the object, and reveals it. When the
consciousness is directed upon an object through any one of the senses, one becomes
aware of the object with its attributes.

A further classification of the act of perception is shown below:-

-------------PRATYAKSA-----------
* *
* *
NIRVIKALPA SAVIKALPA
* *
* *
---------------------------------
* *
* *
ARVACINA(recent)------------ -----------ANARVACINA(the ancient) *
*
* *
------------------------ KNOWLEDGE OF LIBERATED
* * SOULS
* *
DEPENDENT ON SENSE INDEPENDENT OF SENSE
*
-------------*----------------
* *
* *
SELF ACCOMPLISHED DIVINE
(result of yoga) (by the grace of Bhagavan)

Sometimes"Smrti"(recollection) "Prathybhijna" (recognition), "Uha" (conjecture) etc.


are accepted as perception.

Smrti defined as the knowledge derived only from the reminiscent impressions
("samskara") caused by a prior experience. And what recalls these reminiscent
impression is as follows: `Those that rouse the seed of recollection are "sadrsa"
(similarity), "adrsta" (unseen effect of previous karma), and "cinta" (deep thinking) etc.
The principle is that whatever is well experienced before, becomes the object of
recollection.

Pratyabhijna is defined as the perceptual experience arising through the contact of


the sense organ with some object.

Uha ?

The epistemological conclusion of Visistadvaita suggests the trustworthiness of our


thoughts and experiences which are real. The subject of cognition is a real as cognition
and cognitive act.

ANUMANA is the inferential cognition is that which is the valid knowledge of the
particular "vyapaka" (pervader), obtained from the observation of the pervadedness of
the "vyapya" (pervaded). For example,
in a case where fire pervades smoke, fire is called vyapaka and smoke vyapya. When
there is cognition that smoke is pervaded by fire, the knowledge of vyapaka, namely fire
is obtained as in the inference, `Wherever there is smoke, there is fire' - which is known
as "vyapti" or pervasion.

This pervasion in the form, `Wherever there is smoke, there is fire', is perceived after
repeated observation.

It is otherwise defined as deduction of a particular fact on the basis of another fact. The
presence of fire is proved on the basis of smoke, because there is concomitance between
smoke and fire.

"Upamana" (comparison) and "Arthapatti" (postulation) are included under Inference.


For instance, upamana is the knowledge of a figure (qualified by cow-similarity) which is
accompanied by the recollection of the meaning `atidesavakya' (assimilative statement).
For example, a person though ignorant of the meaning of the word `gavaya' hears from a
forester that gavaya is similar to a cow; he goes to a forest and remembers the meaning
conveyed by the assimilative statement. When he sees the figure qualified by cow-
similarity, then there arises in him the knowledge of the figure qualified by cow-similarity,
accompanied by the recollection of the meaning of the assimilative statement (heard
before). That knowledge is Upamana.

Upamana is included under perception, since it is of the nature of recollection. It is


brought under inference, as it requires (or depends upon) the cognition of pervasion. And
it is included under verbal testimony (also), since it is sentence generated.

"Arthapatti" or presumption is the postulation of something to account for what


apparently conflicts with experience and therefore in the nature of a hypothesis. It is a
way of reconciling two facts which appear mutually incompatible. Thus, for instance, if we
know that Devadatta is alive and do not find him in his house, we draw the conclusion
that he must be elsewhere.

Similarly "Tarka",
"Niscaya" (ascertainment) - the determination (of truth) by means of
pramana aided by tarka
"Vada" (discussion) - the debate between two parties without any
prejudice,
"Jalpa" (wrangling) - the discussion that establishes the
position of both the sides of those who are desirous of gaining
victory,
"Vitanda" (cavil) - which consists (in opposition to the other side) without
establishing one's own position (in argument), "Chala" (quibble) - which consists
in attacks (on opposite side)
by attributing unintended meaning to the word,
"Jati" (futility) - which consists (in pointing out) a defect which pervades
one's won position; or wrong reply'
"Nigrahasthana" (ground of defeat) - is the cause of one's defeat,
all these, being limbs of inference, are included under anumana.

SABDA (verbal or scriptural testimony) is recognized as a special source of


knowledge. Scriptural testimony alone can claim the position of the authoritative means
of knowledge with regard to Brahman, which never falls within the range of pratyaksa or
anumana. A statement is authoritative when it is uttered by a trustworthy person, when it
is free from errors due to defects of sense organs, or when its meaning is not contradicted
by any other cognition. Therefore,sabda in its aspect of `Sruti' alone can claim the
position of the authoritative means of knowledge with regard to Brahman, i.e, the Vedas
are accepted as absolute authority. The `Pancaratragama' and the `Vaikhanasagama',
which do not contradict vedas, are also authoritative
in toto according to Visistadvaita.

The "Smrti", which is composed by trustworthy persons and which explains conduct,
usages, expiation, etc. that are not opposed to sruti, is also valid means of knowledge.

PRAKRTI:- Which is characterised by three gunas, constitutes the stuff out of which the
universe evolves. It is the abode of individual self in mundane existence. It is called
"Mulaprakrti", since it is the primordial cause of the cosmos. It is known as "Akasa", as it
is eternal in spite of its manifold changes and modifications. It is termed as "Avyakta", as
it is very subtle in its causal state. It is called "Avidya", as it is opposed to the knowledge
of Reality, and is known as "Maya", as it is the cause of cosmic wonders.

KALA:- It is defined as a particular kind of non-sentient, eternal, all pervasive inert


substance which is devoid of three gunas. It is divided into three kinds as past, present
and future. It serves as an instrument in the cosmic functions of Isvara.

There are two kinds of time: `akhandakala' (impartite time) and


`karyakala (time as a effect). The former is eternal and is the cause of the effected time,
whereas the latter, which we experience in our ordinary life, is changing and non-eternal.
Time has independence in this manifested world
(`lilavibhuti'), but it has no independent status in the eternal spiritual manifestation
(`nityavibhuti').

NITYAVIBHUTI:- It is the non-material, infinite domain beyond prakrti and its three
gunas. It is self-luminous and is characterised by what is known as suddhasattva (spiritual
matter). This `manifestation' by the will of Isvara assumes the form of objects, means and
abodes of enjoyment of Isvara, the eternals and released selves (muktas). It is the stuff
out of which the bodies of Isvara, the eternals, and the liberated selves are made.

This (eternal) infinite manifestation is of four kinds:-"amoda","pramoda","sammoda"


and "vaikuntha" (these four belong to the regions of Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha
and Vasudeva respy.). It is denoted by such terms as `tripadvibhuti', `parampada',
`paravyoma', `paramakasa', `amrta', `naka', `aprakrtaloka', `anandaloka', `vaikuntha'
etc.

DHARMABHUTAJNANA:- It is known as attributive (`dharma') knowledge (jnana') i.e, it is


the attribute of both Isvara and jiva both of whom are conscious and full of knowledge. It
is distinct from the jiva or the knowing subject which as a permanent spiritual entity is
also of the nature of consciousness (jnana svarupa). Jnana as defined by Ramanuja is
that which reveals an object to its subject by virtue of its intrinsic capacity. As an
essential attribute of the jiva, it necessarily pertains to the self. In view of this knowledge
is known as `dharmab-bhuta-jnana'It is eternal and all-pervasive.

JIVA:- is of the nature of consciousness and possesses `dharmabhutajnana' as an


inseparable attribute. It is real, eternal and unborn. It is distinct from the body, sense
organs, mind and vital airs.
Though the individual self, as a mode of Brahman, is essentially of the same nature, it is
actually distinct; for it is of monadic size and resides in a separate body. It is the agent,
the enjoyer, the embodied Self, and the body. It is embodied Self with regard to its
physical body. It is the body with regard to Isvara. It is not only sentient, but it is also of
the essence of ananda. Samsara is due to avidya which is of the nature of karma,
accumulated by the jiva in its previous births. In this condition jnana and ananda are
obscured but fully manifest in the state of liberation. In spite of its monadic size, the jiva
can contact the ends of space through its attributive knowledge.

Classification of Jivas:

JIVA
*
*
-----------------------
* * *
* * *
NITYAS MUKTAS BADDHAS
(eternals) (liberated) (the bound)
*
*
-----------------------------------------------
* *
* *
BUBHUKSU MUMUKSU
(the pleasure seeker) (the salvation seeker)
* *
* *
------------------------------ -------------------------
* * * *
* * * *
ARTHAKAMAPARA DHARMAPARA VOTARY OF VOTARY OF (votary of
(votary of dharma) KAIVALYA MOKSA
artha & kama) * [`kaivalya' is- *
* defined as the nature- *
----------------------- of self-realization of the- *
* * self as distinct from- *
* * prakrti] *
VOTARY OF VOTARY OF *
VARIOUS BHAGAVAN *
GODS (4 kinds, Bg.vii.16) *
*
------------------------------------------------------
* *
* *
BHAKTA PRAPANNA
(lover of God) (one who has surrendered
himself to God)
*
*
--------------------------------------
* *
* *
EKANTIN PARAMA-EKANTIN
(one pointed) (extremely one pointed)

[he is ekantin who seeks [he is `parama-ekantin' who does not


from Bhagavan alone liberation desire any other fruits even from
along with other (worldly) fruits] bhagavan Himself except devotion &
knowledge]
*
*
-------------------------------
* *
* *
DRPTA ARTHA
(patient aspirant who experiences (impatient aspirant who desires
the fruits of his past deeds and release immediately after the
desires perfection at the time of act of self-surrender)
casting off his body)

ISVARA:- Is the highest Self, characterized essentially by consciousness and


unsurpassable ananda along with supreme individuality. Since consciousness
presupposes a conscious self, the Reality is not identical with consciousness, hence Isvara
is not, pure non-differenced Being, nor pure Consciousness - but the Supreme self-
conscious Person and the substratum (`adhara') of everything. He is the controller
(`niyantraka') of all, the principal (`sesin') of all, the worshipped in every (religious) act,
the bestower of all fruits, the sustainer of all, the supreme cause of all effects, while cit
and acit are His modes and subsidiaries (`sesas').
Isvara is an actually existent reality who embraces and comprehends all individual self
and the world of matter - not as isolated entities - but as intimately related to one
another in an organic manner, and thus forming a perfect and coherent unity. They have
no existence apart from Him; in and through Him life and matter have meaning and
significance,

As mentioned earlier, according to the Visistadvaita Vedanta, the ultimate Reality


or Brahman referred to the Upanisads is a personal God. This Brahman is qualified with
infinite auspicious attributes (`ananta-kalyana-guna-visista'). That ultimate reality is Lord
Narayana, the first cause of the Universe. One other term which signifies the fuller
meaning of the concept of Ultimate Reality is Visnu. It means that which pervades
everything (`visulr vyaptau'). It is therefore used as synonymous with Brahman or
Narayana.

There are several `pramanas' upholding the supremacy of Narayana as the Ultimate
Reality. These are: the `Ramayana', the oldest epic; the `Mahabharata' which is regarded
as the fifth Veda; `Pancaratra Agamas'; the `Sattvika Puranas', `Dharma Sastras'
expounded by great sages such as Manu, Yajnavalkya, etc. the Mula Veda- a branch of
Vedas which is considered as the root of Pancaratra. Among the Upanisads the most
important ones which acknowledge Narayana as Supreme Being are `Subala', `Katha',
`Nrsimhatapaniya', `Brahma-bindhu' and `Narayana'.
The Supreme Being, Narayana possesses six attributes ("sadgunyavigraham
devam"); `jnana', `aisvarya', `sakti',`bala', `virya', and `tejas', besides the infinite
auspicious qualities of love, mercy, kindness, etc.

In all these above mentioned fivefold states Bhagavan is ever present with Sri.

ADRAVYA:- It is that which is devoid of conjunction i.e, it is the non-substance. This non-
substance is tenfold: sattva, rajas, tamas, sabda (sound), sparsa (touch), rupa (colour),
rasa (taste), gandha (smell), samyoga (conjunction) and sakti (potency).

`Sattva' is that non-substance which is the cause of illumination


(of objects), happiness, lightness, etc., which is non-perceptible
senses and which is defferent from potency. It is two fold - pure sattva (which
exixts in Isvara)and mixed sattva (associated with jiva).
Sattvaguna is the cause of true knowledge, bless, etc., and bestows
liberation.

`Rajas' is that non-substance which is the cause of avarice, activity


etc., which is non-perceptible by the senses and which is defferent
from potency. Rajoguna which is of the nature of passion, is the couse of
attachment to work, sorrow, etc., and bestows other-worldly fruits such as heaven etc.

`Tamas' is that non-substance, which is the cause of infatuation,


inertia, etc., which is non-perceptible by senses and which is
different form potency etc. Tamoguna which is of the nature of ignorance, s
the cause of idleness etc.; it leads one to hell.
These three (gunas) in their turn pervade the entire prakrti and belong to the individual
self controlled by matter; they are non-eternal. They are in state of continuous flow; they
become equipoised in the state of dissolution and are disturbed at the beginning of
creation; they are conducive to (the cosmic funtions of) creation, sustentation and
dissolution; they bring about the rise of the one by the fall of the other two, on account of
the difference of co-operant causes such as Isvara's will etc.

`Sound' is that which is grasped by our sense of hearing and which abides in all
the five elements. It is of two kins: varna (vocal sound)
and avarna (non-vocal sound). Varna is that wahich comprises the fifty letters such
as a, ka, ca, ta, ta, pa, ya, etc. Among divine and human beings it manifests through
the palate etc. Avarna is that sound which is produced by drum etc. Sound, so
described, is apprehended by the sense organ of hearing. The apprehension of
sound takes place either by the going out of the sense of hearing or by the incoming
of the air which manifests (the sound).

`Touch' is that non-substance which is perceived by our tactual sense organ and
different from other `adrayas'. It is threefold, because of the difference as cool, hot
and lukewarm. The cool touch is in water, the hot touch in fire and the lukewarm
touch in earth and air. And again it is two fold, as `pakaja' (produced by baking) and
`apakaja' (not - produced by baking). The former belongs to earth; the latter
belongs to water, fire and air.

`Colour' is that non-substance which is perceived only by our sense organ of


vision and different from other `adryas'. It is fourfold, because of the difference as
white, red, yellow, and black.

`Taste' is that non-substance which is perceived only by our sense


organ of taste and different from other `adryas'. It is sixfold,
because of the difference as sweet, sour, salt, bitter, astringent,
and pungent.

`Smell' is that particular non-substance which is perceived by our


sense organ of smell, and different from othr `adryas'. It is of
two kinds, as the fragrant and the non-fragrant.

`Conjunction' is that non-substance which is the cause of knowledge


of external relation (of substance). It is a generic attribute and

is found in all the six substances i.e, prakrti, kala, suddhasattva (nityavibhuti),
dharmabhtajnana, jiva and Isvara.

`Potency is that particular non-substance which is the effecting agent


(nirvahaka) of the causation among all causes. It exists in Bhagavan.

BONDAGE:-

Beginningless Karma is considered to be the cause of bondage of the Jivas in Samsara.


Because of this the souls are caught up in a continuous cycle of births and deaths.

MOKSA:-

Bhakti:- According to Visistadvaita Vedanta,`bhakti' is the means or `upaya' to `moksa',


as this is evident from numerous Sruti and Smrti texts. Bhakti is defined as unceasing
meditation done with love on the Supreme Being (`snehapurvam-anudyanam'). It is
regarded as knowledge in the form of love for God (`pritirupa jnana'). It is generated by
scrupulous observance of religious duties as laid down by scripture in accordance with
one's `varna' and `asrama', along with spiritual knowledge. The performance of one's
duties and rituals (`karma') will have to be observed, as explained in Gita, purely as
divine service for the pleasure of God (`bhagavat priti') and not in expectation of any
rewards thereof. This in brief is the Visistadvaita view of `sadhana' for Moksa.

Prapatti:- Visistadvaita philosophy discusses besides Bhakti, `prapatti' or absolute self


surrender to God as an alternative means to `moksa'. Bhakti is a rigorous discipline, and
for those, who are incapable of undertaking it, `prapatti' is advocated as an alternative
easy path to `moksa', This doctorine is adopted on the strength of the teachings
contained in the Vedas as well as the Itihasas, Puranas, and Pancaratra literature.

The Nature of Mukti:- According to the Visistadvaita Vedanta, `moksa' is not merely
freedom from bondage but it is also a positive state of existence for the Jiva in a supra-
mundane realm (`parama-pada') without losing its individuality. This state of highest
achievement is described as `paripurna-brahmanubhava', the full and perfect enjoyment
of the bliss of Brahman. It is admitted that the individual soul in the state of `moksa'
could assume a body out of its free will (`sankalpa') for the purpose of enjoying bliss or
for movement.

VADAKALAIS & TENKALAIS:

After the death of Ramanuja the Sri Vaisnavas were divided into two sects, the
Vadakalais and Tenkalais. The Vadakalais think that salvation can be attained more easily
through the Sanskrit holy works- the Vedas the Upanisads, and the Gita, awhile the
Tenkalais think that it can be attained more easily through the Tamil `Prabandhas'. Both
the school recognize the necessity of `prapatti'. But the Vadakalais emphasise that
`prapatti' is conditioned by Karma or self-effort: it is only when the soul makes efforts and
these do not bring forth the desired result that the frame of mind necessary for `prapatti'
is produced. The Tenkalais, on the other hand, insist that God's grace is spontaneous and
not conditioned by any effort on the part of the devotee.

LESSON - 8
DVAITA OF MADHVACARYA

INTRODUCTION:

vede ramayane caiva purane bharate tatha

adavante ca madhye ca visnu sarvatra giyate

(Harivamsa)

In the Vedas, Ramayana, Puranas and the Mahabharata, from the beginning till end, and also in the middle, Visnu
is glorified everywhere.

Sripada Madhvacarya's philosophy is known as Dvaita. While strongly establishing the status of Visnu as
Supreme Being, he emphasises that there are two catagories of realities:

svatantram asvatantram ca prameyam dvividham matam

(Tattva viveka 1)

The aim of philosophy, he says, to realise the distinction or difference between the Independent Reality (The
Supreme Lord) and dependent realities (Jivas, world etc). There is order, regulation, mutual adjustment and
harmony in creation. This shows that there is no unrestricted independence to all to act as they please. The
realities that constitute this existence are dependent on the Independent Reality, the Supreme Lord, Vasudeva
who explains, controls and inter-relates the dependent realities into this existence.

DOCTORINE OF DIFFERENCE:

It shown that matter, souls and God constitute the three major realities of Madhva's system. The number of souls
is unlimited and the modifications of matter are numerous, in various states. These three are conceived as distinct
entities. The reality of God is of the independent grade. That of the rest is dependent. Between matter and souls,
the former is of a lesser grade of reality. The reality of things in space and time involves the differences in name,
form, attributes, relations, and tendencies. He has given a scheme of "five-fold Difference" (`Pancabheda')

jivesvarabhida caiva jadesvarabhida tatha


jivabhedo mithascaiva jadajivabhida tatha
mithasca jadabhedo'yam prapanco bhedapancaka:

(Visnutattva nirnaya)

(1) the distinction between Isvara and Jiva


(2) the distinction between Isvara and Jada (prakrti)
(3) the distinction among the Jivas
(4) the distinction between the Jiva and the Jada
(5) the distinction among the Jadas i.e, distinction between one inanimate object and another.

This fivefold difference is collectively spoken of by Madhva as "Pra-panca". It is real and eternal.
paramesvarena jnatatvat raksitatvatca
na dvaitam bhrantikalpitam
nahisvarasya bhranti:

(Visnutattva nirnaya)

This scheme of pancabheda is not illusory - as it is cognized, maintained and controlled by the Supreme Lord;
for there can be no illusions for God.

SCRIPTURES:

Sripada Madhvacarya quotes profusely from an exceptionally wide range of Vedic literatures like the Mantras,
Brahmanas, Khilas, Aranyakas, Upanisads, Itihasas, Puranas, Pancaratras and the Smrtis. He has drawn to the
largest extent upon the Rg Veda. He refuses to give a secondary place to the Vedas as apara vidya - dealing only
with karma and demigods without any philosophical content. He treates the ocean of Vedic literatures as an
integral legacy (samanvayatva) and not as fractional revelations of truth and religion. He covers the entire range
of the sastras and establishes the running unity (gatisamanya) in establishing the dependency of everything on
Vasudeva.

BRAHMAN:

Definition:

sarvatrakhilasacchakti: svatantro'sesadarsana:

nityatadrsacicetyanta istho no ramapati

(tattvodyota)

The Lord of Ramaa is the Supreme Independent Person possessing all adequate and unrestricted energies in
regard to the Cit and Acit and He is unlimitedly cognizent. By His own will, He is the Supreme controller of
both Cit and Acit who are of a different nature from His.

All the Upanisads without exception, glorify Hari who is the abode of infiite qualities as free from all
imperfections:

gunavisistha - Full of qualities like omniscience etc, lordship, .beauty, transcendence etc.

dosa abhava visistha - free from limitations as sin, misery, liability to physical embodiment etc

vangmanasa gocara - beyond the reach of mind and speech, transcendental

a-dvitiya- One without a second, to be sought to the exclusion


of everything else
sarvartaka - the Supreme self, source of all existence, consciousness and activity of all else in the creation.

prakrtyadipravartakatvena taduttamatvat, naiva rupavat brahma

(Brahma sutra Bhasya)


III - 2 - 14

Because He is transcendental to material nature and is the controller of all that be, He is described as formless.

He is the source of all:

svabhava jiva karmani dravya kala sruti kriya

yat prasadad ime santi na santi yad upeksaya

iti sruterna sattadya'pi narayanam vina

tat patanjali vindhyadi matam a purusartadam

(Anu vyakhyana)

The nature, Jivas, their karmas, ingredients, time, Vedas, interactions all these exist, function and are cognized
only by Narayana's will and pleasure. They cannot exist without Him. Thus it is explained in the Srutis that
everything depends on His control. So the philosophy of Patanjali and Vidhya etc are not conducive for spiritual
advancement.

JIVA

ahamityeva yo vedhya: sa jiva iti kirtita

sa dukhi sa sukhi caiva sa patram bandha moksayo


(Visnu tattva nirnaya)

He who undergoes happiness and misery, who is eligible for bondage and release, is the Jiva. He knows himself
as `I am' in all his states.

Souls are conceived in Madhva's system as finite centres of conscious experience, each with a unique essence of
its own. The essence of individuality is that one finite centre of experience cannot possess, "as its own
immediate" experience, the experience of another. It is this non-transferable immediacy of experience that
distinguishes one self from another, inspite of their possessing certain similar characteristics. Each has a specific
content of consciousness, reality and bliss and constitutes a focalization which is nowhere exactly repeated in
nature. The nature of the souls is to be one of unalloyed bliss and pure intelligence. It is essentially free from any
kind of misery or pain; though subjected to a natural gradation of intelligence and bliss in cosmic hierarchy of
selves and subject always to the Supreme, in bondage "and in release". The sense of misery, which is bondage, is
external to their essence and is brought about by a "real" though "misplaced sense of independence of initiative
and conduct"

The Jivas are reflected counterparts (`pratibimbamsa') of Brahman (Visnu). The bodies of the Jivas, eternally
present in Vaikuntha, the celestial abode of Visnu, are transcendental (`aprakrta'). Hence, they are called
unconditioned-reflected-counterparts (`nirupadhika-pratibimbamsa') of Visnu. The bodies of the Jivas of the
material world are matierial; therefore, they are called conditioned-reflected-counterparts (`sopadhika-
pratibimbamsa') of Visnu.

(i) Plurality of Souls:- Madhva holds the doctrine of multiplicity of selves. He establishes that there are intrinsic
or essential differences in the nature of the Jivas (svarupabheda). The uniqueness of each individual experience,
which forms the content of personality, is sufficient reason, according to Madhva, for the acceptance of `Jiva-
bahutva-vada' (plurality of souls) and the distinctiveness of each individual.

(ii) Gradation of souls:- Madhva's doctrine of the Soul insists not only upon the distinctiveness of each soul but
also upon an intrinsic gradation among them based on varying degrees of knowledge, power, and bliss. This is
known as `Taratamya' or `Svarupataratamya', which comes out all the more clearly in the released state, where
the souls realize their true status.

According to Svarupataratamya, the unreleased souls are divided into three grades (Trividhya):

(1) `Muktiyogya' (salvable),

(2) `Nitya-samsarin' (ever-transmigrating)

(3) `Tamoyogya' (damnable)

Sri Madhva also speaks about the intrinsic differences existing among the "Released" souls. Hiranyagarbha
among the released (and in Samsara too) occupies a privileged position as Jivottama. He accepts innate
distinction among (released) souls into Deva, Rsi (Pitr, Pa) and Naras. The Devas are `Sarva-prakasa'(fit to
realize God as all pervasive), the Sages are `Antahprakasa' (fit to realise God within) and the rest `Bahihprakasa'.

Madhva and his commentators have cited many texts from the Vedic literature ( from Gita XVI 3, 5, 6, 18, 20;
VIII. 3; Bhag. 6.14.5; Isa. Up 3 etc.), in support of the acceptance of the Traividhya among Jivas who are
entangled within the samsara. An intrinsic divergence of nature and faith into `Sattvika', `Rajasa' and `Tamasa'
which is rooted in the core of individual nature (`dehinam svabhavaja) as stated in the Gita, is the ultimate basis
of this theory according to Madhva. This theory is developed from the doctrine of Trividha-Sraddha in the Gita.
The term Sattvika, Rajasa, and Tamasa are applied to the Jivas in their tripartite classification, according to
Madhava, with reference to their basic nature of Caitanya going beyond the play of Prakrti and its gunas: "yo yac
chraddhah sa eva sah" (Gita XVII. 3). This is clear from Madhva's comment on the above verse, where he
interprets the term "sattvanurupa" as "cittanurupa".

(iii) Self-luminosity of souls:- The individual soul, as a sentient being, is admitted by Madhva to be self-
luminious (`svaprakasa'). It is not merely of the form of knowledge (`jnanasvarupa') but is a knower (`jnatr'). The
conception of self as a conscious personality is the same as it is in respect of God, expect for the fact that even
the self-luminosity of the Jiva is dependent on the Supreme, which makes bondage possible.

BONDAGE:

Pramadatmakatvat bandhasya

(Brahma Sutra Bhasya I - 1 - 17)

Bondage is of the nature of ignorance.

svabhav ajnanavadasya nirdosavat na tad bhavet

(Anu vyakhyana)

The theory that Ajnana has the jivas for its locus and acts as a veil around them is not open to any of the
difficulties that beset other theories as Brahma ajnana vada.

Madhva calls his theory of bondage by the name of `svabhava ajnana vada'. Even though the jiva is a self
luminous being, still, it is not inconceivable that he should become subject to ignorance of his own true
nature and of the nature of God and of his true relationship with Him, as he is a dependent being, and part.

Jayatirta explains this natural ignorance as follows:


1) it is in the nature of jiva

2) it is real, not something imagined

3) it establishes the Supreme Lord as Independent

4) it establishes the jiva as dependent

5) it covers jivas' true nature and the nature of the Lord and his relationship with Him from him.

6) it is under the control of the Supreme Lord

svagunacchadika tveka paramacchadika apara

(Bhagavata tatparya 10-81-13)

One of this veils the jivas own qualities and the other veils the true nature of God from him.

According to Madhva the Lord actuates the latent power of Prakrti known as Maya and avidya and then the
bondage begins. Though the jivas are dependent on God, (the theory of svabhava ajnana vada accepts that) the
kartrtva (freewill) and bhoktrtva (enjoyer-mood) allows the avidya to act upon them. These faculties as well as
the resultant false ego, intelligence, mind, the senses and the senses are all God-given. In ignorance, the jiva
thinks that they are all under his control and his possessions. The fact is
that they are our possessions subject to the will of the Lord. Due to contact with such material existence and the
permeation of the consciousness through all these and the resultant attachment to them, the jiva regards the
dualities as his own and subjects himself to continuous material existence in various levels. This is known as
samsara.

na ca karmavimamala kala guna prabhutimaccittanu taddhi yata:

(dvadasa statora 3-6)

The true and final explanation of bondage is therefore the will of the Lord and not merely Karma, Ajnana , Kala,
Gunas etc; for these are insentient and totally dependent on the Lord

RELEASE

According to Madhva , the true knowledge of the soul's relation with the Supreme Lord that can redeem it from
this bondage. But even by the power of such knowledge, without the grace of the Lord, release is impossible:

ityaderna harim vina


jnanasvabhavato'pi syanmukti: kasyapi hi kvacit

jijnasotthajnanajat tatprasadadeva mucyate

(Anu vyakhyana)

Release from samsara is possible only through Hari's grace. It is achieved by this process:

1) Discipline of sincere study of sastras and proper association


`jijnasa'

2) This sets one's doubts at rest, and clears the ground for meditation
3) Constant meditation on the Lord in loving devotion guarantees
direct vision of Sri Hari

4) Those who have such vision receive the grace of Sri Hari

mahatmya jnana purvastu suddhrda sarvato adhika

sneho bhaktir iti proktas taya muktir na ca anyaya

(Mahabharata tatparya nirnaya I-86)

The firm and unshakable love of God, which rises above all other attachments, based upon an adequate
knowledge and conviction of His glories, is called Bhakti. That alone is the process for release - nothing else.

bhaktya jnanam tato bhaktis tato drsthis tatas ca sa

tato muktis tato bhakti: sa eva syat sukha rupini

(Anu vyakhyana iii-4)

Sri Madhva explains the process of bhakti :

1) devotion

2) understanding of one's original position

3) devotion

4) vision of Lord

5) devotion

6) liberation

7) devotion - essence of bliss and final accomplishment

harer upasana ca atra sadaiva sukha rupini

na tu sadhana bhuta sa siddhir eva atra sa yata

(Brahma sutra bhasya IV - 4 - 21)

The worship of Sri Hari bestows an unalloyed bliss in itself. It is not a means to any further end. It is the
accomplishment itself and the fulfillment of our real self.

nityasiddhatvat sadrsyasya nityanandajnanade;


na bhakti jnana adina prayojanm ityato braviti:

ambuvadagrahanattu na tathatvam

ambuvat snehena / grahanam jnanam /

bhakti vina na tatsadrsyam samyag bhivyajyate

(Brahma sutra bhasya II - 2 - 19)

The essential nature of jiva's relationship with the Lord, his consciousness, bliss etc are all constitutional - hence
they don't depend on sadhanas like bhakti, jnana etc. This is explained in the Brahma sutra II-2-19: ambuvat;
When all the processes are united with a loving, deep attachment with the Lord it is like the reflecting surface of
the water. Without this loving devotion the vision of the Lord is impossible and the manifestation of one's
constitutional relationship with the Lord is also impossible.

PHILOSOPHY OF
DVAITA VEDANTA

INTRODUCTION:

Sripad Madhvacarya, the propounder of `Dvaita' system of vedanta philosophy defines two principal ideas of
`being' in his Ontology - REALITY and INDEPENDENCE [ Being is simply the fundamental category of
thought which denotes everything and cannot, therefore, specially denote anything,-in other words, connotes
nothing]. The former presents the idea of reality expressed in space-time relations, pertaining to the world of
matter and souls. The latter is the higher aspect of reality which is characteristics of Deity alone. The criterion of
reality according to Madhva is that it should be unsuperimposed (`anaropitam') and given as an object of valid
knowledge, as existing at some point of time and in some place. These two ideas are complementary and are
implicit in Madhva's definition of Reality (`tattvam') given by him as `prameyam'. Reality in the ordinary sense
of the term may consist in one or more of the three aspects of existence, consciousness and activity.

Though existence is thus `reality', Madhva recognizes that its highest expression must be metaphysical
independence of every other form of existence in finite reality, in respect of its being, powers and activity.
Everything in finite reality is therefore grounded in the Independent Reality, known as Brahman and needs it for
its being and becoming.
While existence in space and time is thus reality and is possessed by the world of matter and souls, there must be
something more than mere existence, having metaphysical independence or substantiality in its own right which
may be designated as the highest real or the philisophicah Absolute which would be the ultimate expression of
all else. Such independent reality should be immanent in the universe, whence the latter could derive and draw
its sustenance. Without presupposing such a basic and transcendental reality that would have to be immanent in
the world, there would be chaos and disorder in the universe.
**
However, Madhva's chief ontological classification of `being' is into principles viz. `svatantra' (Independent
Reality) and `paratantra' (Dependent Reality). The term `Reality' represents three primary data: the thinking self,
a world of external realities and indications of an Infinite Power rising above them.

In Madhva's conclusions of Dvaita metaphysics reached by the evidence of `pratyaksa' `anumana' and `sabda
pramana' this infinite power is that Supreme and Independent Principle which does not depend on any other for
its own nature and existence, self-awareness or for becoming an object of knowledge to the thinking selves for
the free and unfettered exercise of its own powers. This `svatantra-tattva' (independent principle) is called God
or `Brahman'or `Isvara'. Though Brahman can do very well without Prakrti or Purusa (Dependent Realities), it
prefers, in its infinite glory and
inexorable will, `to do with them'. Such dependence (apeksa) of Brahman on things which are in themselves
dependent on It, is no mark of inferiority or limitation.

The dependence of the world of matter and the souls on Brahman is in the sense that both are functioning at
His will, which is the essential condition and sustaining principle that invests them with their reality and without
which they would be but void names and bare possibilities. The dependent reals (as Madhva admits the plurality
of the selves), by their very nature, can have no absolute or unlimited jurisdiction over one another and are
distinct from Brahman. The individual souls and their material enviornment are not independent. Madhva brings
these eternal and uncreated substances under the power of Supreme Being i.e., God as `svatantra', occupies the
central position, with existent realities like matter and souls keeping their legitimate position under Him. Thus
`svatantra' and `paratantra' are the fundamental presuppositions of Madhva's philosophy which aim at
understanding the metaphysical dependence of all finite reality comprising the `Cetana' and `Acetana' world
upon One Infinite, Indepentent Reality. Here Madhva points out that we have no right to deny reality totheworld
of matter and sousls, simply because they are not independentor do not always exist in the same form. But they
are there, have been there and will be there though ever changing and depending on Brahman.

Sri Madhva puts forward the idea of `Bimba-pratibimbabhava' (Original and Reflection) to illustrate the true
nature of the relationship between `svatantra' and `paratantra'. The relationship of these two is of unilateral
dependence of all finite reality on the Independent principle, for its existence, knowledge, knowability, and
activity (`satta', pratiti, and `pravrtti'). The relationship is not unreal or reciprocal dependence rather the world
cannot exist without God as it owes its very power of existence, functioning etc., to God and derives them from
Him. The (symbolic) relation of Bimbapratibimbabhava as conceived by Madhva would be permanent and true
of all states of the jivatman and not merely as passing one, true of samsara alone. There will be no destruction of
the Pratibimba so long as the contact of `upadhi is intact. The function of an Upadhi (medium) is to manifest the
Pratibimba. In the present case, it is the pristine nature of the `Jivasvarupa' itself as `Cit' that would suffice,
according to Madhva, to manifest itself to itself in its true nature of metaphysical dependence on Brahman and of
being endowed with a measure of similarity of attributes (as part of the meaning ofthe word (`pratibimba') with
its Original (Brahman) without calling to aid the services of any external medium (`bahyopadhi').

DOCTORINE OF DIFFERENCE:

It shown that matter, souls and God constitute the three major realities of Madhva's system. The number
of souls is unlimited and the modifications of matter are numerous, in various states. These three are conceived
as distinct entities. The reality of God is of the independent grade. That of the rest is depedent. Between matter
and souls, the former is of a lesser grade of reality. It is only in this sense that the `degrees' of reality is explained
in this system. The reality of things is space and time involves the differences in name, form, attributes, relations,
and tendencies. These manifold differences are generally classified under these heads : (1) Sajatiya or difference
of one thing from others of its own kind, (2) Vijatiya or difference from those of another kind, and (3) Svagata or
internal distinctions within "an organic whole". The last one is not admitted by Madhva in its absolute sense. In
the sphere of other two differences he has given a scheme of "five-fold Difference" (`Pancabheda')

(1) the distinction between Isvara and Jiva


(2) the distinction between Isvara and Jada (prakrti)
(3) the distinction among the Jivas
(4) the distinction between the Jiva and the Jada
(5) the distinction among the Jadas i.e, distinction between one inanimate object and another.

This fivefold difference is collectively spoken of by Madhva as "Pra-panca". It is real and eternal.

EPISTIMOLOGY (The Theory Of Pramana)

As the philosophical enquiry aims at acquiring information regarding Reality, of which definite and valid
knowledge is possible, all our experience of truth (reality) has to be ascertained on the basis of some objective
standards by which they are judged. Because human experience being at times vitiated by illusions, it becomes
necessary to define truth in experience so as to enable us to distinguish it from the false. Epistimology deals with
an investigation into the means of such valid knowledge viz., the quest for an ultimate basis of certainty of all
experience and knowledge.

The philosophical inquiry is the testing of truth in the light of proofs.


Madhva accepts in his theory of knowledge three pramanas or means of valid knowledge. "A pramana is what
comprehends an object of knowledge as it is"
or is the means of such comprehension. Pramana, according to Madhva, is not merely the means of correct
knowledge but "truth" itself. He defines Pramana, compactly and comprehensively as `Yathartham'. This
definition covers both valid knowledge and the means thereof.

There are three means of valid knowldege: Prathyaksa, Anumana, and Sabda.

PRATHYAKSA or sense perception is defined as the knowledge produced by the right type of contact
(`sannikarsa') between "flawless" sense organs and their appropriate objects.

Flawless reasoning is defined as ANUMANA. Inference is based on the rememberance of Vyapti


(concomittance)between Hetu (probans) and Sadhya (probandum).

Flawless word, conveying valid sense, is "agama" or SABDA. This Sabdapramana is divided into Pauruseya
and Apauruseya. The Vedic literature is regardes as `Apauruseya' and the Smritis, Puranas and other works based
on Vedic authority are accepted as Pauruseya Agama.

The term flawlessness (`nirdosatva') applies to every Pramana. It refers to specific conditions under which alone
the Pramanas become valid means of knowledge. In the case of Pratyaksa, the right kind of rapprochement
between the sense-organs and the object as well as other conditions of suitable distance, angle of observation,
adequate light and so on are meant to be conveyed by the term `nirdosa'. These conditions are applicable to the
object, the sense organs and their contact as well. Perception becomes faulty throu' excessive remoteness,
nearness or smallness of objects or of intervening obstructions or being mixed up with things similar or thro'
being over shadowed by them. Knowledge, arising when all these conditions of flawlessness are fulfilled, is
bound to be true and valid: `Yathartham'.

Other Pramanas like `ARTHAPATTI' (presumption) which shows a way out in


cases of apparent conflict between two facts (for eg. Given that Mr. X is alive, if he is not at home, he must be
presumed to be out somewhere),
UPAMANA, a means of establishing similarity between two things, ANUPALABDHI
(non-apprehension) is a means by which non-existence of an object is known etc. are not considered as seperate
Pramana but brought under inference, perception, or verbal testimony, according to the conditions of each case.

MEMORY is admitted as a pramana or souce of valid knowledge, by Madhva.


He brings Memory under Pratyaksa and considers it as a direct perception by the mind (`Manasa-Prathyaksa').
Its validity cannot, he says, be treated as merely inferential. Memory is defined as the direct apprehensions of
mind penetrating into past.

THE THEORY OF VALIDITY:

Pramanas give rise to valid knowledge of things "as they are in fact". Validity is genrally defined in terms of
corrspondence with objective reality. Thus `Pramana' means `Yathartham'; or what comprehends a thing as it is.
Knowledge carries its own proof.

**

THE THEORY OF SAKSI:

Though Madhva accepts that validity is intrinsic to Pramana, defined as `Yathartham', he does not rule out the
possibility of error in experience.
Under ideal conditions, error will have no chance. But the actual conditions of life being what they are, Error
cannot altogether be eliminated.

Sense organs (being materially constituted), when vitiated by flaws, give rise to invalid knowledge or
misapprehension of knowledge. Our experience shows that we do not become convinced of the validity of every
kind of knowlege that comes to us through the sensory and mental channels (`Vrtti-Jnana') and which are also at
times open to error. As knowledge, by itself, is `jada' (insentient) as a modification of the `antahkarana' and
therefore incapable of self-revelation, the necessity of some other principle by which the knowledge itself and its
validity could be intuited, should be admitted. Such a principle is `Saksi' or `Svarupendriya' of the "knowing
Self", which being `Caitanyarupa' (conscious by nature) is capable of being both `Svaprakasaka' and
`Paraprakasaka'. Both knowledge and its validity are, thus grasped by the Saksi, in the ultimate analysis. The fact
that some of our apprehensions are found to be correct and others erroneous could only be explained on the basis
of the acceptance of Saksi. Saksi (truth-determining principle) is equipped with an inherent capacity to know the
true from the false. The verdict of Saksi is flawless and must be regarded as true and valid for all time, because
the perception and judgements of the Saksi are of the essence of pure consciousness and therefore self-luminous
and flawless in regard to their nature and content of validity. In other words, the validity of knowledge is, like
the fact of knowledge, apprehended by Saksi itself, directly. Madhva establishes the infalliability of Saksi in
respect of its judjements of validity. If, however the direct experiences of the Saksi are proved to have been
illusory experiences, either by Scripture or by some sort of transcendental perception, later it would simply mean
that the Saksi has been mistaken inits earlier judgment about their factual reality.

Thus Madhva makes two points (1) that in all cases of knowledge, the fact of the knowledge is established not
by the knowledge itself; but by the evidence of Saksi. The reason for this is that all Vrtti-jnana (mental and
sensory) is material i.e., insentient in sessence and has no power to reveal its own existece.; (2) that such Vrtti-
jnana can by no means, manifest its own "validity to itself". Therefore it necessitates a non-material form of
knowledge to do this. Here is where Saksi comes into picture, which is not something other than the Atman.
Saksi in Madhva's epistemology, is the name of the spiritual sense organ (`Svarupendriya') of the Self through
which it intuits its experiences. The Saksi, as an instrument of knowledge and validation is not something
extraneous to the knowing self or Pramata. The distinction of Saksi into `Svarupa' and `Indriya" (self and organ)
is only one of reference and not of essence.

Madhva thus postulates a new principle of truth-determination in epistemology in the form Saksi, as the the
ultimate criterion of truth which is infalliable and intrinsically valid. Its reasons are:

(1) that it alone can be the ultimate guarantor of the validity


of all Pramanas,
(2) that is the logical fulfilment and culmination of any really
really self-complete theory of knowledge, and
(3) that it is the only means of intuitive perception of certain
supersensuous categories like Time, Space, the nature of self
and its attributes, the mind and its modes, all knowledge of
pleasures and pain, etc.

THE CONCEPT OF VISESAS:

This deals with the problem of the relation betaween substance and attribute. Madhva contributes the idea - the
concept of visesas - to the treatment of this philosophical problem. He accepts a relation of `colourful identity
(`savisesabheda') in respect of coessential attributes and difference-cum-identity (`bhedabheda') in the case of
transient attributes.
He made a stiking effort to rise above the `dualism' of substance and attribures and combine them into a
homogeneous whole that admits, however, of logical, conceptual and linguistic distinction, wherever necessary,
through the self differentiating capacity of substances themselves, to be known as "Visesas" or relative
particulars.

These Visesas are ubiquitious and are not confined to material substances. They exist among sentients as well,
including the Supreme Being. In sentient beings, these Visesas, whether manifested or not, are identical with
their substrata; while in regard to insentients, attributes which are co-eval would be identical with the substances
(and distinguishable by Visesas); while changing or impermanent ones would be different-cum-identical with
their substances. The whole question has been very clearly expounded by Jayatirtha: "Visesa also is of two kinds
as pertaining to sentient beings. Some of these are `produced' and some are `eternal'. Though the Visesa as
constituting the nature of a sentient person is eternal, it is spoken of as being `produced'by reason of its
becoming manifested at times and remaining unmanifested at other times. In the same way, Visesas pertaining to
insentient things are also two fold in their nature. The substance as such is the material cause of the Visesas in an
insentient thing. Though the Visesas co-exist with the substance, as partaking of its nature, still a distinction can
be made of them. In respect of insentient reals some Visesas are produced as effects and some others last as long
as the thing itself lasts.

Visesa is thus the peculiar characteristic or potency of things which makes description and talk of difference
possible, where as a matter of fact only identity exists. Visesas should not, be mistaken for new or additional
attributes of things; it is the"power of things in themselves" which, through an underlying identity of essence,
enables us to distinguish
(i) a particular from its universal; (ii) a quality from its substance; (ii)motion or power or energy from things
possessing them; (iv) the Svarupa from the Svarupin and Svarupatvam.

Madhva holds the view that it would be impossible to establish any adequate theory of the relation between
substance and attributes without invoking the aid of Visesas, which are also called `Svarupavisesas' in order to
show that they are not "other than" the substance. There are three possible ways in which the relation of
substance and attributes is generally conceived viz. (i) that they are "different" from each other (`atyantabhinna'),
(ii) "absolutely identical with each other" (`abhinna'),
(iii) "both identical and different" (`bhinnabhinna'). But, Madhva holds a fouth view of `Savisesabheda' (identity
based on Visesa) as only accepted view while rejecting the above three. Difference between substance and
attributes must be accepted not as being absolutely identical with the terms but "identical with a qualification"
(`Savisesabheda').

The function of Visesas, in Madhva's philosophy, is not merely to distinguish, but to unify the part and the
whole.

Conclusion:- The purpose `visesa' which is introduced in Madhva's system is to explain " the appearance of
`bheda' where there is none". This concept distinguishes a quality from a substance and a part from the whole.
Between a substance and its quality or between a wahole and its parts there is no difference. The difference
appears on account of `visesa'. For example, one cannot perceive any difference between the cloth and its
whitness, but he do percieve the `visesa' (particularity) of the cloth. If there where difference between cloth and
whiteness, then there would be difference between the difference and cloth, and between difference and
whiteness, and so on "ad infinitum". Visesa of Madhava, characterises the eternal as well as non-eternal
substance. In case of God, the principle of `visesa' is employed to reconcile his unity with plurality of his
qualities and powers(`saktis'), and the plurality of His Divine body, Divine dress, Divine abode, and the like.
THE ONTOLOGICAL SCHEME OF MADHVA'S PHILOSOPHY:

REALITY
*
*
----------------------
* *
* *
SVATANTRA PARATANTRA
(Independent) (Dependent)
NARAYANA *
*
*

*
*
---------------------------------------------
* *
* *
BHAVA ABHAVA
(Existent) (Non-existent)
* *
* *
* --------------------------------------- * * * *
* * * *
* PRAGABHAVA PRADHVAMSABHAVA SADABHAVA
* (Antecedent) (Subsequent) (Absolute)
* (the absence of a thing- (the absence of a thing (the absenceof
* before its making) after it is destroyed) horse's horn etc.)
*
*
*
----------------------------------------------
* *
* *
CETANA ACETANA
(Sentient) (non-sentient)
* *
* *
* ------------------------------------------------ * * * *
* * * *
* NITYA ANITYA NITYA-ANITYA
* (eternal- (destructible) (eternal in one aspect- * unchanging) * and changing in
another
* VEDAS * aspect)
* * *
* * *
* * --------------------------
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * PURANAS KALA PRAKRTI
* * * *
* -----------------------
* * *
* * *
* ASAMRITA SAMSRITA
* (having minimum- (throughly modified)
* modification) *
* * *
* * *
* 24 TATTVAS BRAHMANDA
* (Universe of the worlds
* [10 senses, and everything within it)
* 5 bhutas,
* 5 sense objects,
* 1 manas,
* 1 buddhi,
* 1 ahankara tattva,
* 1 mahat tattva,
*
*
*
----------------------------------------------------------
* *
* *
TOUCHED BY MISERY UNTOUCHED BY MISERY
OR SAMSARA OR SAMSARA
(Jeevas) (Goddess Lakshmi)
*
*
----------------------------------------
* *
* *
MUKTA NOW IN MESERY
(liberated from misery *
or samsara) *
* *
* *
----------------------------------------- *
* * * * * *
* * * * * *
DEVAS RISHIS PITRUS PAS NARAS *
*
*
-----------------------------------------
* *
* *
ELIGIBLE FOR MOKSA INELIGIBLE FOR MOKSA
(Sattvikas, five kinds as *
muktas above) *
*
*
*
*
* *
-----------------------------------------------
* *
* *
ELIGIBLE FOR ETERNAL ETERNALLY IN SAMSARA
DAMNATION (Rajasas)
(Tamasas) (men neither good-
* or bad)
*
*
------------------------------------------
* * * *
* * * *
DAITYAS RAKSASAS PISACHAS WORST MEN
(Already damned) (Now in samsara)
DEFINITIONS:-

BRAHMAN:

As already pointed out, Brahman, the only Independent Real is the highest ontological principle of
Madhva's philosophy. Brahman is possessed of all adequate and unrestricted powers in regard to the Cit and
Acit and who is all knowing. He is the One who controls the Cit and Acit (sentient and insentient reals) which
are of different nature from Him. The Independent Being must, necessarily, be infinite in Its attributes because
an Independent Being Being cannot be finite and limited in any sense.

(i) Brahman as a person:- The Supreme Brahman is a Person who has a character of His own. The term
personality as applied to Godhead denotes, according to Madhva, not merely the existence of self-
consciousness so conceived, but also that the entire universe is to be thought of as an experience and not as an
abstract content. This Divine Personality is endowed with the faculties of cognition, conation and activity.
God has His own body and limbs- a spiritual Form with its own instruments of knowledge and activity which
is all one of knowledge and bliss. Madhva identifies Brahman with Visnu and adore Rama and Krsna as His
incarnations but do not show any inclination for the worship of Gopala-Krsna and Radha.

(ii) Attributes of Brahman:- Madhva's conception of God emphasises two aspect of Divinity-the perfection
of being (`sarvagunapurnatvam') and freedom from all limitations (`sarvadosagandhavidhuratvam'). These
two aspects cover and exhaust all that is great and good in the idea of God. He is Infinite (`poorna'), of perfect
bliss, the real of reals (`satyasya satyam'), eternal of eternal (`nityo nityanam'), the Sentient of all sentients
(`cetanascetananam'), the source of all reality, consciousness and activity (`sattapratitipravrttinimittam') in the
finite. The attributes and actions of Brahman are the same as itself. They are not different. There is no mutual
difference, either, among them. He is all pervasive and (a-tata) and all perceiving (matr). All the several
attributes partake which the nature of Brahman are inseperable from Him and from one another.
(iii) Cosmic activities of Brahman:- The cosmic powers of the Supreme are eight in number: creation,
preservation, dissolution, control, enlightenment, obscuration, bondage and release. Madhva holds that the
Supreme Being itself
(identified with Visnu) acts through the instrumentality of other Gods (of limited jurisdiction over particular
aspects of cosmic activities) to conduct the cosmic activities. It is Isvara Himself who directs properly, the
various potencies of Nature and of the souls for production, growth,
development, etc., which are always dependent on Him. The Prakrti, Purusas and their respective capacities,
their very presence, cognizability and functioing, - all these are controlled by Isvara, eternally, through His
eternal power. Just as non-eternal things are ordained by the eternal will of Isvara to be non-eternal, similarly,
eternal substances too are ordained by His will, be eternal. The jivas, their karma, categories, kala, sruti, kriya
etc., all these exist, function and are cognized only by His will and pleasure. They have existence in His
despite. Hence, the very reality, existence, etc., of Prakrti and other entities depend on His control. He enters
into Prakrti and energizes it to transform in va_ous ways and assumes many forms to control such
modifications.

(iv) Manifestations of Brahaman:- The Supreme Lord puts on a multiplicity of forms to evolve the univere
through different stages. These forms, though innumerable, are nevertheless idtical with one anothe, save for
their numerical distinction. The first in the order of Divine manifestations is the quaternion of Vasudeva,
Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Sankarsana, popularly known as the (Catur-) Vyuha, credited with redmptive,
creeative, sustaining and destructive functions. The Supreme further differentiates itself inti ten (familiar
Avatars) or twelve, hundred, thousand and so on. THese personal manifestation of the Lord are spoken of as
Suddha-Srsti, in `Pancaratra' terinology. They are also designataed as Vyuhas in a general sense.

Madhva accepts four kinds of manifestaions of God (though he does not use this nomenclature):

1. Vyhas 2. Avataras 3. Transcendent (`para Vasudeva') 4. Immanent


In Madhva's view these various manifestations are absolutely on a par with one another. There is no gradaion
among them in respect of powers or potentialities. Madhva is vehemently opposed to the idea of making any
invidious distinctions among these manifestations of God or putting some on a higher pedestal than others.
"There is no room for `Svagatabhededa ' in the Supreme" (`neha nanasti kincana). It is the same Infinite in
every manifestation. The Avataras are on a different footing and are concernd with specific functions like
`Bala karya', `Jnana karya' etc. THeir number exceed ten as commonly recognized. There are Avataras like
Hamsa, Datta and Hari, not included in the popular list of ten. To Madhva all Avataras are of equal merit and
status. There is no question of degree of fulness among tem, no "partial" and "complete" Avataras. He takes
his uncompromising stand on the authority of the Upanisads and Pancaratric texts and rejects the commonly
acceptd interpretation of the `Bhagavata' text: "krsnastu bhagavan svayam"
as inappropriate on philosophical and syntactic grounds. He has thus no partiality or preference for any
particular Avatara of God and treats"all of them as equal in rank, attributes and powers".

JIVAS (ATMAN):

Souls are conceived in Madhva's system as finite centres of conscious experience, each with a unique
essence of its own. The essence of individuality is that one finite centre of experience cannot possess, "as its
own immediate" experience, the experience of another. It is this non-transferable immediacy of experience
that distinguishes one self from another, inspite of their possessing certain similar characteristics. Each has a
specific content of consciousness, reality and bliss and constitutes a focalization which is nowhere exactly
repeated in nature. The nature of the souls is to be one of unalloyed bliss and pure intelligence. It is essentially
free from any kind of misery or pain; though subjected to a natural gradation of intelligence and bliss in
cosmic hierarchy of selves and subject always to the Supreme, in bondage "and in release". The sense of
misery, which is bondage, is external to their essence and is brought about by a "real" though "misplaced
sense of independence of initiative and conduct"

The Jivas are reflected counterparts (`pratibimbamsa') of Brahman (Visnu). The bodies of the Jivas, eternally
present in Vaikuntha, the celestial abode of Visnu, are transcendental (`aprakrta'). Hence, they are called
unconditioned-reflected-counterparts (`nirupadhika-pratibimbamsa') of Visnu. The bodies of the Jivas of the
material world are matierial; therefore, they are called conditioned-reflected-counterparts (`sopadhika-
pratibimbamsa') of Visnu.

(i) Plurality of Selves:- Madhva holds the doctrine of multiplicity of selves. The basis for this is the intrinsic
diversity of their essences, which he shows to be "inevitable presupposition of the theory of Karma". It is
accepted that the inequalities of individual equipment and endowment are regulated by one's pastlife and its
Karma. But, by its very nature, the Karma theory would be powerless to explain the " why of such
inequalities, in the remotest past, without recourse to the hypothesis of an intrinsic peculiarity (`anadi visesa')
that is uncaused. It is this `anadivisesa' or `Svabhavabheda'says Madhva, that distinguishes one soul from
another. This is the dcisive contribution which Madhva has made to the interpretation of the problem of life
and its diversitis. He has thus gone beyond the principle of Karma, unerringly, to the " Svabhavabheda"
( intrinsic or essential differences in the nature of the beings). Similarly, the uniqueness of each individual
experience, which forms the content of personality, is sufficient reason, according to Madhva, for the
acceptanc of `Jiva-bahutva-vada' (plurality of souls) and the distinctiveness of each individual.

The theory of Svarupabheda of souls elaborated by Madhva is, thus, the only solution of the problem of
plurality of selves, their freedom and free will.

(ii) Tripartite classification of souls:- Madhva's doctrine of the Soul insists not only upon the distinctiveness
of each soul but also upon an intrinsic gradation among them based on varying degrees of knowledge, power,
and bliss. This is known as `Taratamya' or `Svarupataratamya', which comes out all the more clearly in the
released state, where the souls realize their true status. `Jiva-traividhya' or tripartite classification of
"Unreleased Souls" into (1) `Muktiyogya' (salvable), (2) Nitya-samsarin (ever-transmigrating and (3)
`Tamoyogya' (damnable) are the allied doctrines of `Svarupataratamya' of souls. This theory of Madhva, is
intended to justify and reconcile the presence of evil with divine perfection.
Sri Madhva also speaks about the intrinsic differences existing among the "Released" souls. Hiranyagarbha
among the released (and in Samsara too) occupying a privileged position as Jivottama. His accepts innate
distinction among (released) souls into Deva, Rsi (Pitr, Pa) and Naras. The Devas are `Sarva-prakasa'(fit to
realize God as pervasive), the Sages are `Antahprakasa'and the rest `Bahihprakasa'.

The doctrine of intrinsic gradation among souls would follow as a matter of course, once the principle of
their plurality is admitted. Many philosophical topics related to the law of Karma, the problem of good and
evil, behaviour of free-will displayed in the case of individual jivas etc. can be solved only by the acceptance
of the above theories of Sri Madhva.
The recognition of special class of souls called `Nityasuris' (as in the system of Ramanuja) and the class
called `Nityasamsarins' will be inexplicable without the acceptance of an intrinsic gradation of souls into
ordinary and "elect" and so on. The higher position of Sesitva assigned to "Sri" in respect of Nityasuris also
points to a natural gradation among souls. Similarly the existence of Nityamuktas like Visvaksena, Garuda,
Ananta etc. who always remain free from Samsara (accepted by the Visistadvatins) and the high place
assigned to Brahma among the gods (by Vedic and Puranic literature) are to be highlighted in this connection
as their spititual excellence and superiority over other souls.

Gods and men are not equal in their basic nature and powers, or in the innate tendencies for good or bad,
which determine their future development. The doctrine of intrinsic gradation of souls is thus a resoned and
reasonable hypothesis of human nature and destiny, suggested by the moral law and supported by reason,
revelation and experience. Madhva holds that it can not be satisfactorily accounted for the presence and
continuation of evil in a world created and ruled by a most perfect Being unless it is taken to be natural to
some as goodness is to others. Without such a fundamental division of human nature, the disparities of life
reflected in the seemingly unfair distribution of pleasure and pain and oppotunities for moral growth are not
satisactorily explained. The law of Karma cannot satisfy the quest for an ultimate explanation of such
bewildering enexplicabilities. It cannot explain why given two alternatives of good or evil, certain persons
show a marked preference or tendency towards the one and others to the opposite. Moral worth, knowledge,
works, experience, heredity, opportunities, culture - none of these explanatons of diversity solves the riddle
pushed to its staring point; The final solution can only be found in the ingerent nature of beings.

Madhva and his commentators have cited many texts from the Vedic and post-Vedic literature ( from Gita
XVI 3, 5, 6, 18, 20; VIII. 2; Bhag. 6.14.5; Isa. Up 3 etc.), in support of the acceptance of the Traividhya
among Jivas who are entangled within the samsara. An intrinsic divergence of nature and faith into `Sattvika',
`Rajasa' and `Tamasa' which is rooted in the core of individual nature (`dehinam svabhavaja) as stated in the
Gita, is the ultimate basis of this theory according to Madhva. This theory is developed from the doctrine of
Trividha-Sraddha in the Gita. The term Sattvika, Rajasa, and Tamasa are applied to the Jivas in their tripartite
classification, according to Madhava, ha reference to their basic nature of Caitanya going beyond the play of
Prakrti nad its gunas: "yo yac chraddhah sa eva sah" (Gita XVII. 3). This is clear from Madhva's comment on
the above verse, where he interprets the term "sattvanurupa" as "cittanurupa".

(iii) Self-luminosity of souls:- The individual soul, as a sentient being, is admitted by Madhva to be self-
luminious (`svaprakasa'). It is not merely of the form of knowledge (`jnanasvarupa') but is a knower (`jnatr').
The conception of self as a conscious personality is the same as it is in respect of God, expect for the fact that
even the self-luminosity of the Jiva is dependent on the Supreme, which makes bondage possible.

JAGAT:

Madhva admits the reality of the world experience on the basis of perceptual, rational and scriptural
grounds. The material universe, according to Madhva, is neither a transformation (`parinama') of Brahman nor
a production. It is merely an actualization of what is in the womb of matter and souls by the action of
Brahman. The creation of the Universe is a continuous process - a constant dependence of the world on the
Supreme for all its determinations.
Madhva's theory of the constitution of matter and the evolution of the world is based on the `Samkhya'
metaphysics of Upanisads, the Epics and Puranas. He quotes profusely from Mahabharata, the Bhagavata and
other Puranas and other Puranas and from the vast literature of the Pancaratras.
He accepts the doctrine of evolution of matter (Prakrti) as a follower of the Epic Samkhya. He accepts Prakrti
as eternal insentient primordial stuff dependent on Brahman on the authority of Upanisadic, Epic and Puranic
Samkhya cosmology. It is directly and indirectly the material cause (`upadhana karana') of the world. It is the
direct material cause of time and the three qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and indirectly of Mahat,
Ahamkara etc. It is both eternal and pervasive; but not unlimited. The three gunas are supposed to be
differentiated at the begining of creation, in the ratio of 4:2:1. The evolution of other forms of matter takes
place on account of the disturbance in their equipose which gives rise to the 24 principles commonly
recognized, viz. Mahat, Ahamkara, Buddhi, Manas, ten sensory organs, five sense-objects and five great
elements. Mahat is the first and finest evolute of matter and energy. Ahankara is the principle of individuation,
Buddhi that of discrimination, and Manas of thought. The principle of Ahamkara is divided into three classes
of Vaikarika, Taihjasa, and Tamasa. From Taijasa the ten sense organs are produced, and the five sense objects
(`visayas') and the elements are the products of Tamasa-Ahamkara. The `tanmatras' stand for qualitatively
distinct and irreducible sense-qualities with a definite leaning towards their appropriate objects.
These 24 evlutions of Prakrti are the constituents of the microcosm and the macrocosm of the entire
Brahmanda. Madhva gives a proper reorientation to this theory of material evolution by linking it up with a
systematic hierarchy of presiding deities from top to bottom. It is under the constant supervision and guidance
of these "Abhimani-devatas" (or "Tattvabhimanins") that all material transformations and psychophysical
functions are carried on. The Supreme Brahman itself ultimately behing all these activities and of each and
every one of them.

The 3 forms of matter, viz. Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, are specially controlled by the 3 aspects of Cetana
Prakrti, viz. Sri, Bhu and Durga.

Involution (dissolution) takes place by the merger of the effects in their causes in the reverse order of
evolution. This applies to the Tattvabhimani-Devas also, both in Samsara and in release.

BONDAGE ( of Jivas in Samsara ):

Madhva points out that the reason for the bondage of the souls is due to the Divine will of the Supreme.
Eventhough the bonds and impurities of the souls are not their essential nature (`svarupa'), the bonds of the
souls are real. He gives a very purposeful explanation of the rationale behind God's putting the souls in
bondage and through the necessary process of transmigration. Madhva calls his theory of the origing of
bondage as "Svabhava-ajnana vada" or the theory of the souls' ignorance of their own true nature and of their
dependence on the Supreme Brahman. Madhva contends that even though the Jiva is a self-luminious being,
still, it is not inconceivable that he should be subject to ignorance of his own true nature and of the nature of
God and of his true relation to Him, as he is a dependent and finite being. Since Jivas, by definition,
"dependent" and also endowed with aspects (`sa-visesa') it is very reasonably contendented that while "some
aspects" of the self (such as his existence) are "not obscured"
yet others like the manifestation or experience of its `Svarupananda' (essential bliss) "remain obscured" in
samsara. Thus bondage is of the nature of Ignorance.

As Jiva's nature is one of knowledge (`jnanasvarupa'), this ignorance which, in spite of his self-luminosity
(`svaprasatva') , is able to obscure a portion of that knowledge etc., of his own nature and of God cannot be
treated as penetrating his very nature. Yet, if it is external to him, how does it obscure his Svarupa, at least in
some respects? To explain this knotty point, Madhva introduces the will of God or his inscrutable power
(`acintyadbhutasakti') which is also called by the name of `Maya' (or His Maya) of which the entanglement in
Prakrti is only next stage.

Thus, according to Madhva, the obscuration of the soul leading to bondage is, in the last analysis, to referred
to the inscrutable power of God, who actuates the latent power of Prakrti known by various names such as
Maya and Avidya in the Sastras. Though it is in the nature of Maya to obscure, yetthe intervention of the Lord
is "necessary" for its functioning as a principle of obscuration, in so far as Prakrti and its powers are insentient
(jada) and therefore "asvatantra" (incapable of independent initiative). This obscuration of the essential nature
of Jivas cannot be ascribed due to the influence of Kama, Karma, etc. alone; for these are themselves the
effects of earlier causes and thus are "dependent principles" and there is no reason why the soul should have
succumbed to their attraction, surrendering his self-luminosity. In any case, they would not be an adequate
explanation of the obscuration of the self, felt even in Susupti and Pralaya, when there is no operation of
Kama or Karma, Vasanas, etc. Hence, it is obivious that there is some other principle (over and above all
these) that is preventing the self from realizing its true nature, in full, here and now. This is the principle of
Prakrti (Jada) which presses down Jivas from beginningless eternity and obscures their natures at the will of
the Lord and not by its own power, as already explained. Thus, Madhva finds the ultimate explanation of the
bondage of souls in the power of Prakrti controlled by the inscrutable and mysterious Will of God. This is in
complete accord with the views of great theistic scriptures like the Gita (VII. 14), about origin of bondage.

SADHANA:

Since the soul's bondage is, in the last analysis, to be referred to the Divine will obscuring the intrinsic
self-luminosity of Jivas, its removal and the illumination of the souls is also ascribed to the Divine will, in the
ultimate analysis, in Madhva's system.

[But, Madhva on the basis of scritures (Brahmasutra II.3.33) ascribes jiva the title of "doer" or `Karta'. He
maintains that the human soul is the real agent in all its actions eventhogh he is not an absolutely independent
agent. The Jiva derives his ability to do things, metaphysically, from the creator. For, God merely "enables"
the Jiva to pursue a couse of action, not arbitrarily, but in relation to his former life and disires. He does not
"interfere" with the Jiva's decision in any way. He sustains but never constrains (Gita 18. 63). The Jiva
chooses out of his free will a particular line of action for good or for bad with sufficient foreknowledge of its
moral worth and has himself to thank for the consequences. He cannot, therefore, blame anyone, least of all
God, for the unpleasant consequences of his acts, should he have chosen wrongly]

The need for Sadhanas follows from the very fact that the bondage of souls in Samsara has been continuing
from time immemorial. This bondage is continuing because of transmigration of souls. The aim of
metaphysical inquiry is the attainment of release through Divine grace. There fore one has naturally to think
of the means of earning it. The sastras describe them as leading to one another, in the following order:
freedom from worldy attachment (`Vairagya'), devotion to God (`Bhakti'), `Sravana'(study), `Manana'
(reflection), `Nididhyasana' (meditation) and ~Saksatkara' (direct realization).

Vairagya is defined as the non-attachment to the body and bodily pleasures and cravings. This is the
first step and primary requisite of a true aspirant. It constitutes the essence of spiritual life.

Sravana is defined as the acquisition of the sense of the sacred texts under the instruciton of competent
teachers. It dispels ignorance about the subject-matter (`ajnananivrtti')

Manana is the systematic employment of the canons of textual interpretation and logical examination
with a view to arriving at a firm conviction that the final interpratation of the Sastras thus arrived at
is alone the correct and unimpeachable one. Manana removes doubts (`samsaya') and misapprehension
(`viparyaya') and confirms the true import of the Sastras (`paroksatattvaniscaya').
Nididhyasana or Dhyana (continious meditation) leads to direct realization (`darsana'). Sravana and
Manana are thus subsidiary (`angabhuta') Nididhyasana which is the chief means (`angi') if
Saksatkara.

Role of Guru:- Madhva discusses the importance of a ideal Guru and the importance of his grace in the final
flowering of the spiritual personality of the aspirant (`Sadhaka'). He emphasizes the point that instruction and
guidance of a competent Guru and his grace (`prasada') are absolutely necessary for Sravana and Manana to
bear fruit. He further says that of the twao viz., individual effort and the grace of the Guru, the latter is to be
deemed the more powerful factor and therefore indispensable for one's spiritual realization. The emphasis of
Guruprasada doesnot mean that individual effort and the deserts of the aspirant do not count. They are the
foundations of one's spiritual progress; but Guruprasada is the crowing point of this development.
A seeker is allowed to change his Guru if he secures another with a superior spiritual illumination, provided
the latter is able and inclined to impart the full measure of grace and illumination that may be required for the
self-realization of te disciple. Where both the Gurus happen to be of equal merit and disposition to grant the
full measure of their grace, qualifiying for illumination to the aspirant, the permission of the earlier Guru shall
have to be obtained before receiving instruction from the other one.

Different Spiritual Disciplines:-

The most prominent forms of Spiritual discipline are those going by the names of Karmamarga, Jnanamarga
and Bhaktimarga.

Karma Yoga, according to Madhva is the enlightened spiritual activity (`niskamam jnanapurvam karma') by
all, which cannot be binding in its consequences. On the basis of Gita he establishes that it is neither `pravrtti
marga' ( faithful performance of the round of Vedic sacrifices and ritualistic rites prescribed by the Srutis and
Smrtis with the expectation of their rewards in this or in the next world and the adherence to the duties of
varna and asrama) nor `nivrtti marga' (abandonment of all Karma) but performance of Karma in a spirit of
devotion and vairagya is more important. Even this type of performing `niskamakarma' is not to be admitted
as anything more than an accessory to spiritual realization. It is to be pursued for the purpose of acquiring
mental purufication. The reason why Karma cannot be treated as an independent means of release is that it is
by nature, irrepressibly found to be enexhaustible by the enjoyment of fruits.
The help of Jnana is, therefore, indispensable to destroy or neutralize the latent effects of past Karma (Gita
IV.37). Suchb a power of destroying the accumulated load of past Karma, or rendering it nugatory is ascribed
to the actual vision (`aparoksajnana') of God, through `dhyana' (meditation). Madhva, therefore, regards
enlightened activity (`Niskamakarma') merely as contributing to such knowledge through Vairagya. Madhva
is, thus, clear that disinterested activity carried on in a spirit of devotion t God is a powerful incentive to the
acquisition of knowledge which alone is trhe highest means of realease. Karma and Dhyana and others are
just accessories to it.

Conception of Bhakti:- Madhva has given a unique place to Divine grace in his system, in making it the
ultimate cause of self-realization. To attain the grace of the Divine the sadhaka has to appease the Lord. This
can only be done by Bhakti as the deepest attachment to the Lord, deep-rooted and based on a clear
understanding of His greatness and majesty.

Bhakti is, thus, the steady flow of deep attachment to God, impregnable by any amount of impediments and
transcending the love of our own selves, our kith and kin, cherished belongings, etc. and fortified by a firm
conviction of the transcendent majesty and greatness of God as the abde of all perfections and free from all
blemish and by an unshakable conviction of the complete metaphysical dependence of everything else upon
Him. When one is flooded by such an intensive and all-absorbing love he gets completely immersed in
blissful contemplation of Him and is lost to all his surroundings. Such Bhakti is necessary to manifest the
natural and intrinsic relationship of Pratibimbatva of the souls to God, which lies dormant in the state of
bondage.

Since the function of Bhakti is to manifest the true relation of Jiva to Brahman, it must naturally be properly
informed about that true relation, wahich presupposes a right knowledge of the majesty and greatness of God
as the one Svatantra. Hence, Bhakti has to be enriched by study, reflection and concentration. Bhaktiis, thus,
not a mere wave of sentimentalism or emotionalism, to Madhva. It is the outcome of patient study (`sravana')
and deep reflection. Madhva also demands a high degree of moral perfection from the true devotee of God.
He affirms that there can be no ture devotion to God without a real sense of moral purity, sincerity of purpose
and detachment to worldly pleasures. One cannot serve two masters. True devotion to God would impossible
without the cultivation of a natural distaste for the pleasures of the world. It is one of the constituent elements
of true devotion. Acara or purity of life, in all respects is thus the only means of true devotion and knowledge.
Devotion without such purity will be a travesty. Complete control of the passions of the flesh, calmness of
mind, impartiality of conduct and love of God are emphasized by Madhva as the prerequisites of devotion and
knowledge. This positive approch to God in its final accomplishment i.e, love of God free from all traces of
erotic manifestations, which dominate in certain forms of North Indian Vaisnavism like Jayadeva, Caitanya
and Vallabha. Madhva's conception of Bhakti avoids these emotional excesses and remains at its exalted
intellectual and spiritual level of firm philosophic devotion to the Supreme Lord of the universe who is to be
worshipped with loving attachments as the Bimba of all Pratibimbas (Jivas). But it is no on that account
lacking in intensity of fervour and feeling. For Madhva has recognized in the clearest terms that Bhakti is in
essence an ineffable blending of the emotion and the intellect. He gives expression to the intensity of his love
of God in its sublime and rapturous aspects in the opening and concluding stanzas of his works. The
possiblities of erotic devotion, as a means of contacting the Divine, are not unknown to him. In his view,
Kama-Bhakti or erotic devotion is the special privilege of "Apsarases and ought not to be practiced by
others".

Madhva speaks of 3 different types of devotees: (1) UttamaBhaktas, (2) Madhyama and (3) Adhama,
according to the nature and intensity of devotion characteristic of them.

`Taratamya' in Bhakti:- Taratamya or gradational approcach in the practice of Bhakti is a necessary element
of the doctrine of Bhakti as propounded by Madhva. The devotional homage to the gods and the sages in the
spiritual hierarchy is not a matter of courtesy. It is a "must". The devas occupy special position in the
government of God's universe as `Tattvabhimanis' with special cosmic jurisdiction delegated to them. The role
of these Devas on the implementation of the Sadhanas by human beings have been brought in Madhva's
commentary on the Upanisads and from the fading sources of Pancaratra and other literature. On the basis of
these materials, he holds that devotion to God depends crucially on the grace of the Devas who are His first
greatest devotees. They are the highest order of Jnanayogis and our direct superior, protectors, guides and
Gurus. We cannot think of God without their grace. It they who inspire our minds along right lines and turn
them Godward and enable us to know and worship Him by their presiding activity over the sense organs,
mind, buddhi etc. and bring our Sadhanas to fruition.

Stages of Bhakti:- Madhva distinguishes 3 stages of Bhakti: (1) that a which "precedes" Paroksajnana
(meditate knowledge of the Deity), (2) one that "follows" it, and (3) a third that comes "after direct
realization" (`Aparoksajnana') and wins the absolute grace (`atyarthaprasada') of the Lord. It this final stage of
Bhakti that fully manifests, by the grace of God, the true relationshi that exists between the Jiva and Brahman
and completes the fulfilment of realization viz. the full manifestation and enjoyment of the intrinsic bliss of
one's own self and the Majesty of the Lord. The last one is an end in itself, this is the sublime nature of
Bhakti. Thus in Madhva's system there are two distinct phases of Bhakti, one operating at the Sadhana or
"preparatory level" and the other Sadhya or the fundamental level of Moksa itself. Pleased with the initial
Bhakti of the Jivas, the Lord bestows on them firm knowledge of His nature and attributes. He then reveals
Himself. Thereafter He inspires them with still more intensive devotion and after showing Himself to the
Bhaktas He cuts the knot of their Prakrtic bondage. In the released state also, the Jivas remain under the
Lord's control imbued with unalloyed devotion to Him.

Place of grace in redemption:- According to Madhva, this knowledge of God is not a mere intellectual
realizataion of the Deity. It is more a feeling of deep attraction and attachment arising from the knowledge of
Bimbapratibimbabhava between God and soul and sustained by sense of spontaneous attraction and affection
flowingfrom it. Hence, in Bhakti, there is the element of knowledge and attachment combined. In the last
analysis, then, it is not pure knowledge that puts an end to the bondage of souls, but the grace of God in
gracious acceptance of the soul's "surrender". "It is Divine grace that plays the most decisive role in the final
deliverance of the souls, according to Madhva". Not by Karma, or Jnana or even Bhakti can remove the veil
of ignorance without the grace of the Lord withdrawing His obscuration of Jiva.

Aparoksa-Jnana or God-Realization:- In this final stage of Sadhana the Sadhaka receives a direct vision of
the Supreme Being. The Sadhaka is face to face with the object of his meditation and intuits the Divine Form,
which is his archetype (Bimba). This is technically termed `Bimbaparoksa', which is the highest form of
spiritual perception without which no one can hope to be released. However this final stage of vision of the
Lord is different from vision of Dhyana wherein the form of Brahman is built up in the mind of the Sadhaka.
In Dhyana one sees only the reflection of Brahman in the `Citta'. By its presence in the reflection the Supreme
Brahman confers the fruit of meditation on the aspirant. The meditation of this reflected form of Brahman, is
like the worship of an image. It leads (gradually) to the actual vision of the Lord, by His own grace.
Aparoksa-jnana is something which by its nature, defies any more explict description. It is a flash-like
revelation of the Supreme at the furtiom of a long and arduous process of `sravana', `manana', and
nididhyasana', in the fulness of absolute self-surrendering devotion to the Lord, as our Bimba. Ultimately, it is
He that must choose to reveal Himself, pleased by the hungering love of the soul. The Pratibimba (soul) must
turn in and see his Bimba in himself. This is aparoksa.

After aparoksa state:- Aparoksa marks the preliminary stage of release. The journey's end is now fairly in
sight; but not yet fully attained. The Aparoksajnani, in Madhva's system corresponds to the "Jivan-mukta" of
other schools. But there is no destruction of Avidya or Prakrtic bondage yet. To the Aparoksajnanin, the
prospect of Moksa is now "assured". But until the subtle body of sixteen kalas, known as "Linga-Sarira", is
disintegrated, the Jiva is not freed from Prakrtic bondage. This comes at the end of the working out of a
portion of his "Prarabdha-Karma" (that portion of the accumulated load of all past karma, which has begun
already to go through) by "bhoga" (not necessarily pleasant). Madhva holds out also a very assuring prospect
of the possible "Upakarda" mitigation of the effects of some portion of "even" the Prarabdha Karma by the
grace of God and release in its full sense speeded up. The term Prarabdha Karma includes obviously the good
and the bad (`punya' and `papa'). Madhva introduces a subtler distinction in the former, from the point of view
of Aparoksa-jnanin, as `ista' (desirable) and `anista' (undesirable). The former is what conduces to deeper and
deeper manifestations of innate bliss in moksa. The latter is whatever is likely to prolong the onset of
complete release.

Thus, there is no hard and fast rule that final release should take place at the destruction (by death) of that
particular body in and through which Aparoksa-jnana was attained. It depends on Prarabdha-karma. If its
effects have been workd out (in that body) there is no more delay; but if they have not been, then he must pass
through some more `lives' to work them out. This is the position of Sastras on the point. But since law of
Karma is not independent of the Lord's will, Madhva interposes a saving clause in respect of God's will,
which nothing can limit. This may be called the "Vetoing power" (`Upamarda') of the Lord excercised in His
own grace.

Here, the "Upamarda" or devitalizing of the effects of Prarabdha Karma refers to all evil Karma and such of
the Punyakarma (or Punya-Prarabdha) that will delay or retard Moksa, by producing agreeable dffects for
enjoyment in future lives. But such Punya, as will enhance the `anandanubhava' in Moksa, is "credited to the
account" of the Aparoksa-Jnanin. This emphasizes that nothing can possibly stand against God's will. Though
normally not interfering with the law of Karma, there are occasions in the careers of souls when He
benevolently intervenes to scoth individual Karma as such, when He feels that it has had its day. this again
brings out vividly the place and importance of the concept of Grace in the Theism of Madhva. This is how
Madhva understands the statement that God grants His grace to man and it is through grace alone that we can
deserve to be saved from Samsara. To get God's grace upon oneself is greater than to know God intellectually.
Bhakti is emotional sublimation in God. When intellectual perception melts into devotion we have Bhakti.
When such final stage of Bhakt is reached, after Aparoksa-vision, God intervenes to neutralize a portion of
Prarabdha even, and ushers in final Moksa.

MUKTI:

The doctorine of salvation is determined by the conception of of the nature of souls and God in any
philosophical thought. Since Madhva establishes Bhakti, not as a means to an end, but as an end itself" , it
follows that the relation between the individual soul and the Supreme Being is not something that is snapped
in release. For, this relation is not something that is extrinsic to the nature of the soul but something that is
rooted in the very nature and being (`svarupa') of the soul. Its destruction would mean destruction of the Jiva.
It is a unique relation, a spiritual bond which is indestructible. There fore Mukti is merely the shaking off
what is extrinsic to one's nature and reposing in one's own intrinsic nature. The intrinsic spiritual relation
between the human spirit and God is so dynamic in its magnetism that the attraction of the latter becomes
more fully manifested in release than in Samsara. Indeed, it breaks through and finds expression there in a
thousand ways which are beyond our understanding and analysis from `here'.
Madhva maintains that the realization of truth does not mean the abolition of the plurality of life or the
peresonality of selves, but only the removal of the false sense of separateness and independence which is at
the root of Samsara. The attributes of the Jiva is inviolable in the same sense as the Atman itself is
indestructible. Moksa would not be worth having, if Atman does not survive as a self-luminious entity there.
Therefore Madhva lays great stress on the survival of every individual personality, as such , in Moksa
(`muktirhitva anyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih').

In the positive aspect of the view of Moksa, Madhva holds it as a state of supreme bliss. The first and
foremost fact about Moksa is that it is accepted, by common consent, as the highest "Purusartha" of man. For
this reason, it must be a state of unalloyed bliss; and this bliss must be "manifested" i.e., capable of being
actually felt and enjoyed with a full consciousness of being "so enjoyed". This would natuarlly presuppose the
survival of the one who is to enjoy the experiences of this blessed state.

The supreme bliss in Moksa is not a stagnant state. Madhva, says that there is scope for activity and full play
of capabilities for everyone according to one's ablities. Some of the released may rest in the contemplation of
their own blessedness, like Advaitic brahman. Some may contrast their present with their past and feel
thankful for their deleverance. They may adore the majesty of God and sing His Praises or worship Him in a
thousand ways. Some may offer sacrifices, if they wish to the only difference being that "nothing is obligatory
there". There is no "prescribed round of activites" or code of conduct in Moksa, which means there is
unlimited scope for spontaneous, creative work of every kind.

Ananda Taratamya in Moksa:- or a hierarchic gradation in the nature , range, quality, intensity etc., of
`svarupa- ananda' or innate bliss enjoyed by the released souls, is a logical deduction from the theory of
Svarupa-bheda of souls accepted by Madhva. Since Moksa is only the discovery of one's selfhood and
experiencing what is there in it (`muktirhitva.......), there is no possibility of exchanging one's experience with
another's or its transference to another, whether wholly or in part. Each released soul rests fully satisfied
(`purna-trpta') in the enjoyment of "his own Svarupa-ananda"
Madhva uses the argument based on the obvious disparity in the Sadhanas of different orders of beings to
reinforce the docrine of Anandataratamya in Moksa.

There is natural gradation among the released souls as also disparity in their Sadhanas. The difference in the
nature and quality of Sadhanas must necessarily have a relationto the result. The existence of such a gradation
in Moksa is established by reaosn and revelation. Just as vessels of different sizes, the rivers and the Ocean
are "full" of water according to their respective capacities, even so, in respect of the Jivas, from ordinary
human beings to Brahmadeva, their fulness of bliss attained through Sadhanas is to be understood with
reference to their varying (intrinsic) capacities The sadhanas practiced by them such as Bhakti, Jnana etc., are
nothing more than an expression of their intrinsic potentialities, which are the core of their being - going back
to their beginningless eternity. Those with limited capacities are satisfied with limited bliss and those with
comparatively greater capacities reach fulfilment with still more. But each one's satisfaction would be "full"
and "complete" in itself - having reached its `saturation point'.

LESSON 9

ACINTYA BHEDABHEDA

Excerpts from "Teachings of Lord Caitanya."

P. 258
In other words, from Srimad-Bhagavatam we can know the substance as well as the relativities in their true
sense and perspective. The substance is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the
relativities are the different forms of energy which emanate from Him. Since the living entities are also
related to His energies, there is nothing really different from the substance. In the material sense, this
conception is self-contradictory, but Srimad-Bhagavatam explicitly deals with this aspect of simultaneous
oneness and difference. This philosophy is also found in the Vedanta-sutra beginning with the janmady asya
sutra. Knowledge of the simultaneous oneness and difference found in the Absolute Truth is imparted for the
well-being of everyone. Mental speculators mislead people by establishing the energy of the Lord as
absolute, but when the truth of simultaneous oneness and difference is understood, the imperfect concepts of
monism and dualism cease to satisfy. By understanding the Lord's simultaneous oneness with and difference
from His creation, one can immidiately attain freedom from the threefold miseries - miseries inflicted by the
body and mind, by other living entities and by acts of nature.

Srimad-Bhagavatam begins with the surrender of the living entity unto the Absolute Person. This surrender is
made with clear consciousness and awareness of the devotee's oneness with the Absolute, and, at the same
time, of his eternal position of servitorship. In the material conception, one thinks himself to be the Lord of
all he surveys; consequently he is always troubled by the threefold miseries of life. As soon as one comes to
know his real position in transcendental service, he at once becomes freed from all these miseries. The
position of servitor is wasted in the material conception of life. In an attempt to dominate material nature, the
living entity is forced to offer his service to relative material energy. When this service is transferred to the
Lord in pure consciousness of spiritual identity, the living entity at once becomes free from the encumbrances
of material affection.

P. 55

This simultaneous oneness and difference always exists in the relationship between the living entities and the
Supreme Lord. From the marginal position of the living entities, this conception of "simultaneously one and
different" can be understood. The living entity is just like a molecular particle of sunshine, whereas Krsna
may be compared to the blazing, shining sun itself. Lord Caitanya compared the living entities to blazing
sparks from a fire and the Supreme Lord to the blazing fire of the sun. In this connection, the Lord cites a
verse from Visnu Purana (V.P. 1.22.52):

eka-desa-sthitasyagner
jyotsna vistarini yatha
parasya brahmanah saktis
tathedam akhilam jagat

"Everything that is manifested within this cosmic world is but the energy of the Supreme Lord. As fire
emanating from one place diffuses its illumination and heat all around, so the Lord, although situated in one
place in the spiritual world, manifests His different energies everywhere. Indeed, the whole cosmic creation
is composed of different manifestations of His energy."

The energy of the supreme Lord is transcendental and spiritual, and the living entities are part and parcel of
that energy. There is another energy, however, called material energy, which is covered by the cloud of
ignorance. This energy, which is material nature, is divided into three modes, or gunas (goodness, passion
and ignorance). Lord Caitanya quoted from Visnu Purana (V.P. 1.3.2) to the effect that all inconceivable
energies reside in the Supreme Personaltiy of the Lord and that the whole cosmic manifestation acts due to the
Lord's inconceivable energy.

The Lord also said that the living entities are known as ksetrajna, or "knowers of the field of activities." In
the Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, the body is described as the field of activities, and the living entity
as ksetrajna, the knower of that field. Although the living entity is constitutionally conversant with spiritual
energy, or has the potency to understand spiritual energy, he is covered by the material energy and
consequently identifies the body with the self. This false identification is called "false ego." Deluded by this
false ego, the bewildered living entity in material existence changes his different bodies and suffers various
kinds of miseries. Knowledge of the living entity's true position is possessed to different extents by different
types of living entities.

In other words, it is to be understood that the living entity is part and parcel of the spiritual energy of the
Supreme Lord. Because the mateial energy is inferior, man has the ability to get uncovered from this material
energy and utilize the spiritual energy. It is stated in Bhagavad-gita that the superior energy is covered by the
inferior energy. Due to this covering, the living entity is subjected to the miseries of the material world, and,
in proportion to the different degrees of passion and ignorance, he suffers material miseries. Those who are a
little enlightened suffer less, but on the whole everyone is subjected to material miseries due to being covered
by the material energy.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu also quoted from the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita in which it is stated that earth,
water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego all combine together to form the inferior energy of the
Supreme Lord. The superior energy, however, is the real identity of the living being, and it is because of that
energy that the whole material world functions. The cosmic manifestation, which is made of material
elements, has no power to act unless it is moved by the superior energy, the living entity. It can actually be
said that the conditioned life of the living entity is due to forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme
Lord in the superior energy. When that relationship is forgotten, conditional life is the result. Only when man
revives his real identity, that of eternal servitor to the Lord, does he become liberated.

C.C. MAD 6.162

mayadhisa maya-vasa -- isvare-jive bheda


nena-jive isvara-saha kaha ta abheda

TRANSLATION

"The Lord is the master of the potencies, and the living entity is the servant of them. That is the difference
between the Lord and the living entity. However, you declare that the Lord and the living entities are one and
the same.

PURPORT

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is by nature the master of all potencies. By nature, the living entities,
being infinitesimal, are always under the influence of the Lord's potencies. According to the Mundaka
Upanisad (3.1.1-2):

dva suparna sayuja sakhaya


samanam vrksam parisa-svajate
tayor anyah pippalam svadv atty
anasnann anyo bhicakasiti

samane vrkse puruso nimagno


nisaya socati muhyamanah
justam yada pasyaty anyam isam
asya mahimanam eti vita-sokah

The Mundaka Upanisad completely distinguishes the Lord from the living entities. The living entity is
subjected to the reaction of fruitive activity, whereas the Lord simply witnessnes such activity and bestows the
results. According to the the living entity's desires, he is wandering from one body to another and from one
planet to another, under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramatma. However, when
the living entity comes to his senses by the mercy of the Lord, he is awarded devotional service. Thus he is
saved from the clutches of maya. At such a time he can see his eternal friend, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, and become free from all lamentation, and hankering. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.54),
where the Lord says, brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati: "One who is thus transcendentally
situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything." Thus it is
definitely proved that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of all potencies and that the living
entities are always subjected to these potencies. That is the difference between mayadhisa and maya-vasa.

C.C. MAD 6.163

gita-sastre jiva-rupa sakti kari mane


hena jive bheda kara isvarera sane

TRANSLATION

"In Bhagavad-gita the living entity is established as the marginal potency of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. Yet you say that the living entity is completely different from the Lord.

PURPORT

The Brahma-sutra states that according to the principle of sakti-saktimator abhedah, the living entity is
simultaneously one with and different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Qualitatively the living
entity and the Supreme Lord are one, but in quantity they are different. according to Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu's philosophy (acintya-bhedabheda-tattva), the living entity and the Supreme Lord are accepted
as one and different at the same time.

C.C. ADI 1.91

PURPORT

The real form of religion is spontaneous loving service to Godhead. This relationship of the living being with
the Absolute Personality of Godhead in serice is eternal. The Personality of Godhead is described as vastu, or
the Substance, and the living entities are described as vastavas, or innumberable samples of the Substance in
relative existence. The relationship of these substantive portions with the Supreme Substance can never be
annihilated, for it is an eternal quality inherent in the living being.

By contact with material nature the living entities exhibit varied symptoms of the disease of material
consciousness. To cure this material disease is the supreme object of human life. The process that treats this
disease is called bhagavata-dharma or sanatana-dharma - real religion. This is described in the pages of
Srimad-Bhagavatam. Therefore anyone who, because of his background of pious activites in previous lives,
is anxious to hear, immediately realizes the presence of the Supreme Lord within his heart and fulfills the
mission of his life.

C.C. MAD 9.42

tarkika-mimamsaka, yata mayavadi-gana


sankhya, patanjala, smrti, purana, agama

TRANSLATION

There are many kinds of philosophers. Some are logicians who follow Gautama or Kanada. Some follow the
mimamsa philosophy of Jaimini. Some follow the Mayavada philosophy of Sankaracarya, and others follow
Kapila's sankhya philosophy or the mystic yoga system of Patanjali. Some follow the smrti-sastra composed
of twenty religious scriptures, and others follow the Puranas and the tantra-sastra. In this way there are many
different types of philosophers.
C.C. MAD 9.43

nija-nija-sastrodgrahe sabai pracanda


sarva mata dusi prabhu kare khanda khanda

TRANSLATION

All of these adherents of various scriptures were ready to present the conclusions of their respective
scriptures, but Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu broke all their opinions to pieces and established His own cult of
bhakti based on the Vedas, Vedanta, the Brahma-sutra and the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda-tattva.

C.C. PREFACE P. x

Lord Caitanya instructed the mass of people in the sankhya philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda-tattva, which
maintains that the Supreme Lord is simultaneously one with and different from His creation. Lord Caitanya
taught this philosophy through the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. He taught that the holy name of the
Lord is the sound incarnation of the Lord and that since he Lord is the absolute whole, there is no difference
between His holy name and His transcendental form. Thus by chanting the holy name of the Lord one can
directly associate with the Supreme Lord by sound vibration. As one practices this sound vibration, he passes
through three stages of development: the offensive stage, the clearing stage and the transcendental stage. In
the offensive stage one may desire all kinds of material happiness, but in the second stage one becomes clear
of all material contamination. When one is situated on the transcendental stage, he attains the most coveted
position - the stage of loving God. Lord Caitanya taught that this is the highest stage of perfection for human
beings.
LESSON 10

SAMBANDHA - ABHIDEYA - PRAYOJANA


Introduction:

C.C. MAD 20.124

veda-sastra kahe -- sambandha abhidheya prayojana


krsna -- prapya sambandha bhakti -- praptyera sadhana

TRANSLATION

"The Vedic literatures give information about the living entity's eternal relationship with Krsna, which is
called sambandha. The living entity's understanding of this relationship and acting accordingly is called
abhidheya. Returning home, back to Godhead, is the ultimate goal of life and is called prayojana.

C.C. MAD 20.125

abhidheya-nama bhakti prema -- prayojana


purusartha-siromani prema maha-dhana

TRANSLATION
"Devotional service, or sense activity for the satisfaction of the Lord, is called abhidheya because it can
develop one's original love of Godhead, which is the goal of life. This goal is the living entity's topmost
interest and greatest wealth. Thus one attains the platform of transcendental loving service unto the Lord.

PURPORT

The conditioned soul is bewildered by the external material energy, which fully engages him in a variety of
sense gratification. Due to engagement in material activities, one's original Krsna consciousness is covered.
However, as the supreme father of all living entities, Krsna wants His sons to return home, back to Godhead;
therefore He personally comes to deliver Vedic literatures like Bhagavad-gita. He engages His confidential
servants who serve as spiritual masters and enlighten the conditioned living entities. Being present in
everyone's heart, the Lord gives the living entities the conscience whereby they can accept the Vedas and the
spiritual master. In this way the living entity can understand his constitutional position and his relationship
with the Supreme Lord. As personally enunciated by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (15.15), vedais ca
sarvair aham eva vedyah: through the study of Vedanta, one may become fully aware of his relationship with
the Supreme Lord and act accordingly. In this way one may ultimately attain the platform of loving service to
the Lord. It is in the living entity's best interest to understand the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, the living
entities have forgotten; therefore Srimad-Bhagavatam says: na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum (Bhag
7.5.31).

Everyone wants to achieve life's ultimate goal, but due to being absorbed in the material energy, we waste our
time with sense gratification. Through the study of Vedic literatures - of which the essence is Bhagavad-gita -
one comes to Krsna consciousness. Thus one engagaes in devotional service, called abhidheya. When
actually developed, love of Godhead is called prayojana, the living entity's ultimate goal. When one becomes
fully Krsna conscious, he has attained the perfection of life.

Sambandha

C.C. MAD 25.114

aham eva-sloke aham -- tina-bara


purnaisvarya sri-vigraha-sthitira nirdhara

TRANSLATION

"'In the beginning "aham eva," the word "aham" is expressed three times. In the beginning there are the
words "aham eva." In the second line there are the words "pascad aham." At the end are the words "so'smy
aham." This "aham" indicates the Supreme Person. By the repetition of "aham," the transcendental
personality who is complete with six opulences is confirmed.

C.C. MAD 25.115

ye vigraha nahi mane, nirakara mane


tare tiraskaribare karila nirdharane

TRANSLATION

"'Impersonalists do not accept the personal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Personality
of Godhead is stressed in this verse in order to impress upon them the necessity of accepting Him. Therefore
the word "aham" is mentioned three times. To stress something important, one repeats it three times.
C.C. MAD 25.116

ei saba sabde haya -- jnana-vijnana-viveka


maya-karya maya haite ami vyatireka

TRANSLATION

"'Actual spiritual knowledge and its practical application are considered in all these sound vibrations.
Although the external energy comes from Me, I am different from it.

C.C. MAD 25.117

yaiche suryera sthane bhasaye abhasa


surya vina svatantra tara na haya prakasa

TRANSLATION

"'Sometimes a reflection of the sun is experienced in place of the sun, but its illumination is never possible
independent of the sun.

C.C. MAD 25.118

mayatita haile haya amara anubhava


ei sambaandha-tattva kahilun suna ara saba

TRANSLATION

"'When one is transcendentally situated, he can perceive Me. This perception is the basis of one's relationship
with the Supreme Lord. Now let Me further explain this subject matter.

C.C.MAD 25.119

rte rtham yat pratiyeta


na pratiyeta catmani
tad vidyad atmano mayam
yathabhaso yatha tamah

TRANSLATION

"'What appears to be truth without Me, is certainly My illusory energy, for nothing can exist without Me. It is
like a reflection of a real light in the shadows, for in the light there are neither shadows nor reflections.

C.C.MAD 25.132

vadanti tat tattva-vidas


tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate

TRANSLATION

"'The absolute Truth is known by the self-realized souls as a unified indentity known by different names-
impersonal Brahman, localized Paramatma, and Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.'

C.C. MAD 25.133

bhagavan eka asedam


agra atmatmanam vibhuh
atmecchanugatav atma
ananamaty-upalaksanah

TRANSLATION

"'Before the cosmic manifestation was created, the creative propensity was merged in His person. At that
time all potencies and manifestations were preserved in the personality of the Supreme Lord. The Lord is the
cause of all causes, and He is the all-pervading, self-sufficient person. Before the creation, He existed with
His spiritual potency in the spiritual world, wherein various Vaikuntha planets are manifest.'

C.C. MAD 25.134

ete camsa-kalah pumsah


krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokam
mrdayanti yuge yuge

TRANSLATION

"'All these incarnation of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the purusa-
avataras. But Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In every age He protects the world
through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra.'

C.C.MAD 25.135

eita sambandha suna abhidheya bhakti


bhagavate prati-sloke vyape yara sthiti

TRANSLATION

"This is one's eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now please hear about the
execution of devotional service. This principle pervades practically all the verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Abhideya

C.C. MAD 25.120

abhidheya sadhana bhaktira sunaha vicara


sarva-jana-desa-kala-dasate vyapti yara

TRANSLATION

"'Now please hear from Me about the process of devotional service, which is applicable in any country, for
any person, at all times and in all circumstances.

C.C. MAD 25.121

dharmadi visaye yaiche e cari vicara


sadhana-bhakti -- ei cari vicarera para

TRANSLATION

"'As far as religious principles are concerned, there is a consideration of the person, the country, the time and
the circumstanc. In devotional service, however, there are no such considerations. Devotional service is
transcendental to all considerations.

PURPORT

On the spiritual platform, the four principles are jnana, vijnana, tad-anga and tad-rahasya. Rules,
regulations and restrictions are on the material platform, but on the spiritual platform one has to be equipped
with transcendental knowledge, which is above the principles of religious rituals.

C.C. MAD 25.122

sarva-desa-kala-dasaya janera kartavya


guru-pase sei bhakti prastavya, srotavya

TRANSLATION

"'It is therefore the duty of every man - in every country, in every circumstance and at all times - to approach
the bona fide spiritual master, question him about devotional service and listen to him explain the process.

C.C. MAD 25.123

etavad eva jijnasyam


tattvam-jijnasunatmanah
anvaya-vyatirekabhyam
yat syat sarvatra sarvada

TRANSLATION
"'A person interested in transcendental knowledge must therefore always directly and indirectly inquire about
it to know about the all-pervading truth.

C.C. MAD 25.136

bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah


sraddhayatma priyah satam
bhaktih punati man-nistha
sva-pakan api sambhavat

TRANSLATION

"'Being very dear ato the devotees and sadhus, I am attained through unflinching faith and devotional service.
This bhakti-yoga system, which gradually increases atttachment for Me, purifies even a human being born
among dog-eaters. That is to say, everyone can be elevated to the spiritual platform by the process of bhakti-
yoga.

C.C. MAD 25.137

na sadhayati mam yogo


na sankhyam dharma uddhava
na svadhyayas tapas tyago
yatha bhaktir mamorjita

TRANSLATION

"'The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, said" "My dear Uddhava, neither through astanga-yoga [the
mystic yoga system to control the senses], nor through impersonalism or an analytical study of the Absolute
Truth, nor through study of the Vedas, nor through practice of austerities, nor through charity, nor throught
acceptance of sannyasa, can one satisfy Me as much as one can by developing unalloyed devotional service
unto Me."'

C.C. MAD 25.138

bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad


isad apetasya viparyayo smrtih
tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam
bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma

TRANSLATION

"'When the living entity is attraced by the material energy, which is separate from Krsna, he is overpowered
by fear. Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his
conception of life is reversed. In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Krsna, he becomes
Krsna's competitor. This is called viparyayo 'smrtih. To nullify this mistake, one who is actually learned and
advanced worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his spiritual master, worshipful Deity and source
of life. He thus worships the Lord by the process of unalloyed devotional service.'

Prayojana
C.C. MAD 25.124

amate ye priti sei prema -- prayojana


karya-dvare kahi tara svarupa-laksana

TRANSLATION

"'Supreme affection for Me is called love of Godhead, and that is the ultimate goal of life. Let Me explain by
practical example the naural characteristics of such love.

C.C. MAD 25.125

panca-bhuta yaiche bhutera bhitare-bahire


bhakta-gane sphuri ami bahire-antare

TRANSLATION

"'The five material elements are existing inside and outside of every living entity. Similarly, I, the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, am manifest within the heart of the devotee as well as outside his body.

C.C. MAD 25.126

yatha mahanti bhutani


bhutesuccavacesv anu
pravistany apravistani
tatha tesu na tesv aham

TRANSLATION

"'As the material elements enter the bodies of all living beings and yet remain outside them all, I exist within
all material creations and yet am not within them.

C.C. MAD 25.127

bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdaya-bhitare


yahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare

TRANSLATION

"'A highly elevated devotee can bind Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in his heart by love.
Wherever he lokks, he sees Me and nothing else.

C.C. MAD 25.128

visrjati hrdayam na yasya saksad


dharir avasabhihito 'py aghaugha-nasah
pranaya-rasanaya dhrtanghri-padmah
sa bhavati bhagavata-pradhana uktah
TRANSLATION

"'Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who destroys everything inauspicious for His devotees, does not
leave the heats of His devotees even if they remember Him and chant about Him inattentively. This is
because the rope of love always binds the Lord within the devotees' hearts. Such devotees should be accepted
as most elevated.

C.C. MAD 25.129

sarva-bhutesu yah pasyed


bhagavad-bhavam stmanah
bhutani bhagavaty atmany
esa bhagavatottamah

TRANSLATION

"'A person advanced in devotional service sees within everything the soul of souls, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Sri Krsna. Consequently he always sees the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the
cause of all causes and understands that all things are situated in Him.

C.C. MAD 25.130

gayanta uccair amum eva samhatah


vickyur unmattakavad vanad vanam
papracchur akasavad antaram bahir
bhutesu santam purusam vanaspatin

TRANSLATION

"'All the gopis assembled to chant the transcendental qualities of Krsna very loudly, and they began to wander
from one forest to another like mad-women. They began to inquire about the Lord, who is situated in all
living entities internally and externally. Indeed, they even asked all the plants and vegetables about Him, the
Supreme Person.'"

C.C. MAD 25.139

ebe suna prema yei -- mula prayojana


pulakasru-nrtya-gita -- yahara laksana

TRANSLATION

"Now hear from Me what actual love of Godhead is. It is the prime object of life and is symptomized by
bodily trembling, tears in the eyes, chanting and dancing.

C.C. MAD 25.140

smarantah smarayas ca
mitho ghaugha-haram harim
bhaktya sanjataya bhaktya
bibhraty utpulakam tanum

TRANSLATION

"'Pure devotees develop a spiritual body and symptoms of ecstaticlove simply by remembering and reminding
others of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who takes away everything inauspicious from the
devotee. This position is attained by rendering devotional service according to the regulative principles and
then rising to the platform of spontaneous love.

C.C. MAD 25.141

evam-vratah sva-priya-nama-kirtya
jatanurago druta-citta uccaih
hastay atho roditi rauti gayaty
unmadavan nrtyati loka-bahyah

TRANSLATION

"'When a person is actually advanced and takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is very
dear to him, he is agitated and loudly chants the holy name. He also laughs, cries, becomes agitated and
chants like a madman, not caring for outsiders.'

Conclusion

C.C. MAD 25.131

ataeva bhagavate ei tina kaya


sambandha-abhidheya-prayojana-maya

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "One's relationship with the Lord, activities and devotional service, and
the attainment of the highest goal of life, love of Godhead, are the subject matters of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

C.C. MAD 25.146

sarva-vedanta-saram hi
srimad-bhagavtam isyate
tad-rasamrta-trptasya
nanyatra syad ratih kvacit

TRANSLATION

"'Srimad-Bhagavatam is accepted as the essence of all Vedic literature and Vedanta philosophy. Whoever
tastes the transcendental mellow of Srimad-Bhagavatam is never attracted to any other literature.

C.C. MAD 25.147


gayatrira arthe ei grantha-arambhana
satyam param -- sambandha, dhimahi -- sadhana-prayojana

TRANSLATION

"In the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam there is an explanation of the Brahma-gayatri mantra. 'The
Absolute Truth [satyam param] indicates the relationship, and we meditate [dhimahi] on Him indicates the
execution of devotional service and the ultimate goal of life.

C.C. MAD 25.150

krsna-bhakti-rasa-svarupa sri-bhagavata
tate veda-sastra haite parama mahattva

TRANSLATION

"Srimad-Bhagavatam gives direct information of the mellow derived from service to Krsna. Therefore
Srimad-Bhagavatam is above all other Vedic literatures.

C.C. MAD 25.153

ataeva bhagavata karaha vicara


iha haite pabe sutra-srutira artha-sara

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised Prakasananda Sarasvati, "Study Srimad-Bhagavatam very scrutinizingly.
Then you will understand the actual meaning of Brahma-sutra.

C.C. MAD 25.154

nirantara kara krsna-nama-sankirtana


helaya mukti pabe pabe prema-dhana

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "Always discuss Srimad-Bhagavatam and constantly chant the holy
name of Lord Krsna. In this way you will be able to attain liberation very easily, and you will be elevated to
the enjoyment of love of Godhead.

PURPORT

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states that without studying Srimad-Bhagavatam, one cannot
understand the purport of Brahma-sutra (Vedanta-sutra) or the Upanisads. If one tries to understand Vedanta
philosophy and the Upanisads without studying Srimad-Bhagavatam, he will be bewildered and, construing a
different meaning, will gradually become an atheist or an impersonalist.
11 LESON

FOUR SAMPRADAYAS AND THEIR


THEORIES OF BONDAGE
NIMBARKA

The Jiva has his true form distorted and obscured owing to his contact with `karma' resulting from
ignorance, which is beginningless, but which can come to an end, by the grace of God, when its true nature is
fully manifested.

VALLABHA

According to Vallabha, the Jiva's association with `avidya', as well as his bondage and freedom, are
brought about by the free will of Brahman for the purpose of sport.

RAMANUJA

Beginningless Karma is considered to be the cause of bondage of the Jivas in Samsara. Because of this the
souls are caught up in a continuous cycle of births and deaths.

Samsara is due to avidya which is of the nature of karma, accumulated by the jiva in its previous births. In this
condition jnana and ananda are obscured but fully manifest in the state of liberation.

MADHVA

The sense of misery, which is bondage, is external to their essence and is brought about by a "real" though
"misplaced sense of independence of initiative and conduct"

Bondage is of the nature of ignorance.

Madhva calls his theory of bondage by the name of `svabhava ajnana vada'. Even though the jiva is a self
luminous being, still, it is not inconceivable that he should become subject to ignorance
of his own true nature and of the nature of God and of his true relationship with Him, as he is a dependent
being, and part.

According to Madhva the Lord actuates the latent power of Prakrti known as Maya and avidya and then the
bondage begins. Though the jivas are dependent on God, (the theory of svabhava ajnana vada accepts that) the
kartrtva (freewill) and bhoktrtva (enjoyer-mood) allows the avidya to act upon them. These faculties as well
as the resultant false ego, intelligence, mind, the senses and the senses are all God-given. In ignorance, the
jiva thinks that they are all under his control and his possessions. The fact is that they are our possessions
subject to the will of the Lord. Due to contact with such material existence and the permeation of the
consciousness through all these and the resultant attachment to them, the jiva regards the dualities as his own
and subjects himself to continuous material existence in various levels. This is known as samsara.

-0-

1. Being part and parcel of Krsna,Lord Caitanya


jivas have minute independence

2. Jivas have infinitesimal lording


tendency

3. Some jivas lord the independence


to become lord, independent of
Krsna

(Krsna, the Supreme Independent


by His will allows them)Madhva

(It is the pastime of the Lord to


provide for the desires of the
living entities)Vallabha
4. Due to misuse of independence
they fall

5. Forgetfulness of constitutional
relationship results in
ignoranceNimbarka

6. They place their consciousness in


material nature

7. Material nature carries on activities


for the lording tendency of jivas

8. Jivas' consciousness gets more and more


polluted, beginningless karmaRamanuja

9. Jivas are in samsara


*VYUHA.
[Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha. Of these, Vasudeva is replete with the six qualities. Other
three vyuhas also qualified by all six gunas, it however, is characterized by two predominant gunas.
Sankarsana is filled with knowledge and strength. Pradyumna possesses in highest degree lordship and
virility. Aniruddha has consummate potency and splendor. Each vyuha has two sets of activities - cosmic and
ethical.

According to Ramanuja Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha are the beings ruling over the individual selves,
internal organs and organs of egoity; and consequently Sankarsana is denoted by 'jiva', Pradyumna by 'manas'
and Aniruddha by 'ahankara'.

The (cosmic) activities of Sankarsana are to destroy the universe and propound scriptures. Pradyumna creates
the universe and introduces all dharmas. Aniruddha protects the creation and makes known tattva. The
ethical activities of the three vyuhas are declared to be teaching (i) by Sankarsana of sastra or "theory" namely
of monotheism (ekantikamarga), (ii) by Pradyumna, of its translation into practice (tatkriya); and (iii) by
Aniruddha, or the gain resulting from such practice (kriya-phala), liberation].

*ARCA.
[Is a special form which without remotness of space and time, accepts for its body (any) substance chosen by
the devotees, and descends into it with a non-material body; He becomes dependent on the worshiper for
bath, food, sitting, sleeping, etc.; bears everything and is (with knowledge and other attributes); (He) is
present in houses, villages and towns, sacred places, hills etc. He is fourfold because of the difference as
svayamvyakta 'daiva' (consecrated by the divine beings), saiddha (consecrated by sages and 'manusa'
consecrated by human beings].
LIBERATION, according to the four
sampradayas

RAMANUJA
BONDAGE:-

Beginningless Karma is considered to be the cause of bondage of the Jivas in


Samsara. Because of this the souls are caught up in a continuous cycle of births and
deaths.

MOKSA:-

Bhakti:- According to Visistadvaita Vedanta,`bhakti' is the means or `upaya' to


`moksa', as this is evident from numerous Sruti and Smrti texts. Bhakti is defined as
unceasing meditation done with love on the Supreme Being (`snehapurvam-
anudyanam'). It is regarded as knowledge in the form of love for God (`pritirupa
jnana'). It is generated by scrupulous observance of religious duties as laid down by
scripture in accordance with one's `varna' and `asrama', along with spiritual
knowledge. The performance of one's duties and rituals (`karma') will have to be
observed, as explained in Gita, purely as divine service for the pleasure of God
(`bhagavat priti') and not in expectation of any rewards thereof. This in brief is the
Visistadvaita view of `sadhana' for Moksa.

Prapatti:- Visistadvaita philosophy discusses besides Bhakti, `prapatti' or absolute self


surrender to God as an alternative means to `moksa'. Bhakti is a rigorous discipline,
and for those, who are incapable of undertaking it, `prapatti' is advocated as an
alternative easy path to `moksa', This doctorine is adopted on the strength of the
teachings contained in the Vedas as well as the Itihasas, Puranas, and Pancaratra
literature.

The Nature of Mukti:- According to the Visistadvaita Vedanta, `moksa' is not merely
freedom from bondage but it is also a positive state of existence for the Jiva in a supra-
mundane realm (`parama-pada') without losing its individuality. This state of highest
achievement is described as `paripurna-brahmanubhava', the full and perfect
enjoyment of the bliss of Brahman. It is admitted that the individual soul in the state of
`moksa' could assume a body out of its free will (`sankalpa') for the purpose of
enjoying bliss or for movement.

JIVA:- is of the nature of consciousness and possesses `dharmabhutajnana' as an


inseparable attribute. It is real, eternal and unborn. It is distinct from the body, sense
organs, mind and vital airs.
Though the individual self, as a mode of Brahman, is essentially of the same nature, it
is actually distinct; for it is of monadic size and resides in a separate body. It is the
agent, the enjoyer, the embodied Self, and the body. It is embodied Self with regard to
its physical body. It is the body with regard to Isvara. It is not only sentient, but it is also
of the essence of ananda. Samsara is due to avidya which is of the nature of karma,
accumulated by the jiva in its previous births. In this condition jnana and ananda are
obscured but fully manifest in the state of liberation. In spite of its monadic size, the
jiva can contact the ends of space through its attributive knowledge.
Classification of Jivas:

JIVA
*
*
-----------------------
* * *
* * *
NITYAS MUKTAS BADDHAS
(eternals) (liberated) (the bound)
*
*
-----------------------------------------------
* *
* *
BUBHUKSU MUMUKSU
(the pleasure seeker) (the salvation seeker)
* *
* *
------------------------------ -------------------------
* * * *
* * * *
ARTHAKAMAPARA DHARMAPARA VOTARY OF VOTARY OF
(votary of (votary of dharma) KAIVALYA MOKSA
artha & kama) * [`kaivalya' is- *
* defined as the nature- *
----------------------- of self-realization of the- *
* * self as distinct from- *
* * prakrti] *
VOTARY OF VOTARY OF *
VARIOUS BHAGAVAN *
GODS (4 kinds, Bg.vii.16) *
*
------------------------------------------------------
* *
* *
BHAKTA PRAPANNA
(lover of God) (one who has surrendered
himself to God)
*
*
--------------------------------------
* *
* *
EKANTIN PARAMA-EKANTIN
(one pointed) (extremely one pointed)

[he is ekantin who seeks [he is `parama-ekantin' who does not


from Bhagavan alone liberation desire any other fruits even from
along with other (worldly) fruits] bhagavan Himself except devotion &
knowledge] *
*
-------------------------------
* *
* *
DRPTA ARTHA
(patient aspirant who experiences (impatient aspirant who desires
the fruits of his past deeds and release immediately after the
desires perfection at the time of act of self-surrender)
casting off his body)

******************************************
VALLABHACARYA
4. BONDAGE:

According to Vallabha, the Jiva's association with `avidya', as well as his bondage
and freedom, are brought about by the free will of Brahman for the purpose of sport.

5. MOKSA:

The moksa which consists in the absolute cessation of all misery and the
experiencing of the bliss which was observed in the condition of Samsara, can be
attained by two means, Bhakti (devotion) and Jnana (knowledge). Of these the former
is superior, since it leads to the realisation of the divine form of the Brahman as Krsna
or Purusottama, in which the Anandamsa is at its best; while the latter is inferior, as it
leads to the realisation of the second or non-determinate form of brahman where the
Anandamsa is of an inferior order. bhakti itself is of two degrees, `Maryadabhakti' and
`Pustibhakti'. In the former, the devotee attains moksa by practice of means
(`sadhana') on his own part, such as, the disciplines laid down in the Sastra, which
produce an aversion to worldly things, or worship and prayer of Bhagavan. In the
latter-and this is the higher kind of Bhakti-the devotee, without having recourse to any
Sadhanas, depends upon nothing but pure and simple love of Him; his goal is only the
service of Hari; his highest pleasure is to become one of the associated of Hari and to
sport with him in the celestial Vrndavana. This `pustibhakti' is the privilege of only him
whom Bhagavan is pleased to favour; it begins with `prema' which removes a liking for
anything but Hari, and passing through `asakti' which produces a positive aversion to
objects not connected with Hari, culminates in `vyasana' or entire devotion to Hari.

***********************************************

FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE 4 VAISHNAVA


SAMPRADAYAS

Vishnuswami: only the Tattva Pradipa is extant; his Vedanta commentary, called Sarvajnasukta, is lost in time.
He was a devotee of Lord Nrsinghadeva, and he is mentioned by a scientist named Sayana Madhava as
having taught that Lord Nrsinghadeva’s body is sac-cid-ananda. This was around 1300 A.D.
Bhaktisiddhanata Sarasvati Thakura, according to Sambidananda dasa, his initiated disciple in a disseratation,
gives the information that there were three Vishnuswamis. There was the Adi Vishnuswami, born about 300
B.C. in South India, in the territory of the Pandya kings. He was called Devatanu, son of Devesvara, the
prime minister. Devesvara was a Vaishnava and taught his son to oppose Buddhism and other non-Vaishnava
cults. King Pandovijaya went with Devasvara to Puri to capture the Jagan-natha temple from the Buddhists,
who had changed the worship of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra into the Buddhist deities Dharma,
Buddha and Samgha. He is said to have revived the Rathayatra festival, which had been stopped for a long
time due to Buddhist influence. Even now the Ratha ceremony is called Pahandi or Panduvijaya, and the
priests are called Panda.
Adi Vishnusvami was a tridandi sannyasi and had 700 sannyasi disciples. He introduced 108 names of
sannyasa, from which Shankara took ten. Then, about 1200 years later (A.D. 800-900), the Shuddhadvaita
doctrine was revived by Raja Gopala, the second Vishnuswami. He converted many Mayavadis into
Vaishnavas, and likewise was a great devotee of Lord Nrsinghadeva. The Shaivaite sect of Shivaswami was a
splinter group from this period of the Rudra Sampradaya. The Vaishnavas held that Rudra is guru and the
devotee of Lord Nrsingha. The Shaivaites held that Rudra is God. The Shaiva philosophy is similar to
Suddhadvaita, but they put up Shiva as the supreme Godhead.
Then, in the 1300’s, Andhra Vishnuswami revived Vaishnava Suddhadvaita again.
Vallabhacharya comes in his disciplic succession.

3.12.4

Although Brahma created the principles ;of ;nescience as a matter of necessity for those living entities who
were destined to ignorance by the will of he Lord, he was not satisfied in performing such a thankless task.
He therefore created four principles of knowledge: sankhya, or empirical philosophy for the analytical study
of material conditions; yoga or mysticism for liberation of the pure soul from material bondage; vairagya, the
acceptance of complete detachment from material enjoyment in life to elevate oneself to the highest spiritual
understanding; and tapas, or the various kinds of voluntary austerities performed for spiritual perfection.
Brahma created the four great sages Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat to entrust them with these four
principles ;of spiritual advancement, and they inaugurated their own spiritual party, or sampradaya, known as
the Kumara-sampradaya, or later on as the Nimbaraka-sampradaya, for the advancement of bhakti. All of
these great sages became great devotees, for without devotional service to the Personality of Godhead one
cannot achieve success in any activity of spiritual value.

4.22.5

Prthu Maharaja was the ideal Vaisnava king; therefore he taught others by his personal behavior how to
receive and respect saintly persons like the Kumaras. When a saintly person comes to one's home, it is the
Vedic custom first to wash his feet with water and then sprinkle this water over the heads of oneself and one's
family. Prthu Maharaja did this, for he was an exemplary teacher of the people in general.

4.24.18

Lord Siva is known as the greatest devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is known as the best
of all types of Vaisnavas (vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh). Consequently, Lord Siva has a Vaisnava
sampradaya, the disciplic succession known as the Rudra-sampradaya. Just as there is a Brahma-sampradaya
coming directly from Lord Brahma, the Rudra-sampradaya comes directly from Lord Siva. Lord Siva is one
of the twelve great personalities, as stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam:

svayambhur naradah sambhuh


kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam

These are twelve great authorities in preaching God consciousness. The name Sambhu means Lord Siva. His
disciplic succession is also known as Visnusvami-sampradaya, and the current Visnusvami-sampradaya is also
known as the Vallabha-sampradaya. The current Brahma-sampradaya is known as the Madva-Gaudiya-
sampradaya. Even though Lord Siva appeared to preach Mayavada philosophy, at the end of his pastime in
the form of Sankaracarya, he preached the Vaisnava philosophy: bhaja govindam bhaja govindam bhaja
govindam mudha-mate. He stressed worshiping Lord Krsna, or Govinda, three times in this verse and
especially warned his followers that they could not possibly acheive deliverance, or mukti, simply by word
jugglery and grammatical puzzles. If one is actually serius to attain mukti, he must worhsip Lord Krsna. That
is Sripada Sankarcarya's last instruction.
4.28.31

There are fourteen Manus in one day of Brahma. A manvantar, the life-span of one Manu, is given as 71
multiplied by 4,320,000 years. After one such Manu passes on, another Manu begins his life-span. In this
way the life cycle of the universe is going on. As one Manu follows another, the cult of Krsna consciousness
is being imparted, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.1)

sri-bhagavan uvaca
imam vivasvate yogam'
proktavan aham avyayam
vivasvan manave praha
manur iksvakave 'bravit

"The Blessed Lord said, I instructed this imperishable science of yog to the sun-god, Vivisvan, and Vivasvan
instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku." Vivasvan, the sun-
god, imparted Bhagavad-gita to one Manu, and this Manu imparted it to his son, who imparted it to yet
another Manu. In this way the propagation of Krsna consciousness is never stopped. No one should think
that this Krsna consciousness movement is a new movement. As confirmed by Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-
Bhagavatam, it is a very, very old movement, for it has been pasing down from one Manu to another.

Among Vaisnavas there may be some difference of opinion due to everyone's personal identity, but despite all
personal difference, the cult of Krsna consiousness must go on. We can see that under the instructions of Srila
Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja began preaching the Krsna
consciousness movement in an organized way within the past hundred years. The disciples of Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja are all Godbrothers, and although there are some differences of
opinion, and although we are not acting cojointly, every one of us is spreading this Krsna consciousness
movement according to his own capacity and producing many disciples to spread it all over the world. As far
as we are concerned, we have already started the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and many
thousands of Europeans and Americans have joined this movement. Indeed, it is spreading like wild-fire.
The cult of Krsna consciousness, based on the nine principles of devotional service (sravanam, kirtanam
visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam/acanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam), will never be
stopped. It will go on without distinction of caste, creed, color or country. No one can check it.

The word bhoksyate is very important in this verse. Just as a king gives protection to his citizens, these
devotees, following the principles of devotional service, will give protection to all the people of the world.
The people of the world are very much harassed by so-called religious principled svamis, yogis, karmis and
jnanis, but none of these can show the right way to become elevated to the spiritual platform. There are
primarily four parties spreading devotional service all over the universe. These are the Ramanuja-
sampradaya, the Madhva-sampradaya, the Visnusvami-sampradaya and the Nimbarka-sampradaya. The
Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya in particular comes from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All these devotees are
spreading this Krsna consciousness movement very widely and giving protection to innocent people who are
being so much embarrassed by pseudo-avataras, -svamis, -yogis and others.

6.8.42

In the Padma Purana it is also said, sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah. There are four
sampradayas, or disciplic successions, namely the Brahma-sampradaya, the Rudra-sampradaya, the Sri-
sampradaya and the Kumara-sampradaya. If one wants to advance in spiritual power, one must recieve his
mantras from one of these bona fide sampradayas; otherwise he will never successfully advance in spiritual
life.

Adi 1.19
The devotees of Orissa are called Udiyas, the devotees of Bengal are called Gaudiyas, and the devotees of
southern India are known as Dravidi devotees. As there are five provinces in Aryavarta, so Daksinatya,
southern India, is also divided into five provinces, which are called Panca-dravida.f The four Vaisnava
acaryas who area the great authorities of the four Vaisnava disciplic succession, as well as Sripada
Sankaracarya of the Mayavada school, appeared in the Panca-dravida provinces. Among the four Vaisnava
acaryas who are all accepted by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Sri Ramanuja Acarya appeared at Pajakam (near
Vimanagiri) in the district of Myangalora, Sri Visnusvami appeared at Pandya, and Sri Nimbarka appeared at
Mungera-patana in the extreme south.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the chain of disciplic succession from Madhva Acarya, but the Vaisnavas
in His line do not accept the tattva-vadis, who also claim to belong to the Madhva-sampradaya. To
distinguish themselves clearly from the tattva-vadi branch of Madhva's descendents, the Vaisnavas of Bengal
prefer to call themselves Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Sri Madhva Acarya is also known as Sri Gaudapurnananda, and
therefore the name Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya is quite suitable for the disciplic succession of the Gaudiya
Vaisnavas. Our spiritual master, Om Visnupada Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja,
accepted initiation in the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya.

7.101

krsne bhakti kara -- ihaya sabara santosa


vedanta na suna kene, tara kiba dosa

Translation:

"Dear sire, there is no objection to Your being a great devotee of Lord Krsna. Everyone is satisfied with this.
But why do You avoid discussion on the Vedanta-sutra? What is the fault in it?"

Purport:

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments in this connection, "Mayavadi sannyasis accept that the
commentary by Sri Sankacarya known as Sarirakabhasya gives the real meaning of Vedanta-sutra. In other
words, Mayavadi sannyasis accept the meaning expressed in the explanations of Vedanta-sutra, the Upanisads
and all such Vedic literatures in theri own impersonal way." The great Mayavadi sannyasi Sadananda
Yogindra has written a book known as Vedanta-sara in which he writes:

vedanto nama upanisat-pramanam


tad-upakarini sariraka-sutradina ca

According to Sadananda Yogindra, the Vedanta and Upanisads, as presented by Sri Sankacarya in his
Sariraka-bhasya commentary, are no the only sources of Vedic evidence. Actually, however, Vedanta rerfers
to the essence of Vedic knowledge, and it is not a fact that there is nothing more than Sankacarya's Sariraka-
bhasya. There are other Vedanta commentaries written by Vaisnava acaryas, none of whom follow Sri
Sankaracarya or accept the imaginative commentary of his school. Their commentaries are based on the
philosophy of duality. Monist philosophers like Sankaracarya and his followers want to establish that God
and the living entity are one, and instead of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead they present
themselves as God. They want to be worshiped as God by others. Such persons do not accept the
philosophies of the Vaaisnava acaryas, which are known as suddhadvaita (purified monism), suddha-dvaita
(purified dualism), visistadvaita (specific monism), dvalitadvaita (monism and dualism) and acintya-
bhedabheda (inconceivable oneness and difference). Mayavadis do not discuss these philosophies, for they
are firmly convinced of their own philosophy of kevaladvaita, exclusive monism. Accepting this system of
philosophy as the pure ;understanding of Vedanta-sutra, they believe that Krsna has a body made of material
elements and that the activities of loving service to Krsna are sentimentality. They are known as Mayavadis
because according to their opinion Krsna has a body which is made of maya, and the loving service of the
Lord executed by devotees is also maya. They consider such devotional service to be an aspect of fruitive
activities (karma-kanda). According to their view, bhakti consists of mental speculation or sometimes
meditation. This is the difference between the Mayavadi and Vaisnava philosophies.

Mad 25.56

Purport:

The ultimate goal of studying all Vedic literature is the acceptance of Krsna as the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. This Krsna consciousness movement is propagating the philosophical conclusion of Srila
Vyasadeva and following other great acaryas like Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbarka and
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself.

Ant 2.95

vaisnava hana yeba sariraka-bhasya sune


sevya-sevaka-bhava chadi apanare isvara mane

Translation:

When a Vaisnava listens to the Sariraka-bhasya, the Mayavada commentary upon Vedanta-sutra, he gives up
the Krsna conscious attitude that the Lord is the mater and the living entity is His servant. Instead, he
considers himself the Supreme Lord.

Purport:

The philosophers known as kevaladvaita-vadis generally occupy themselves with hearing the Sariraka-
bhasya, a commentary by Sankaracarya advocating that one impersonally consider oneself the Supreme Lord.
Such Mayavada philosophical commentaries upon Vedanta are simply imaginary, but there are other
commentaries on Vedanta philosophy. The commentary by Srila Ramanujacarya, known as Sri-bhasya,
establishes the visistadvaita-vada philosophy. Similarly in the Brahma-sampradaya, Madhvacarya's
Purnaprajna-bhasya establishes suddha-dvaita-vada. In the Kumara-sampradaya, or Nimbarka-sampradaya,
Sri Nimbarka establishes the philosophy of dvaitadvaita-vada in the Parijata-saurabha-bhasya. And in the
Visnusvami-sampradaya, or Rudra-sampradaya, which comes from Lord Siva, Visnusvami has written a
commentary called Sravajna-bhasya, which establishes suddhadvaita-vada.
A Vaisnava should study the commentaries on Vedanta-sutra written by the four sampradaya-acaryas, namely
Sri Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami and Nimbarka, for these commentaries are based upon the
philosophy that the Lord is the master and that all living entities are His eternal servants. On interested in
studying Vedanta philosophy properly must study these commentaries, especially if he is a Vaisnava. These
commentaries are always adored by Vaisnavas. The commentary by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati is
elaborately given in the Adi-lila Chapter Seven text 101. The Mayavada commentary Sariraka-bhasya is like
poison for a Vaisnava. It should not be touched al all. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura remarks that even a maha-
bhagavata, or highly elevated devotee who has surrendered himself unto the lotus feet of Krsna, sometimes
falls down from pure devotional service if he hears the Mayavada philosophy f Sariraka-bhasya. This
commentary should therefore be shunned by all Vaisnavas.

The Origin of Spirit Soul

The spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna is an
eternal servant of Krsna. How he comes to the material world is very clearly explained
as follows:
ajnanenavrtam jnanam

tena muhyanti jantavah

`Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers
their real knowledge' (B.G.5-15).

`A living entity is, by superior nature, full of knowledge. Nevertheless, he is prone to be


influenced by ignorance due to his limited power. The Lord is omnipotent, but the living
entity is not. The Lord is Vibhu, or omniscient, but the living entity is anu, atomic.
Because he is a living soul, he has the capacity to desire by his free will.

Although he is constitutionally eternal, blissful and cognizant, due to the littleness of


his existence he forgets his constitutional position of service to the Lord, and is thus
entrapped by nescience.

bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad

isad apetasya viparyayo `smrtih

tan mayayato budha abhajet tam

bhaktyaikayesam guru devatatma

Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of
absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns
away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a
servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is effected by the potency of
illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in
the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bonafide spiritual
master,whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as is very life and soul.'
(SB.11/2/37)

Why does he forget his constitutional position? Srila Prabhupada explains:

`The potency of the Lord that enlightens us in the Lord's service is called cit-sakti. Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura comments that when the living entity develops a
spirit of independence he is forced to come to the material world, where he enters into
various types of petty and undesirable behaviour that create a fearful situation.The
bahiranga sakti,
the illusory potency of the Supreme Lord, covers all trace of the cit sakti and imposes
one material body after another upon the living entity for his gross sinful enjoyment. As
further punishment, the living entity who has given up his loving relationship with
Krsna loses all power to perceive the eternal, blissful form of the Supreme Lord, who is
his actual shelter.'

The living entity originally was in the service of Krsna; when he revolted against that
constitutional position he was given this material existence:
SB 3:26:5

PURPORT

`We say that they have been conditioned from time immemorial because no one can
trace out when the living entity, the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, became
rebellious against the supremacy of the Lord.

It is a fact that there are two classes of men-those who are obedient to the laws of the
Supreme Lord and those who are atheists or agnostics, who do not accept the
existence of God and who want to create their own laws. They want to establish that
everyone can create his own laws or his own religious path. Without tracing out the
beginning of the existence of these two classes, we can take it for granted that some of
the living entities revolted against the laws of the Lord. Such entities are called
conditioned souls, for they are conditioned by the three modes of material nature.
Therefore the words gunair vicitrah are used here.'

Why would the living entities who are in the service of the eternal Lord revolt against
Him? Since everything in that situation is very natural and constitutional, the cause of
this also is the nature of the living entity:

SB 6:16:9

esa nityo 'vyayah suksma


esa sarvasrayah svadrk
atmamaya-gunair visvam
atmanam srjate prabhuh

`The living entity is eternal and imperishable because he actually has no beginning and
no end. He never takes birth or dies. He is the basic principle of all types of bodies,
yet he does not belong to the bodily category. The living entity is so sublime that he is
equal in quality to the Supreme Lord.
Nonetheless, because he is extremely small, he is prone to be illusioned by the external
energy, and thus he creates various bodies
for himself according to his different desires.

PURPORT

In this verse the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda - simultaneous oneness and


difference - is described. The living entity is eternal (nitya) like the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, but the difference is that the Supreme Lord is the greatest, no
one being equal to or greater than Him, whereas the living entity is suksma, or
extremely small. The sastra describes that the magnitude of the living entity is one
ten-thousandth the size of the tip of a hair. The Supreme Lord is all-pervading
(andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham). Relatively, if the living entity is accepted
as the smallest, there should naturally be inquiry about the greatest. The greatest is
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the smallest is the living entity.

Another peculiar characteristic of the jiva is that he becomes covered by maya.


Atmamaya-gunaih: he is prone to being covered by the Supreme Lord's illusory energy.
The living entity is responsible for his conditional life in the material world, and
therefore he is described as prabhu ("the master"). If he likes he can come to this
material world, and if he likes he can return home, back to Godhead.'

This maya that covers the living entity's consitutional knowledge of servitor-hood is
known as avidya:

SB 11:11:3

vidyavidye mama tanu


viddhy uddhava saririnam
moksa-bandha-kari adye
mayaya me vinirmite

O Uddhava, both knowledge and ignorance, being products of maya, are expansions of
My potency. Both knowledge and ignorance are beginningless and perpetually award
liberation and bondage to embodied living beings.

`Srila Sridhara Svami notes in this regard that although the Lord has explained in the
first verse of this chapter that the living entity is never actually in bondage, and
therefore never actually liberated, one may apply the terms bondage and liberation if
one remembers that the living entity is eternally a transcendental fragment of the
Personality of Godhead. Further, one should not misinterpret the words mayaya me
vinirmite to indicate that both material bondage and liberation are temporary states,
being creations of the potency of the Lord. Therefore, the term adye, or "primeval and
eternal," is used in this verse. The vidya and avidya potencies of the Lord are stated to
be creations of maya because they carry out the functions of the Lord's potencies. The
vidya potency engages the living entities in the Lord's pastimes, whereas the avidya
potency engages the living entities in forgetting the Lord and merging into darkness.
Actually, both knowledge and ignorance are eternal alternatives of the marginal potecy
of the Lord, and in this sense it is not incorrect to state that the living entity is either
eternally conditioned or eternally liberated. The term vinirmite, or "produced" in this
case indicates that the Lord expands His own energy as knowledge and ignorance,
which display the functions of the Lord's internal and external potencies. Such
potential exhibitions may appear and disappear in different times, places and
circumstances, but material bondage and spiritual freedom are eternal options of the
marginal potency of the Lord.'

CC M/ 20/ 114

yaya ksetra-jna-saktih sa

vestita nrpa sarva-ga

samsara-tapan akhilan

avapnoty atra santatan

Translation: O King, the Ksetra-jna-sakti is the living entity. Although he has the facility
to live in either the material or spiritual world, he suffers the threefold miseries of
material existence because he is influenced by the avidya [nescience] potency, which
covers his constitutional position.

Purport: This and the following verse are also quoted from the Visnu Purana (6. 7. 62-
63)
CC M/ 20/ 115

taya tirohitatvac ca

saktih ksetra-jna-samjnita

sarva-bhutesu bhu-pala

taratamyena vartate

Translation: This living entity, covered by the influence of nescience, exists in different
forms in the material condition. O King, he is thus proportionately freed from the
influence of material energy, to greater or lesser degrees.

CC M/ 20/ 116

apareyam itas tv anyam

prakrtim viddhi me param

jiva-bhutam maha-baho

yayedam dharyate jagat

Translation: Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior


energy of Mine, which consists of all living entities who are struggling with material
nature and are sustaining the universe.

Purport: This is a verse from Bhagavad-gita (7. 5). It is also quoted in the Adi-lila
(7.118)

CC M/ 20/ 117

Krsna bhuli 'sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha

ataeva maya tare deya samsara-duhkha

Translation: Forgetting Krsna, the living entity has been attracted by the external
feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [maya] gives all kinds of
misery in his material existence.

Purport: When the living entity forgets his constitutional position as an eternal servant
of Krsna, he is immediately entrapped by the illusory, external energy. The living entity
is originally part and parcel of Krsna and is therefore the superior energy of Krsna. He is
endowed with inconceivable minute energy that works inconceivably within the body.
However, the living entity, forgetting his position, is situated in material energy. The
living entity is called the marginal energy because by nature he is spiritual but by
forgetfulness he is situated in the material energy. Thus he has the power to live either
in the material energy or in the spiritual energy, and for this reason he is called
marginal energy. He is sometimes attracted by the external illusory energy when he
stays in the marginal position, and this is the beginning of his material life. When he
enters the material energy, he is subjected to the threefold time measurement-past,
present and future. Past, present, future belong only to the material world; they do not
exist in the spiritual world. The living entity is eternal, and he existed before the
creation of this material world. Unfortunately he has forgotten his relationship with
Krsna. The living entity's forgetfulness is described herein as anadi, which indicates
that it has existed since time immemorial. One should understand that due to his
desire to enjoy himself in competition with Krsna, the living entity comes into material
existence.

CC M/ 20/ 118

kabu svarge uthaya, kabu narake dubbaya

dandya-jane raja yena nadite cubaya

Translation: In the material condition, the living entity is sometimes raised to higher
planetary systems and material prosperity and sometimes drowned in a hellish
situation. His state is exactly like that of a criminal whom a king punishes by
submerging him in water and then raising him again from the water.

Purport: In the Vedas it is stated, asango 'yam purusah: the living entity is always free
from the contamination of the material world. One who is not materially infected and
who does not forget Krsna as his master is called nitya-mukta. In other words, one who
is eternally liberated from material contamination is called nitya-mukta. From time
immemorial the nitya-mukta living entity has always been a devotee of Krsna, and his
only attempt has been to serve Krsna. Thus he never forgets his eternal servitor-ship to
Krsna. Any living entity who forgets his eternal relationship with Krsna is under the
sway of the material condition. Bereft of the Lord's transcendental loving service, he is
subjected to the reactions of fruitive activity. When he is elevated to the higher
planetary systems due to worldly pious activities, he considers himself well situated,
but subjected to punishment, he thinks himself improperly situated. Thus material
nature awards and punishes the living entity. When the living entity is materially
opulent, material nature is rewarding him. When he is materially embarrassed, material
nature is punishing him.'

Thus, the living entity, due to his constitutional minute independence desires Lordship,
due to his `anu' atomic and infinitesimal nature gets covered by the avidya potency,
and finds himself in the material existence.

When he is properly using his independence, he is in `cit' sakti. On his revolting, he is


under `maya' sakti:

CC M/ 20/ 111

krsnera svabhavika tina-sakti-parinati

cic-chakti, jiva-sakti, ara maya-sakti


Translation: Lord Krsna naturally has three energetic transformations, and these are
known as the spiritual potency, the living entity potency and the illusory potency.

CC M/ 20/ 112

visnu-saktih para prokta

ksetrajnakhya tatha para

avidya-karma-samjnanya

tritiya saktir isyate

Translation: Originally, Krsna's energy is spiritual, and the energy known as the living
entity is also spiritual. However, there is another energy, called illusion, which consists
of fruitive activity. That is the Lord's third potency.

CC M/ 20/ 114

yaya ksetra-jna-saktih sa

vestita nrpa sarva-ga

samsara-tapan akhilan

avapnoty atra santatan

Translation: O King, the Ksetra-jna-sakti is the living entity. Although he has the facility
to live in either the material or spiritual world, he suffers the threefold miseries of
material existence because he is influenced by the avidya [nescience] potency, which
covers his constitutional position.'

Brahmajyoti - the trouble!

As far as Brahmajyoti is concerned, it is all pervasive. It is not only in the Sayujya. The
whole spiritual existence is also accommodated by the brahmajyoti, as well as the
material existence with all its universes; Lord Siva confirms this in his prayer:

SB 4:24:60

yatredam byajyate visvam


visvasminn avabhati yat
tat tvam brahma param jyotir
akasam iva vistrtam
My dear Lord, the impersonal Brahman spreads everywhere, like the sunshine or the
sky. And that impersonal Brahman, which spreads throughout the universe and in
which the entire universe is manifested, is You.
PURPORT

In Vedic literature it is said that everything is Brahman and nothing else. The whole
cosmic manifestation rests on the Brahman effulgence. The impersonalists, however,
cannot understand how such a huge cosmic manifestation can rest on a person. Thus
this inconceivable power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not understood by
the impersonalists; therefore they are puzzled and always denying that the Absolute
Truth is a person. This wrong impression is cleared by Lord Siva himself, who says that
the impersonal Brahman, which is spread all over the universe, is nothing but the
Supreme Lord Himself. Here it is clearly said that the Lord is spread everywhere, just
like the sunshine, by virtue of His Brahman feature. This example is very easy to
understand. All the planetary systems are resting upon the sunshine, yet the sunshine
and the source of sunshine are aloof from the planetary manifestations. Similarly, the
sky or air is spread everywhere; air is within a pot, but it also touches filthy places and
sanctified places alike. In any case, the sky is uncontaminated. The sunshine also
touches filthy places and sanctified places, and both are actually produced by the sun,
but in any case the sun is aloof from all filthy things. Similarly, the Lord exists
everywhere. There are pious things and impious things, but in the sastras the pious
things are described as the front of the Supreme Lord, whereas impious things are
described as the back of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gita (9.4)
the Lord clearly says:

maya tatam idam sarvam


jagad avyakta-murtina
mat-sthani sava-bhutani
na caham tesv avasthitah

"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in
Me, but I am not in them."

This verse of Bhagavad-gita explains that the Lord is spread everywhere by virtue of
His Brahman feature. Everything rests in Him, yet He is not there. The conclusion is
that without bhakti-yoga, without rendering devotional service to the Lord, even an
impersonalist cannot understand the brahma-tattva, the Brahman feature. In the
Vedanta-sutra it is stated: athato brahma-jijnasa. This means that Brahman,
Paramatma or Parabrahman should be understood. In Srimad-Bhagavatam also the
Absolute Truth is described as the one without a second, but He is realized in three
features - impersonal Brahman, localized Paramatma and the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate issue, and in this verse
Lord Siva confirms that ultimately the Absolute Truth is a person. He clearly says: tat
tvam brahma param jyotir akasam iva vistrtam.'

The final aspect that the living entity leaves before getting covered by the darkness of
avidya, is the effulgence present in the spiritual existence. When the conditioned living
entity clears his consciousness from the material darkness, that is the first aspect that
covers the formful aspect of the Lord too: hiranmayena patrena satyasapihitam
mukham.

There are some confused arguments, that brahmajyoti is just collection of living entities
in their sat feature etc: Actually, brahmajyoti accommodates spiritual existence,
material existence and the souls who have attained sayujya liberation. Brahman that is
the source of everything as mentioned in the Vedanta sutras is not jiva is very clear
from Lord Siva's prayer.

To consider jiva as brahman (brahman means collection of jivas with no cit etc., ) is only
supported by Sankara bhasya. Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan are the three
features of the Supreme Lord. It is as absurd as thinking that Jiva is Paramatma or
Bhagavan.

Brahman doesn't mean just Sayujya either; This understanding is generally of the
opposite school of thought, spearheaded by Sankaracarya. There are three kinds of
impersonal schools:

vivarta vadis
brahma parinama vadis
jivesvara vadis

Vivarta vadis argue that the brahman gets covered by maya; brahma parinama vadis
argue that brahman underwent a transformation; jivesvara vadis argue that jiva is
brahman.

All the above schools think that brahman means effulgence and there is no variety in
brahman: nirvisesa; and the buddhists think that brahman is void:sunya -

SB 4:23:15

utsarpayaams tu tam murdhni


kramenavesya nihsprhah
vayum vayau ksitau kayam
tejas tejasy ayuyujat

In this way, Prthu Maharaja gradually raised his air of life up to the hole in his skull,
whereupon he lost all desire for material existence. Gradually he merged his air of life
with the totality of air, his body with the totality of earth, and the fire within his body
with the totality of fire.

PURPORT

When a living entity gives up the material coverings, he remains a spirit soul. This
spirit soul must enter into the spiritual sky to merge into the Brahman effulgence.
Unfortunately, unless the living entity has information of the spiritual world and the
Vaikunthas, there is a 99.9 percent chance of his falling down again into material
existence. There is, however, a small chance of being promoted to a spiritual planet
from the Brahman effulgence, of the brahmajyoti. This brahmajyoti is considered by
impersonalists to be without variety, and the Buddhists consider it to be void. In either
case, whether one accepts the spiritual sky as being without variety or void, there is
none of the spiritual bliss which is enjoyed in the spiritual planets, the Vaikunthas or
Krsnaloka. In the absence of varieties of enjoyment, the spirit soul gradually feels an
attraction to enjoy a life of bliss, and not having any information of Krsnaloka or
Vaikunthaloka, he naturally falls down to material activities in order to enjoy material
varieties.'
It is very important not to mix up the definitions of the different potencies of the Lord, if
one is actually interested in returning to his constitutional position as the servant of the
Lord. This is the greatness of vaisnava darsans:

SB 11:11:3

`According to Srila Jiva Goswami the living entity may be designated as jiva-maya,
whereas matter is called guna-maya. The living entity places his living potency (jiva-
maya) in the grip of the mundane qualitative potency (guna-maya) and falsely dreams
that he is part and parcel of the material world. Such an artificial mixture is called
illusion or ignorance.'

`When all of the Lord's potencies are correctly perceived in their proper categories, the
living entity is liberated from material bondage and returns to his blissful eternal
residence in the spiritual sky.'

In Vedanta when the word brahman or brahmajyoti is used, it doesn't just mean
Sayujya at all. When the impersonal philosophers take the meaning of brahman as just
brahmajyoti it is to write off the whole spiritual world as nirvisesa - no variety. This they
do in order to explain the soul as brahman. But brahman on whom the Vedanta Sutra
recommends enquiry is not this brahman:

`The Supreme Lord is all-pervading (andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham).


Relatively, if the living entity is accepted as the smallest, there should naturally be
inquiry about the greatest.'(SB 6/16/9)

As far as the Vaishnava authorities are concerned brahmajyoti is not even considered
as liberation. Liberation is to return back to our constitutional position as servants of
Krsna:

SB 4/9/29

`..Therefore Vaisnava philosophers do not accept sayujya mukti to be within the


category of mukti. According to them, mukti means transferal to the loving service of
the Lord from one's serving maya. Lord Caitanya also says in this connection that the
constitutional position of a living entity is to render service to the Lord. That is real
mukti. When one is situated in his original position, giving up artificial positions, he is
called mukta, or liberated.

..In the Padma Purana this is also confirmed: mukti means engagement in the service
of the Lord.'

SB 4/23/28

`The word labdhvapavargyam is significant in this verse, because according to Jiva


Goswami, apavargyam, or the path of liberation, does not refer to merging into the
impersonal Brahman but to salokyadi-siddhi, which means attaining the very planet
where the Supreme Personality of Godhead resides. There are five kinds of liberation,
and one is called sayuja-mukti, or merging into the existence of the Supreme, or the
impersonal Brahman effulgence. However, since there is a chance of one's falling
down again into the material sky from the Brahman effulgence, Srila Jiva Goswami
advises that in this human form of life, he is actually cheated if he does not make
preparations to go back home, back to Godhead.'

To argue that sayujya is the origin of the soul, will prove the material existence a
progressive stage in evolution. This means bondage is above liberation! This argument
will encourage one in pavarga: fruitive nature to enjoy in heaven etc.

Also `returning back home, back to Godhead' may mean attaining Sayujya;

This is how karma and jnana invade the Vaisnava darsana and a sampradaya can lose
sight of goal at least for some time. Sriman Mahaprabhu in his discussion with the
tattva vadis pointed this out as what happened to the Madhva line, after Sri
Madhvacarya.

To establish anything else other than the Lord Himself as the source or origin of spirit,
thus is a clear impersonal tendency. Brahma jijnasa means to enquire into Absolute
Truth, Personality of Godhead, who is realised in three features: This is vidya:

` Such liberation can be achieved by vidya, or perfect knowledge, which is understood


in three phases called Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan, as described in Srimad-
Bhagavatam. The ultimate phase of vidya, or knowledge, is to understand the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gita such knowledge is called raja-
vidya, or the king of all knowledge, and it awards the supreme liberation.'(SB.11.11.4)

Not only thinking that the goal of life is sayujya is mayavada; To think that it is the
beginning of soul is also mayavada. The result of indulgence is such discussion will
result in avoiding devotional service of the Lord and doubting the non-difference of the
Holy name and the Lord:

BG 12:5

PURPORT

A living entity is eternally an individual soul, and if he wants to merge into the spiritual
whole, he may accomplish the realization of the eternal and knowledgeable aspects of
his original nature, but the blissful portion is not realized. By the grace of some
devotee, such a transcendentalist, highly learned in the process of jnana-yoga, may
come to the point of bhakti-yoga, or devotional service. At that time, long practice in
impersonalism also becomes a source of trouble, because he cannot give up the idea.
Therefore an embodied soul is always in difficulty with the unmanifest, both at the time
of practice and at the time of realization is against the nature of his spiritual blissful
self. One should not take up this process. For every individual living entity the process
of Krsna consciousness, which entails full engagement in devotional service, is the best
way. If one wants to ignore this devotional service, there is the danger of turning to
atheism. Thus the process of centering attention on the unmanifested, the
inconceivable, which is beyond the approach of the senses, as already expressed in this
verse, should never be encouraged at any time, especially in this age. It is not advised
by Lord Krsna.