A-AS Level (CIE) Hinduism: Specimen Questions with Answers 18 - 18 of 41

Question 18

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Explain Visishtadvaita

Explanation

  • Ramanuja is the founder of Visishtadvaita. According to his philosophy, Narayana is the supreme soul-who has all the living things and non-living things as his body. Narayana gives Moksha or Self-realization from the bondage for those who are utmost devoted in the path of spiritual seeking. This will lead to the unending blissful enjoyment.

  • Visishtadvaita philosophy always discusses three important subjects. They are-

    • Bhokta (the one who experiences anything and everything),

    • Bhogyam (those objects that are being experienced),

    • Iswara (god or suoreme that over powers both Bhokta and Bhogya).

  • And according to the Visishtadvaita philosophy, Soul or Atma is of three types-

    • Baddha (a soul in bondage),

    • Mukta (a free soul),

    • Nityamukta (Ever free soul).

  • The one and only nature of Atman is nothing but-Bliss that too lies beyond Trigunas or Three gunas (character).

  • They are-

    • Sattva,

    • Rajas,

    • Tamas.

  • In B. Gita lord Krishnas urges every spiritual seekers to be a Gunatita (Rising up above all three gunas).

  • As per this philosophy, the eternal soul of all substances that is-God or Brahman is all about-Satya (truth), Gyana (ultimate knowledge), Anantha (the infinite), Ananda (bliss).

  • Ramanuja admits the unity of the total within the existence, eternal differences are there. So, all practical purposes, despite being non-dulaistc in nature, it was very easy for Ramanuja to keep the differences between the soul and the god.

  • These are the characteristics and features of Visistadvaita philosophy.