A-AS Level (CIE) Hinduism: Specimen Questions with Answers 18 - 18 of 51

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.