среда, 13 декабря 2017 г.

BLUE LOTUS and APRTHAK-SIDDHI: simple explanation of vishishta, visheshana and vishesha in the Vishishta-Advaita of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya...

Simple explanation of key Vishishta-Adwaita notions from "BRAHMAN - THE SUPREME BEING IN BRAHMASUTRAS" by Dr. Raghavendra Katti:

"RamanujAcharya advocates a different line of epistemology. 

According to him, knowledge implies both subject and object. Mind can apprehend only a differentiated object. 

What is known is necessarily known as characterized in some way. 

All knowledge including that of ultimate reality, is necessarily of an object as complex (saguna). If the Upanisads described Brahman as without qualities, it only means that
some qualities are denied while there are still others characterizing it. 

All know that there are two types of things, cetana (sentient) and jada (insentient). Ramanujacarya adds another, which is neither. Jnana (knowledge) is of this intermediate type. Jnana is known only along with some object or not at all. 

What exists (sat) is alone cognized and that knowledge in the absence of a real object corresponding to its content (yathartha) is inconceivable. This is known as sat-khyati.

Knowledge extends from that (prakarin or object) to the what (prakara i.e. mode, kind, property or quality) of the object presented. 

Knowledge no doubt, is always of the given and nothing but the given; but it need not be of the whole of what is given. 

The mode, property or attribute of an object is called visheshana (विशेषण) and the object itself is known as visheshya (विशेष्य). The visesana cannot exist by itself, separately. 

Thus, there is unity or inseparability (aprthak-siddhi) between a substance and its attribute but no identity. 

Blue lotus example. 

For example, in a ‘blue-lotus’ the blueness is quite distinct from the lotus, for a quality cannot be the same as a substance. 

But, at the same time the blueness as a quality (visesana) depends for its very being upon the lotus, the substance (visesya) and cannot therefore be regarded as external to it. 

The complex whole (विशिष्ट - vishista) of the flower in question, in which the visesya and visesana are necessarily included, is spoken of as a unity. 
Hence, the name - "VishishtAdvaita". 
RamanujAcharya extends the principle to two or more substances where one controls the others, and holds that such a VishishtAdvaita relation may be found between one substance and another. 

For example, in any organism there are two separate entities, the body and the soul. The soul controls, supports and utilizes the body for its own ends. 

Therefore, the soul is the important part, the substance, and the body which is subordinate to the soul, is treated as the attribute of the soul. Here too there is inseparable unity between the soul (visesya) and its body (visesana).

RamanujAcharya makes use of these principles while establishing his concept of ontology. He holds that the world consists of three factors (tattva-traya) namely the inanimate matter (achit), the sentient individual souls (chit) and Brahman or Vishnu.  
Brahman (Vishnu) controls and supports the cit and acit, and therefore, the cit and acit are considered as the body or the attribute of Brahman (Vishnu).
RamanujAcharya holds that there exists unity or inseparability (aprthak-siddhi) between Brahman and His attributes the cit and acit. With this hypothesis, he reconciles the various statements in the Upanisads, referring to unity and plurality. 

According to this doctrine Brahman possesses all the auspicious qualities and is free from all impurities. Brahman is all-knowing, all-pervading, all-powerful, all-merciful, all-blissful and free from all-limitations of lime, space and causality. 

He is the cause of the universe, both sentient and insentient. 

The individual soul (jiva) is not mere consciousness but the knower, the subject (kartr) of knowledge. Knowledge is intuitive by nature and does not necessarily depend upon the senses. 
Jiva has the power to act and in its pristine purity, possesses the auspicious qualities resembling those of Brahman, but to a limited extent. This is the reason why the jiva is often described as being identical with Brahman. 
Jiva has no power whatsoever on the movements of the world, and it is atomic in size. Jivas are infinite in number. Jiva suffers on account of ignorance of Brahman. 
  
Right knowledge of Brahman results in devotion (bhakti) towards Brahman. Jiva can get salvation (Mukti) only through bhakti. ***

***Note by Vishnudut1926 (and I am a representative of Tenkalai, by the way!): To be exact - "only through Prapatti, not Bhakti". Tenkalai (The Southern Branch of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya) does not recognize Bhakti as the road to Moksha, while Vadakalai (The Northern Branch of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya) supposes that Bhakti at first leads to Shree MahaLakshmi-Narayana Prapatti and only then to Moksha. 

Anyway, we practice only Prapatti in Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya, never Bhakti, but the excerpt is from the book by Shree Madhva-Sampradaya, that's why the author makes the very common mistake, considering that OM VishnuPad RamanujAcharya was a Bhakti proponent (He was not, as Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya is Prapatti-Sampradaya, NOT Bhakti-Sampradaya). 

Even in liberation, jiva does not lose its individuality.

RamanujAcharya accepts the parinamavada or the satkaryavada which maintains that the effect is nothing but a modification of the form of the cause, in which it is already present". 

Cited from 
"BRAHMAN - THE SUPREME BEING IN BRAHMASUTRAS" 
#by Dr. Raghavendra Katti# 
[Sri Vyasa Madhva Samsodhana Pratisthana] ~2013~