A basic introduction to Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta

(I have been asked to write a short introduction to Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta and would like to test it on you, dear readers and fellow bloggers. Any comment or criticism would be more than welcome!) In its full-fledged form, the Viśiṣṭādvaita Continue reading

Bhakti in Rāmānuja: Continuities and changes of perspective

(The following is my attempt to make sense of Rāmānuja’s conceptions of bhakti. Comments and criticisms are welcome!) To Rāmānuja (traditional dates 1017–1137) are attributed, with more or less certainty, a series of Vedāntic works, namely the Śrī Bhāṣya (henceforth Continue reading

Viśiṣṭādvaita and Nyāya on qualities

Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta authors claim that the whole world is made of the brahman and that everything else is nothing but a qualification of it/Him. This theological content, it will be immediately evident, crashes against the (Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika) idea of a rigidly Continue reading

Philosophical commentaries in ancient India

Commentaries can be manifold in ancient India. They have different purposes and form, but they all share some characters: they have a given text as their main interlocutor/they are mainly about a given text like with Origene’s commentaries, they are Continue reading

What is a commentary? And how the Nyāyamañjarī and the Seśvaramīmāṃsā do (not) fit the definition UPDATED

What makes a text a “commentary”? The question is naif enough to allow for a complicated answer. First of all, let me note the obvious: There is not a single word for “commentary” in Sanskrit, where one needs to distinguish Continue reading

Why focussing on the textual basis of the Seśvaramīmāṃsā by Vedānta Deśika: An easy introduction for lay readers

In the first post of this series, I discussed the importance of studying Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta through the work of Veṅkaṭanātha. This post focusses on the importance of a specific work by Veṅkaṭanātha, namely his Seśvaramīmāṃsā (henceforth SM).

Why studying Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta through Veṅkaṭanātha: An introduction for lay readers

The Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta is a philosophical and theological school active chiefly in South India, from the last centuries of the first millennium until today and holding that the Ultimate is a personal God who is the only existing entity and Continue reading

What happened at the beginnings of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta?—Part 2

Several distinct component are constitutive of what we now know to be Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta and are not present at the time of Rāmānuja: 1. The inclusion of the Āḻvār’s theology in Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta 2. The Pāñcarātra orientation of both subschools Continue reading

What happened at the beginnings of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta?—Part 1

The starting point of the present investigation is the fact that between Rāmānuja and Veṅkaṭanātha a significant change appears to have occurred in the scenario of what was later known as Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta (the term is only found after Sudarśana Continue reading