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

pada-vākya-pramāṇa… Since when? (with updated reference)

If you have read post-Classical śāstra, you will have certainly encountered the formulation above, describing the three foundational disciplines as focusing on words (pada), i.e., grammatical analysis in Vyākaraṇa sentences (vākya), i.e., textual linguistics in Mīmāṃsā means of knowledge (pramāṇa), Continue reading

The making of Śrīvaiṣṇavism: A tentative hypothesis about its reconstruction

It is difficult to disentangle the different roots of what is now known as Śrīvaiṣṇavism, since this term is usually the label attributed to the religious counterpart of the philosophical-theological school of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta. However, Vaiṣṇavism was apparently an important Continue reading

Ontology is a moot point if you are a theist

A philosopher might end up having a double affiliation, to the philosophical standpoints shared by one’s fellow philosophers, and to the religious program of one’s faith. This can lead to difficult reinterpretations (such as that of Christ with the Neoplatonic Continue reading

What is a body? Veṅkaṭanātha on plants, rocks, and deities

In general, classical Indian philosophers tend to define śarīra ‘body’ as a tool for experience (bhogasādhana). Thus, most philosophers state that plants only seem to have bodies because of our anthropomorphic tendencies, which make us believe that they function like Continue reading

Veṅkaṭanātha’s epistemology, ontology and theology

In the world-view of a fundamental Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta teacher like Vedānta Deśika (1269–1370, aka Veṅkaṭanātha), theology is the center of the system and epistemology and ontology assume their role and significance only through their relationship with this center.

One God, one Śāstra — A panel for the WSC 2015

One God, one śāstra: philosophical developments towards and within Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta between Nāthamuni and Veṅkaṭanātha In the case of the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta school, one has the advantage of having some basic historical elements to judge about the development of the Continue reading

What is unreal?

The term tuccha means in Classical Sanksrit “worthless”, “insignificant”. In Vedānta, however, it gets a more specific technical meaning, to denote the absolute unreality of chimeral entities, such as the khapuṣpa (flower in the air), which will not and cannot Continue reading