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In reality Jiva is all-pervading and identical with Brahman. Isvara or Saguna Brahman is a product of Maya. Worship of Isvara leads to Krama Mukti. The pious devotees the knowers of Saguna Brahman go to Brahmaloka and attain final release through highest knowledge. They do not return to this world. They attain the Nirguna Brahman at the end of the cycle. Knowledge of Nirguna Brahman is the only means of liberation.

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The knowers of Nirguna Brahman attain immediate final release or Sadyomukti. They need not go by the path of gods or the path of Devayana. They merge themselves in Para Brahman. They do not go to any Loka or world. According to Sri Ramanuja, Brahman is with attributes Savisesha.

Me is endowed with all auspicious qualities. He is not intelligence itself. Intelligence is his chief attribute. He contains within Himself whatever exists. World and individual souls are essential real constituents of Brahman's nature. Matter and souls are called modes of Him Prakara. The individual souls will never be entirely resolved in Brahman. According to Ramanuja, Brahman is not absolutely one and homogeneous.

The individual souls undergo a state of Sankocha contraction during Pralaya. They expand Vikasa during creation. Sri Ramanuja's Brahman is a Personal God with attributes. The individual soul of Ramanuja is really individual. It will remain a personality for ever. The soul remains in Vaikuntha for ever in a state of bliss and enjoys the divine Aisvarya of Lord Narayana. Bhakti is the chief means to final emancipation and not Jnana. Sri Ramanuja follows in his Bhashya the authority of Bodhayana.

According to Sri Nimbarkacharya, Brahman is considered as both the efficient and material cause of the world.

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Brahman is both Nirguna and Saguna. The universe is not unreal or illusory but is a true manifestation or Parinama of Brahman. Sri Ramanuja also holds this view. He says "Just as milk is transformed into curd, so also Brahman has transformed Himself as this universe".

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This world is identical with and at the same time different from Brahman just as the wave or bubble is the same and at the same time different from water. The individual souls are parts of the Supreme Self. They are controlled by the Supreme Being. The final salvation lies in realising the true nature of one's own soul.

This can be achieved by Bhakti devotion. The individuality of the finite self Jivatman is not dissolved even in the state of final emancipation. Sri Ramanuja also holds that the Jiva assumes the divine body of Sri Narayana with four hands and enjoys in Vaikuntha the divine Aisvarya of the Lord. You may ask why do such great realised souls hold different views, why have they started different cults or systems.

The highest philosophy of Sri Sankara which bespeaks of the identity of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul cannot be understood by the vast majority of persons. The different schools are different rungs in the ladder of Yoga. The student must place his foot step by step and finally reach the highest peak of perfection-the Kevaladvaita realisation of Sri Sankara.

As temperaments are different, different schools are also necessary to suit the taste, capacity, and stage of evolution of the aspirant. Therefore all schools and cults are necessary. They have got their own place and scope. The views of various Acharyas are all true in respect of the particular aspect of Brahman dealt with by them each in his own way.

Sankara has taken Brahman in His transcendental aspect, while Sri Ramanuja has taken Him chiefly in His immanent aspect. People were following blindly the rituals during the time of Sri Sankara.


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When he was preparing his commentary he had in view the purpose of combating the baneful effects which blind ritualism produced. He never condemned selfless service or Nishkama Karma Yoga.

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He condemned the performance of rituals with selfish motives. Sankara Bhashya is the oldest of all commentaries. These should be combined, merged into one and practiced, because there is nondifference of their basic import, that of Self, mind, knowledge and a state.

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For example, Ramanuja counts sutras 2. Thus, the total number of Adhikaranas in the Brahma sutra text varies slightly from in some Vedanta sub-schools. See page li in Thibaut's Introduction. It is the cause of the evil that exists within the world. Remove ignorance and one will realize that atman is Brahman. It is also the crucial philosophical issue within Advaita thought. Advaita need not explain why a perfect deity was motivated to create the world, nor why an all-loving God created a world with evil.

Vyasa Maharshi Brahma Sutras ll Sri Swami Paramarthananda Discourse - VOL 2 - PART 19

Ultimately, for Advaita, there is no creation, nor any God who creates the world. The highest truth is Brahman, one without a second, the true self, atman. However, the arguments offered by monist and theistic sub-schools of Vedanta differ, particularly those of Shankara, Madhva and Ramanuja, with the latter two also refuting the arguments of Shankara in this section. Nicholson Columbia University Press. Klostermaier A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition. State University of New York Press. Raju Structural Depths of Indian Thought.


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