India Post News Paper

 Breaking News

Material creation, arising from God, is not an illusion

April 22
20:47 2011


Ramanujacharya revealed the philosophy of vishishtadvaita vedanta or qualified nondualism, which was opposite to Jagadguru Shankaracharya’s philosophy of advait vedanta.

He stated the God is one, but with internal differences, represented as the souls and the material creation. God has qualities. He is an ocean of Divine knowledge, bliss, compassion and other unlimited attributes.

The world, comprised of the souls and lifeless inert matter, is a part of His being. He is referred to as ‘nirgun’, without any qualities, but what this indicates is that God is without the ‘mayic’ qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas. The material creation arose from God, therefore it is not an illusion. Maya is a power of God and established in Him.

A soul is an infinitesimal fraction of God, just as a spark is a part of a fire. It remains at one place at a time, whereas God is omnipresent. The soul is ignorant, but God is omniscient and omnipotent. Being a fraction of God, the soul will always remain in existence. The soul could be considered equal to God only with respect to the experience of Divine bliss.

The only means for a soul to be liberated from maya is selfless, whole-hearted devotion to God. The soul is an eternal servant of God. To refer to himself as God is a great sin.

Maya is a power of God and dependently established in God. Mayic ignorance can delude a soul, but not God.

Ramanujacharya gave special emphasis to selfless surrender to God, which he called ‘prapatti’. He said to renounce all material attachments, remove one’s prideful ego, and to entrust one’s everything to God. It is only through God’s grace that a soul can attain ultimate divine happiness.

He said that God resides in the heart of every soul as a witness. He is the supreme Divine personality. He alone is the Creator and Lord of the universe.

Worldly happiness is an illusion in the same way that a rope may be mistaken for a snake. God is our Mother and Father, therefore the duty of the child is to attain the grace of His Divine Mother and Father.

A bhakta (devotee) should remember God’s name and serve God with his body, mind and wealth.

Ramanujacharya said that a soul should sincerely and humbly beg for the forgiveness of his sins; then God, who is causelessly merciful, will forgive him and grace him with supreme Divine bliss.

Ramanuja’s philosophy is referred to as Vishishtadvaita because it combines Advaita (oneness of God) with Vishesha (attributes).

Differences with Shankara

Adi Shankara had argued that all qualities or manifestations that can be perceived are unreal and temporary. Ramanuja believed them to be real and permanent and under the control of the Brahman. God can be one despite the existence of attributes, because they cannot exist alone; they are not independent entities. They are Prakaras or the modes, Sesha or the accessories, and Niyama or the controlled aspects, of the one Brahman.

In Ramanuja’s system of philosophy, the Lord (Narayana) has two inseparable Prakaras or modes, namely, the world and the souls. These are related to Him as the body is related to the soul. They have no existence apart from Him. They inhere in Him as attributes in a substance.

Matter and souls constitute the body of the Lord. The Lord is their indweller. He is the controlling Reality. Matter and souls are the subordinate elements. They are termed Viseshanas, attributes. God is the Viseshya or that which is qualified.

Ramanuja opines, wrong is the position of the Advaitins that understanding the Upanishads without knowing and practicing dharma can result in Brahman knowledge. The knowledge of Brahman that ends spiritual ignorance is meditational, not testimonial or verbal.

The 3028th birth anniversay of Ramanujacharya is being celebrated on April 29.



Related Articles


    Will rest of the world support US Policy on Tibet?

    Loading ... Loading ...

    E-paper Latest Edition





    It’s a lovely book. It feels energetically clear and light. It’s easy to read, dip in and out and most importantly it offers information without fluff! Blessings on this project.

    Jac O’Keeffe
    Spirituality teacher based in USA.

    *Available on Amazon, Flipkart & other online stores*


    Jobsora Jobs


    Download Media Kit

    India Post Media Kit