Showing posts with label Ramanuja. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ramanuja. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Was Yamunacharya?


Yamunacharya (10th c.)  according to legend was Ramanuja's teacher. 

He was a devotee (bhakta) of the deity Vishnu, who is said to be the grandson of Nathamuni.

The Nalayira Divyaprabandham, the collected hymns of the Alvars, a group of poet-saints who lived in southern India between the sixth and eleventh centuries, was compiled by Nathamuni.

The Alvars were all worshippers of Vishnu, and they conveyed their love via impassioned lyrics sung in Tamil; these hymns are so sacred among southern Indian Vaishnavas (devotees of Vishnu) that they are known as the "Tamil Veda." 

Ramanuja, on the other hand, was a philosopher who collected and systematized this devotional outpouring into a coherent philosophical viewpoint, and is therefore regarded as the religious community's founder.

Yamunacharya was thought to be Nathamuni's grandson, and hence heir to the religious tradition that his grandfather had helped establish.

The allegation that he was Ramanuja's religious teacher (guru) is considerably more contested, since it is more probable that Yamuna's effect on Ramanuja was passed down via Yamuna's pupils.

Still, it is undeniable that these three figures played pivotal roles in the development of the Shri Vaishnava tradition, and that Yamunacharya is one of them.

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Hinduism - Who Was Vishakhadatta?


 Vishakhadatta(6th c.), was a Sanskrit playwright, Mudrarakshasa ("Rakshasa's Ring") is his sole extant work.

The play is historically significant since its central narrative is the ascent of Chandragupta Maurya (r. 321–297 B.C.E. ), the founder of the Maurya dynasty, despite the fact that the play attributes his victory to his crafty brahmin minister, Chanakya.

Although, in respect to the actual monarch, this picture is wrong, the play portrays the king as a weak character, with the minister as the true power behind the throne.

The narrative of the drama is convoluted, as is the case with many Sanskrit plays, but the drama's climax occurs when the main protagonists are dramatically saved from execution at the last minute.

Michael Coulson translated the play into English and released it in the collection Three Sanskrit Plays in 1981.

Vishishthadvaita ("Qualified Non-Dualism") is a Sanskrit word that means "qualified non-dualism." Vedanta One of the branches of Vedanta, the philosophical school that claims to reveal the Vedas' ultimate meaning and purpose (anta), the Hindu religious texts' oldest and most authoritative texts.

The greatest figure in Vishishthadvaita is Ramanuja, an eleventh-century philosopher who was central to its formulation, despite the fact that he was building on earlier work.

Ramanuja believed that Brahman, or Supreme Reality, was a personal god rather than an impersonal abstract concept, and that the most significant kind of religious activity was devotion (bhakti).

His philosophical viewpoint, Vishishthadvaita Vedanta, emphasized both of these ideas, and so contrasted with the Advaita Vedanta school, created by the philosopher Shankaracharya.

The Advaita school adheres to the philosophical position of monism, or the belief in a single impersonal Ultimate Reality, which they refer to as Brahman.

Despite the appearance of difference and variety in the perceivable world, Advaita adherents believe that reality is "nondual" (advaita), meaning that all things are nothing but the formless Brahman.

This assumption of diversity, according to Advaitins, is a fundamental misunderstanding of the ultimate nature of things, as well as a manifestation of avidya.

Although avidya is often translated as "ignorance," it is better understood as a lack of genuine understanding that leads to karmic bonding, rein carnation (samsara), and suffering.

Because the real issue for Advaitins is a misunderstanding, realization (jnana) was the best spiritual path to achieve ultimate liberation (moksha).

The material universe and self have genuine and autonomous existence, according to Ramanuja's formulation, while their existence is ultimately anchored in God, whom he names as Vishnu.

The world emerges from God through an evolutionary process based on the Samkhya model, but because matter is unconscious, it is both similar to and dissimilar to God.

Human beings are similar to God in that they have God as their source, but they differ from him in that they are subject to ignorance and suffering.

God, according to Ramanuja and his followers, is not the same as ourselves or the world, which are all thought to have real and independent existence.

In a way that the Advaita proponents will never concede, this notion of identity and difference makes the perceptible world real.

Ramanuja's stance differs from that of a later thinker, Madhva, whose Dvaita Vedanta emphasized the enormous chasm between God and all else.

Because of the disparity in capacities between the god and the devotee (bhakta), Ramanuja and his followers have emphasized bhakti as the most effective route of redemption.

Even after freedom, souls maintain enough separation from God to allow devotion; liberation is seen as a perpetual relationship with God rather than a loss of individuality.

For further detail, read John Braisted Carman's The Theology of Ramanuja, published in 1974, and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles A. Moore's A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, published in 1957.

Kiran Atma

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Hinduism - Who Was Vedanta Deshika?


Vedanta Deshika(13th c.) was a writer and commentator in the Vishishthadvaita Vedanta philosophical school.

Vedanta Deshika was a follower of Ramanuja and interpreted Ramanuja as teaching that there were two sorts of liberation: 

  1. a lower one in which one was subject to no outside forces, 
  2. and a higher one in which one’s entire being was focused on the Lord, whom Ramanuja identified as the god Vishnu.

The human being is considered both identical to and different from the Lord, which means the perfect identity is never possible; God’s transcendence leads to the exaltation of devotion (bhakti) and the stress on submission to God’s grace.

~Kiran Atma

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