Difference between the teachings of Adi Shankaracharya and Sri Ramanujacharya – Comparison of Adi Shankara and Sri Ramanuja

Adi Shankaracharya and Sri Ramanujacharya are two of the most important saints in Hinduism. They are the fountainhead of two different schools of thought that helps devotees in the path of Moksha. Here is a comparison of the teachings of Adi Shankara and Sri Ramanuja. This is just an attempt to learn the teachings of the two of the greatest teachers.

The teaching of Adi Shankaracharya is generally referred as Advaita Philosophy
The teaching of Sri Ramanujacharya is generally referred as Visishtadvaita Philosophy

Adi Shankara teaches Advaita or oneness of God (Brahman)
Sri Ramanuja teaches Visishta Advaita or oneness of God (Brahman) with attributes.

Adi Shankara – Brahman only exists. Manifestations are temporary. They are the result of ignorance. When ignorance is removed there is no second.
Sri Ramanuja – Brahman exists and his manifestations or attributes are real. Attributes (living and non living) are real but are controlled by Brahman.

Adi Shankara – Moksha or liberation is merging with the Brahman
Sri Ramanuja- Moksha or liberation is residing in Vaikunta near the feet of Srihari Vishnu

Adi Shankara – The world is real until knowledge dawns. To a realized soul the world is unreal.
Sri Ramanuja – The world is real and is connected to the Supreme Truth

Adi Shankara – Individual soul is real until knowledge dawns.
Sri Ramanuja– Individual soul arose from the Brahman and remains forever.

Adi Shankara – Soul merges with Brahman. Through self realization one attains bliss.
Sri Ramanuja – Final destination of soul is Vaikunta. This is attained through devotion and self sacrifice.  

Adi Shankara – Pleasure or pain is the result of Avidya. When knowledge dawn one merges in the ocean of bliss (Brahman)
Sri Ramanuja – Pleasure or pain is the result of the karma of the individual soul.