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Nimbarka Vedanta Teaching And Philosophy


Nimbarka expounded a theory of difference with non-difference (Davita-Advaita). Brahman is a personal God, identified with Krishna by Nimbarka and has infinite auspicious attributes like knowledge and action. He is both material and the efficient cause of the world. He creates the world out of his own powers and by his mere will and invests the self with instruments of knowledge and action.

God and the selves are neither totally identical  nor absolutely different from one another. Authority texts speak both of identity and difference, and hence both are accommodated as real in his philosophy. Difference between God, on the one hand, and the selves (chit) and the world (achit), on the other, is due to their opposite natures. Identity is because of their dependence (paratantrya) on God for their very being.  

The examples of such difference with non-difference are the sun and its rays, fire, and its sparks, water and waves, and rope and its coils.

Selves are, each one of them, an individuated power of God. This individuation, however, is due to ignorance (avidya) being there beginninglessly. This ignorance inclines the self to action which by its results, commits the self to birth and death. This ignorance can be put to an end only God’s grace.

Total surrender to his dispensation and unremitting devotion are the way to release, which is realization of the glory and immensity of God and His powers. This surrender carries with it the discipline of knowledge of God, one’s own nature, the nature of and means of release, the obstacles in the way of God-realization, like the false identification of oneself with the body-mind complex.

The world is real transformation of God, and all the spiritual endeavors in it are genuine and purposeful.



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