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Siddhitraya – Three Polemical Works Of Visishtadvaita

Siddhitraya is three polemical works of Visishtadvaita. Written by Yamunacharya (916 -1041 CE), Siddhitraya consists of atma siddhi, ishwara siddhi, and samvit siddhi, dealing respectively with atman (self), Ishwara (God), and samvida (consciousness). These works follow the model of siddhi works of the Advaita (non-dualism) tradition. In these texts, extant only in fragments, many ideas pivotal to Visishtadvaita (qualified non-dualism) philosophy are elaborated. In his commentary on Brahma Sutra, Ramanuja has elaborated these ideas.

In atma-siddhi, Yamunacharya says that the blissful individual self is a spiritual principle different from the body, mind, senses, breath, and consciousness. It is self-manifested and self-luminous, eternal, subtle and distinct in each body. Refuting other views, he says that the atma is the knowing subject, which presents itself as aham (I). It can be known only through texts, and reasoning based on texts. He establishes the basic tenet of Visishtadvaita, that dharma-bhuta jnana (attributive consciousness) is eternal and natural to the self.

In ishwara-siddhi, Yamunacharya says that the existence and nature of paramatman can be known only through texts. The function of reason is only to remove doubts and misconceptions. Ishwara is single, omnipotent, omniscient, and all-pervasive, compassionate, and is full of auspicious attributes.

In samvit-siddhi, Yamunacharya presents a theistic reading of certain Upanishadic texts that are apparently monistic in import. He interprets the text implying that God is without a peer. The truth of the world is not is unreality: on the contrary, the fact that it has Bhagavan as its atma valorizes the mundane world. He presents a critique of the Advaitic conception of avidya (ignorance).