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Tatvarthdip Nibandh Of Shri Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya

Tatvarthdip Nibandh, also written as Tattvartha Deepa Nibandha, is an independent treatise in three sections, in mixed prose and verse by Shri Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharya. Sri Vallabhacharya is the founder of Pushtimarg and the corresponding school of philosophy known as Shuddhadvaita.

The three sections of Tatvarthdip Nibandh are called Shastrarth, Sarva Nirnaya and Bhagavatartha. In the first two sections Vallabhacharya argues, through massive use of citation, for a unified textuality of Krishna bhakti,Upanishads and Purva Mimamsa. He defines and classifies his terms, systematizes his principles, describes the nature of incarnation, of eligibility for higher knowledge, and much more.

The Shastrarth Prakarana section gives Vallabhacharya’s views on much of the material contained in the Bhagavad Gita. Though it is not a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, very early in the text Vallabhacharya states that the Bhagavad Gita embodies the words and teachings of Sri Krishna; therefore it is the most authoritative Shastra or body of knowledge.

Among the topics covered there are the nature and creation of the universe; description of Krishna and of Brahman; the definitions and distribution of God’s three constituent attributes: being sat, chit (consciousness) and ananda (bliss); the characteristics of diving manifestation; and the definition of devotion.

Vallabhacharya makes the point, repeated often in his writing, that bhakti is inseparable from, and even predicated on, knowledge of God as presented and glorified in Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita. The second section, Sarva Nirnaya Prakarana, examines the views of competing philosophical schools, ultimately establishing superior Vallabhacharya’s own views on the nature of devotion and the relationship of the self and the universe to God.

In the third section, Bhagavatarthaprakarana, Vallabhacharya presents his interpretation of Bhagavata Purana according to the text as a whole (Shastra), by canto (skandha), by the topical divisions within them (prakarana), and by the numbered chapters (adhyaya). These interpretations are usually quite thematic and also tend towards pramana, which in this case indicates a systematic unfolding of meaning and doctrine.