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Visishtadvaita Philosophy On Brahman

Visishtadvaita philosophy (qualified monism of Sri Ramanujacharya) posits that Brahman is an organic entity which is qualified by diversity. It is a concrete whole which consists of interrelated and inter-dependent elements. Brahman is the whole, the immanent inner controller who holds together in unity the dependent individuals (chit) and dependent material universe (achit). This is a true monism – one eternal whole comprising internal distinctions.

‘The real is eternal’ does not mean that the eternal alone is real. The universe as well as individual souls can never be said to be illusory from any standpoint of view. Thus their relation is a real relation between the three realities.

Brahman is related individuals and the universe of matter and all that needs to be done is to interpret this relation so as to be consistent with the eternality, changlessness, and infinitude of Brahman. The world of individuals and matter is conceived of as the body of God. It is in this connection that Visishtadvaita philosophy posits the internal relation of inseparability (aprithaksiddhi). This relation is an inner, inseparable, vital and organic relation. Thus Brahman is the inseparable unity of God, individuals, and matter, with the latter two being entirely dependent on the former. Though individuals and matter are substances in themselves, they are attributes in relation to God. Brahman is free from all external differences, though He possesses internal differences.