Vedanthic Philosophies

Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita said:

Arjun, you grieve over those who should not be grieved for and yet speak like the learned; wise men do not sorrow over the dead or the living” 2:11 (

na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah

na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam atah param

Meaning: na--never; tu--but; eva--certainly; aham--I; jatu--become;
na--never; asam--existed; na--it is not so; tvam--yourself; na--not; ime--all these; jana-adhipah--kings;
--never; ca--also; eva--certainly; na--not like that; bhavisyamah--shall exist;
sarve--all of us; vayam--we; atah param--hereafter.

Source: and

In fact there was NEVER a time when I was NOT or when you or these kings were NOT. Nor is it a fact that hereafter we shall all cease to be. 2:12

There are three significant philosophies –
  1. Advaita (circa 500 AD or 3601 Kali),
  2. Visishta-Advaita (circa 1017 AD or 4118 Kali), and
  3. Dwaita (circa 1250 AD or 4351 Kali) – based on their interpretations of the Vedas.

They are:
  • Adi Shankaracharya's Advaita (Absolute/Unqualified-Non-Dualism) philosophy based on Shotaka and Abheda Shrutis. There is absolutely only Brahmam, everything else is Illusionary.
  • Ramanujacharya's Visishta-Advaita (Qualified-Non-Dualism) philosophy based on Shotaka, Abeda, Bheda, and Ghataka Shrutis. The Brahmam is embodied and inseparable (or qualified) along with both Chit and Achit. To this qualified Brahmam with body-soul relationships, there is no equal or other Brahmam.
  • Madhvacharya's Dwaita (Absolute-Dualism) philosophy based on Shotaka and Bheda Shrutis. The Brahmam, Chits, and Achits are absolutely separate and different entities.

The differences between Advaita and Visishta-Advaita

Advaita says there is no difference between anything. It claims no bedam. It says everything is Brahmam, and anything that you see or experience with your Indriyams is Mayawada or Illusions. This is in total contrast to Visishta-Advaitam which says everything you see is real, but there is One Brahmam which contains a bunch of Jeevatmas (Chits) and Material Bodies (Achits) that are part of the same Brahmam. When a person enjoys the beauty/fragrance of a flower, the physical Indriya is the thing (Achit) that is enjoyed by the enjoyer who is the Jeevathma (Chit) uses to perform it with the Catalyst as the Ishwara (Paramatma).

Brahmam (Sriman Narayana) according to Visishta-Advaita, consists of Ishwara (Satya/truth, Gnyana/knowledge, Ananda/Bliss), who controls both Chit (Sentient) and Achit (Nama-Rupa Jagat/Non-Sentient) – all inseparable qualities of the Brahmam (Sriman Narayana)

Visishta-Advaita Mapping

  • The Baddha Jeevathmas are the bound souls that live in the material world,
  • The Mukta Jeevathmas are the souls liberated from samsara, and
  • The Nitya Jeevathmas are the ever-free souls.

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