Dvaita Vedanta

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Madhvacharya (1238-1317 CE), the main proponent of Dvaita Vedanta Madhvacahrya.jpg
Madhvacharya (1238-1317 CE), the main proponent of Dvaita Vedanta

Dvaita Vedanta ( /ˈdvtəvɪˈdɑːntə/ ; Sanskrit : द्वैत वेदान्त) is a sub-school in the Vedanta tradition of Hindu philosophy. Alternatively known as Bhedavāda, Tattvavāda and Bimbapratibimbavāda, the Dvaita Vedanta sub-school was founded by the 13th-century scholar Madhvacharya. [1] The Dvaita Vedanta school believes that God (Vishnu, supreme soul) and the individual souls (jīvātman) exist as independent realities, and these are distinct, being said that Vishnu (Narayana) is independent, and souls are dependent on him. The Dvaita school contrasts with the other two major sub-schools of Vedanta, the Advaita Vedanta of Adi Shankara which posits nondualism – that ultimate reality (Brahman) and human soul are identical and all reality is interconnected oneness, and Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja which posits qualified nondualism – that ultimate reality (Brahman) and human soul are different but with the potential to be identical. [2] [3]

Contents

Etymology

Dvaita (द्वैत) is a Sanskrit word that means "duality, dualism". [4] The term refers to any premise, particularly in theology on the material and the divine, where two principles (truths) or realities are posited to exist simultaneously and independently. [4] [1]

Philosophy

Dvaita Vedanta is a dualistic interpretation of the Vedas which espouses dualism by theorizing the existence of two separate realities. The first and the only independent reality (svatantra-tattva), states the Dvaita school, is that of Vishnu as Brahman. [5] Vishnu is the supreme Self, in a manner similar to the monotheistic God in other major religions. [6] He is believed to be allmighty, eternal, [7] always existing, everlasting, all-knowing, and compassionate. [8] The second reality is that of dependent (asvatantra-tattva) but equally real universe that exists with its own separate essence. Everything that is composed of the second reality, such as individual soul, matter, and the like exist with their own separate reality. The distinguishing factor of this philosophy, as opposed to monistic Advaita Vedanta, is that God takes on a personal role and is seen as a real eternal entity that governs and controls the universe. [9]

Like Ramanuja, Madhvacharya also embraced Vaishnavism. Madhvacharya posits God as being personal and saguna, that is endowed with attributes and qualities (in human terms, which are not believed to be able to fully describe God) [10] . To Madhvacharya, the metaphysical concept of Brahman in the Vedas was Vishnu. He stated "brahmaśabdaśca Viṣṇaveva", that Brahman can only refer to Vishnu. Scriptures which say different are declared as non-authoritative by him. [11] To him, Vishnu was not just any other deva, but rather the one and only Supreme Being. [12] [13] According to him, the devas are souls of deceased persons who were rewarded for good deeds by being reincarnated into the heavenly worlds and becoming following organs of God's will, [14] which would also be the case with Vayu and Lakshmi. [15] He also believes that they are mortal, and that some of them could sink into lower stages of existence after death. [14] Therefore, he believes that only God shall be worshipped through them, and that worshipping them on their own behalf is an apostasy which emerged during Treta Yuga, and did not already exist during Satya Yuga. [16] According to him, this must also be noticed regarding murtis. [17]

Dvaita Vedanta acknowledges two principles; however, it holds one of them (the sentient) as being eternally dependent on the other. The individual souls are depicted as reflections, images or shadows of the divine, but never in any way identical with the divine. Moksha (liberation) therefore is described as the realization that all finite reality is essentially dependent on the Supreme. [5] God is believed to have shown the way to attain moksha through several avatars. [7]

Five fundamental, eternal and real differences are described in Dvaita school: [5] [13] [18]

  1. Between the individual souls (or jīvātman) and God (paramathma or Vishnu).
  2. Between matter (inanimate, insentient) and God.
  3. Between individual souls (jīvātman).
  4. Between matter and jīvātman.
  5. Between various types of matter.

These five differences are said to explain the nature of the universe. The world is called prapañca (pañca "five") by the Dvaita school for this reason.

According to him, there are three different classes of souls: One class, Mukti-yogyas , which would qualify for liberation, another, the Nitya-samsarins , which would be subject to eternal rebirth or eternal transmigration and a third class, Tamo-yogyas , sadomasochists which would be tasked with spreading irreligion in the material world and being rewarded with being able undergo hellish punishments. [19]

Influence

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Jeaneane D. Fowler (2002). Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 340–343. ISBN   978-1-898723-94-3.
  2. Jeaneane D. Fowler (2002). Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 238–243, 288–293, 340–343. ISBN   978-1-898723-94-3.
  3. James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 1 & 2, Rosen Publishing, ISBN   0-8239-2287-1, pages 12-13, 213-214, 758-759
  4. 1 2 Sir Monier Monier-Williams, Dvaita, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages, Oxford University Press (Reprinted: Motilal Banarsidass), ISBN   978-8120831056, page 507
  5. 1 2 3 Fowler 2002, pp. 340-344.
  6. Michael Myers (2000), Brahman: A Comparative Theology, Routledge, ISBN   978-0700712571, pages 124-127
  7. 1 2 Helmuth von Glasenapp: Madhva's Philosophie des Vishnu-Glaubens, Geistesströmungen des Ostens vol. 2, Bonn 1923, Einleitung (p. *1-2).
  8. Glasenapp: Madhva's Philosophie des Vishnu-Glaubens, p. 32.
  9. Etter 2006, pp. 59-60.
  10. Glasenapp: Madhva's Philosophie des Vishnu-Glaubens, p. 30–31.
  11. Glasenapp: Madhva's Philosophie des Vishnu-Glaubens, p. 28–29.
  12. Bryant, Edwin (2007). Krishna : A Sourcebook (Chapter 15 by Deepak Sarma). Oxford University Press. p. 358. ISBN   978-0195148923.
  13. 1 2 Stoker, Valerie (2011). "Madhva (1238-1317)". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  14. 1 2 Glasenapp: Madhva's Philosophie des Vishnu-Glaubens, p. 67–68.
  15. Glasenapp: Madhva's Philosophie des Vishnu-Glaubens, p. 75.
  16. Glasenapp: Madhva's Philosophie des Vishnu-Glaubens, p. 71.
  17. Glasenapp: Madhva's Philosophie des Vishnu-Glaubens, p. 85.
  18. James Lochtefeld (2002), Madhva, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing. ISBN   978-0823931798, page 396
  19. Tapasyananda, Swami. Bhakti Schools of Vedanta pg. 177.
  20. 1 2 Sabapathy Kulandran and Hendrik Kraemer (2004), Grace in Christianity and Hinduism, James Clarke, ISBN   978-0227172360, pages 177-179
  21. Sharma 1962, pp. 22-23.
  22. Sharma 2000, pp. xxxii-xxxiii, 514-516.
  23. Jones & Ryan 2006, p. 266.
  24. Sarma 2000, pp. 19-21.

Bibliography