Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Six Philosophies > Four Sampradayas > Contents

Four Sampradayas

Contents

 

PREFACE       3

INTRODUCTION       5

I - Advaita Vedanta of Shankaracarya (788-820AD)         5

II-The Decline of Mayavada and the Theistic Reaction of 8

Shri Ramanujacarya   8

PART I - ShRI SAMPRADAYA 9

A  PRE-RAMANUJA PERIOD  9

I. The Alvars  9

II. The Acaryas        10

B  ShRI RAMANUJACARYA   11

I. His Life      11

II. Shri Ramanuja's Works   12

C  VIShIShTADVAITA VEDANTA PHILOSOPHY     13

I. Meaning of the Term Vishishtadvaita      13

II. Fundamental Metaphysical Categories   13

III. Pramanas and their Validity      15

IV. Theory of Knowledge     15

V. Knowledge and the External World        16

VI. The Doctrine of Jiva       16

VII. The Doctrine of Ishvara.         20

VIII. Brahman and Universe 25

IX. Sadhana and Mukti        26

D  POST-RAMANUJA PERIOD         29

I.  Pillai Lokacarya (1264-1327)     30

II.  Vedanta Deshika (1268-1369)  30

III. Differences between Tenkalai and Vadakalai Schools. 31

PART II - BRAHMA SAMPRADAYA    32

A  INTRODUCTION  32

I. Need for a New Darshana 32

B ShRI MADHVACARYA (1238-1317)          34

I) His Life      34

II.  Shri Madhvacarya’s Literary Works     35

C  DVAITA PHILOSOPHY OF ShRI MADHVACARYA         36

I. Ontology    36

II.  Epistemology     39

III.  The World of Experience        39

IV. Doctrine of Atman         40

V.  Doctrine of Brahman     43

VI.  Sadhana-Vicara  43

VII. Doctrine of Mukti         45

D  COMPARISON WITH OTHER SYSTEMS  46

I. Dvaita versus Vishishtadvaita      46

II. Some Flashes of the Madhva’s Dialetic  47

E  POST- MADHVA PERIOD  49

I. Life and Works of Jayathirtha (1345-88) 49

II. Life and Works of Vyasatirtha (1460-1539)      49

III. Madhva School and its Institutions      50

PART III - KUMARA SAMPRADAYA  51

A  ShRI NIMBARKACARYA   51

I. His Life      51

II. Nimbarka’s Literary Work and Others    51

B  NIMBARKA’S SVABHAVIKA-BHEDABHEDA-VADA         52

I. General Aspects    52

II. Philosophical Points        52

III. Some Comparisons to Shri Chaitanya’s philosophy    54

IV Vishishtadvaita Versus Svabhavika -Bhedabheda         55

PART  IV - RUDRA SAMPRADAYA   56

A  EARLY PERIOD    56

I.  Shri Vishnusvami  56

II.  Shridhara Svami 57

B  ShRI VALLABHACARYA (1481-1533)     57

I.  His Life    57

II.  Vallabhacarya's Works  58

C  ShUDDHADVAITA PHILOSOPHY 59

I. Basic Philosophical Points 59

II. Two Types of Brahman  59

III. Jivas and the World       59

IV.  Moksha  60

PART IV -BRAHMA-MADHVA-GAUDIYA-SAMPRADAYA      63

A  DOCTRINE OF ACINTYA-BHEDABHEDA 63

I. Some Characteristic Features      63

II. Distinguishing Factors of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism.     64

III. Some Particular Points of the Gaudiya Philosophy and Religion not Found in Other Vaishnava Sects:      66

APPENDIX I - COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE VAIShNAVA SCHOOLS           67

I. Relation Among God, World and the Souls        67

II. Efficient and Material Cause of the World        68

III. Dependence of the souls and the world to God         69

IV. Some difficulties  70

V. God, karma         71

VI. karma, jnana and bhakti 71

APPENDIX II - THE LIVES OF THE ALVARS 72

I. Poygai, Bhutam and Pey Alvar     72

II. Tirumalishai-Alvar 73

III. Nammalvar and Madhurakavi-Alvar      74

IV. Kulashekhara Alvar        76

V. Peryi - Alvar         77

VI. Andal-Alvar         78

VII. Tondaradippodi-Alvar    79

VIII. Tiruppan-Alvar  80

IX. Tirumangai-Alvar  81

Preface

 

Shrila Prabhupada ends his introduction of the Shrimad Bhagavatam with the following words: “The cult of Shri Chaitanya philosophy is richer than any other, and it is admitted to be the living religion of the day with the potency for spreading as vishva-dharma or universal religion.”

 

We, gaudiya vaishnavas, are convinced that the philosophy of Shri Chaitanya is the essence of all other Vaishnava philosophies. It is the definite sidhanta, the most precise exposition of the words of Bhagavan Shrila Vyasadeva, and the last word in Vedanta philosophy. Actually the four Vaishnava philosophies - Vishishtadvaita, Dvaita, Suddhadvaita and Svabhavika-bhedabheda -, have paved the way for the manifestation of Shri Chaitanya's Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva.

 

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Navadvipa-Mahatmyam (Parikrama-khanda) revealed that all the founder acaryas of the Vaishnava sampradayas, namely Shri Ramanuja, Shri Madhvacarya, Shri Vishnusvami and Shri Nimbarkacarya performed some pastimes in Gauda-mandala. He described a meeting Lord Chaitanya had with Shri Nimbarka, when He addressed him with these words:

 

madhva haite saradvaya kariba grahana

eka haya kevala-advaita nirasana

krishna-murti nitya jani'tamhara sevana

sei ta'dvitiya sara jana mahajana

ramanuja haite anni lai dvi sara

ananya-bhakati, bhaktajana-seva ara

vishnu haite dui sara kariba svikara

tadiya sarvasva-bhava, ragamarga ara

toma haite laba ami dui mahasara

ekanta radhikashraya gopi-bhava ara

 

“Later when I begin the sankirtana movement I myself will preach using the essence of the philosophies of the four of you. From Madhva I will receive two items: his complete defeat of the Mayavadi philosophy, and his service to the murti of Krishna, accepting it as an eternal spiritual being. From Ramanuja I will accept two teachings: the concept of bhakti unpolluted by karma or jnana and service to the devotees. From Vishnusvami's teaching I will accept two elements: the sentiment of exclusive dependence on Krishna and the path of raga-bhakti. And from you I will receive two great principles: the necessity of taking shelter of Radha and the high esteem for the gopis love of Krishna.”

 

Our Gaudiya sampradaya is therefore very much indebted to all these great acaryas. Shrila Jiva Gosvami declares that he resorted to the commentaries of great vaishnavas like Shridhara Svami, Shri Ramanujacarya and Shri Madhvacarya while composing his masterpiece Shad-Sandarbha which expresses the essence of Lord Chaitanya's philosophy.

 

Another very significant act of recognition performed by the Gaudiyas for the whole Vaishnava community, and their revered acaryas, was offered by Shrila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He installed the murtis of the four acaryas in the main temple for regular worship in the Shri Chaitanya Matha, Shri Mayapur dhama.

 

This work was done mostly by direct compilation and adaptation from texts of some of the best books available in the English language on the subject. The idea is that a recognized representative of each sampradaya expose its own philosophy with its own words, concepts and termonology. In this way the information is more accurate and we are able to better appreciate the mood of each sampradaya. The following books were used in this work:

 

          1- A History of Indian Philosophy (5Vol), Surendranath Dasgupta

          2- A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, Dr. Chandrahara Sharma

          3- An Introduction to Indian Philosophy, Dr. Satiscandra Chatterjee and

            Dr. Dhirendramohan Datta

          4- Bhakti Schools of Vedanta, Svami Tapasyananda

          5- Conceptions of God in Vaishnava Philosophical Systems, Dr. Manju Bube

          6- Philosophy and Religion of Shri Chaitanya, O.B.L.Kapoor

          7- The History & Literature of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas and their Relation

       to other Medieval Vaishnava Schools, Dr. Sambidananda Das

          8- The Philosophy of Vishishtadvaita, P.N. Shrinivasachari

          9- Fundamentals of Vishishtadvaita, S.M. Shrinivasa Chari

          10- Vaishnavism - Its Phiosophy, Theology and Religious Discipline,          

            S.M. Shrinivasa Chari

          11- The Holy lives of the Alvars, Alkondavili Govindacharya

          12- Philosophy of Shri Madhvacarya, B.N.K. Sharma

          13- History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta & its Literature,

         B.N.K. Sharma

          14- Shri Madhvacarya and his Cardinal Doctrines, D.N. Shanbhag

          15- Doctrines of Nimbarka and His Followers, Roma Bose

          16- The Philosophy of Nimbarka, Madan Mohan Agrawal

          17- A Life of Shri Vallabhacarya and the Doctrines, Prof. G.H.Bhatt.

          18- Shri Vallabhacarya and His Doctrines, Prof. G.H. Bhatt.

          19- Pushti-marga and Shri Vallabhacarya, edited by C.M. Vaidya.

          20- Vaishnavism, edited by Steven J. Rosen.

 

PURUShATRAYA SVAMI

 

Vrindavana, Karttika 1993