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I am a SriVaishnavite by birth, and am keen on learning the Visistadvaita system of Ramanuja and Vedanta Desika, which is the basis of our Vadakalai Iyengar Sampradaya. Whats a good place to start for a beginner? I don't really have any background in philosophy, and am a student of computer science. Do I need to go through Dvaita and Advaita first as prerequisites, or can I directly pick up Visistadvaita? Any resources, references and ideas are welcome.

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You can read 'Sri Ramanuja Gita Bhasya' translated by Swami Adidevananda. You can also read 'Brahma-Sutras Sri-Bhasya of Sri Ramanuja' translated by Swamis Vireswarananda and Adidevananda.

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First of all read Purusha Suktam, It reveals Identity of Veda Purusha Shriman Naryana and encourages us to follow the karma yoga by doing kainkarya (sewa) to Veda Purusha and Uphold Dharma.

Read Bhagwad Gita Bhasya of Bhagwad Ramanujacharya, there are many good online sources to read it. I am giving you few of them 1 2 3

This was the prerequisite now the main sanctum sanatorium of Vishitadvaita Temple i.e Sri Bhasya.

Then dive into the divine three secrets, by reading Rahasyatrayasara of Kavitrakika Simha Vedantaacharya aka Vedanta Deshikacharya.

  • Nice answer. Which is good online site to learn more about the basics of Vishitadvaita philosophy ,so that a complete novice like me will get the good idea about beliefs , customs , traditions and principles of Vishitadvaita philosophy. – SwiftPushkar Mar 5 '17 at 6:57
  • @SwiftPushkar There is a list of websites like ramanuja.org, anudinam.org, narayanastra blog. Video lectures by velukkudi krishnan swamy and dushyant sridhar can be informative (but dont rely on them). There are other great channels which systematically teach about vishitaadvaita philosophy. What I recommend(self enquiry) is reading gita bhasya and sri bhasaya(by comparing it with shankara bhasya) so that you can develop a strong basis. – Yogi Mar 5 '17 at 8:18
  • Ok , I will go through the sites you mentioned :) – SwiftPushkar Mar 5 '17 at 8:30
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For an overview of the philosophy, please read VN Gopala Desikan's "A Dialogue on Hinduism" available here

I you can understand Tamil, I also strongly recommend the Guru Parampara lecture series of Natteri Sri Rajagopalachariar available here. It covers the hagiography of the Perumal->Ramanuja->Desika->Andavan Periyashramam sampradayam with significant time spent on Ramanuja and Desika.

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