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From Mundaka Upanishad, Mundaka-3, Khanda-2 Verse-9:

स यो ह वै तत् परमं ब्रह्म वेद ब्रह्मैव भवति नास्याब्रह्मवित्कुले भवति ।
तरति शोकं तरति पाप्मानं गुहाग्रन्थिभ्यो विमुक्तोऽमृतो भवति ॥ ९॥

He who knows the Supreme Brahman verily becomes Brahman. In his family no one is born ignorant of Brahman. He overcomes grief; he overcomes evil; free from the fetters of the heart, he becomes immortal.

I'm talking about the bold part which sounding Advaita.

I want to know how does Vishishtadvaita interpret this Shruti verse?

  • As I understood vishishtadvaita philosophy Brahman is part of the Supreme Brahman not the whole. So, When He knows the Supreme he(Brahman) becomes dissolve in Supreme like Advaita (Non duality) but as same time he does not lose his identity like Dvaita (Duality). – Shree Krishna Oct 24 '16 at 12:31
  • @ShreeKrishna what do you mean by Brahman and Supreme Brahman according to Vishsihtadvaita? – Paṇḍyā Oct 26 '16 at 14:06
  • @ShreeKrishna In Visistadvaita there is only one Brahman. He is Saguna and he is supreme. Are you trying to say that the Jiva is part of Brahman, not that Brahman is part of Brahman? – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 26 '16 at 14:10
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    I'm talking about the bold part which sounding Advaita. Before you start to think about this question I think you should know that that question actually doesn't sound like it is something that Advaita teach. And this is so because per the Shankara's Advaita you already are Brahman and thus it make no sense to say that you will "become" Brahman. Actually when I think about that verse it sounds to me as if it is written according to some vaishnava system of Vedanta. Just saying ... :) – brahma jijnasa Oct 31 '16 at 15:50
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Here is what Ranga Ramanuja, the Sri Vaishnava commentator on the Upanishads, says about this verse in this excerpt from his Mandukya Upanishad Bhashya:

yaḥ tat brahmaveda prītirupāpannadarśanasamānakārapāsanoyukto bhavatī - when he is endowed with Upasana which is of the character of vivid perception and which is of the form of love. brahmaiva bhavatī means ābhirvuta brāhmarupo bhavatī - he will become one in whom the nature of Brahman becomes manifested. Being freed from rāga, dveṣa and others caused by matter having the three gunas, he will manifest himself the eight characteristics of Brahman such as apahatapāpmatva etc.

So in Ranga Ramanuja's view the verse is talking about liberated souls manifesting the characteristics of Brahman, not becoming Brahman.

Ramanujacharya also touches on the verse in this section of his Sri Bhashya:

The objects of meditation in all the vidyâs which refer to the highest Brahman, are Brahman viewed as having qualities, and the fruit of all those meditations. For this reason the author of the Sûtras declares that there is option among the different vidyâs--cp. Ve. Sû. III, 3, II; III., 3, 59. In the same way the Vâkyakâra teaches that the qualified Brahman only is the object of meditation, and that there is option of vidyâs; where he says '(Brahman) connected (with qualities), since the meditation refers to its qualities.' The same view is expressed by the Bhâshyakâra in the passage beginning 'Although he who bases himself on the knowledge of Being.'--Texts such as 'He knows Brahman, he becomes Brahman' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 9) have the same purport, for they must be taken in connexion with the other texts (referring to the fate of him who knows) such as 'Freed from name and form he goes to the divine Person who is higher than the high'; 'Free from stain he reaches the highest oneness' (Mu. Up. III, 2, 8; III, 1,3); 'Having approached the highest light he manifests himself in his own shape' (Kh. Up. VIII, 3, 4). Of him who has freed himself from his ordinary name and form, and all the distinctions founded thereon, and has assumed the uniform character of intelligence, it may be said that he is of the character of Brahman.

The "Bhashyakara", by the way, is the ancient Vedantic philosopher Dramidacharya, whom I discuss here.

  • Who (other than Brahman itself) do have the character of Brahman? – Paṇḍyā Mar 10 '17 at 17:56
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    @Pandya Apart from Brahman, liberated souls have the character of Brahman. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 10 '17 at 17:59

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