According to

  1. Kashmiri Shaivism : Reason of creation is the proof of existence of Shiva. As heat is inevitable in presence of fire, similarly Shakti is inevitable in presence of Shiva & this Shakti is no different than the world itself. Further, being a completely monistic or Advait philosophy, according to it all sufferings, enjoyments etc are of Shiva only in innumerable forms.E.g, insects, trees, demons etc all are Shiva covered with Malas only. In, short this system argues there is no individual existence or the one who suffers or enjoys, he is Shiva only who suffers or enjoys then what's your problem with creation? Further, creation is an ecstasy or bliss of Shiva in material form which doesn't seems bliss just due to perception of duality or ignorance that Individual thinks himself separates from Shiva & considers himself different. To remove such ignorance, one can liberate in this very life no matter whether one is women or belong to any caste.
  2. Advait Vedanta : This is another the most famous Vedantic non dual or monistic system who believes there is no creation at all from absolute point of view, creation is the result of Avidya which Brahman is unaware of. Actually what they say is the perception full of duality is what the creation is & this perception is only due to avidya. So, this system argues Brahman didn't create the world & sufferings (In other words there is no world or sufferings), it is due to avidya only then why to question Brahman/God for sufferings or creations?
  3. Shaiva Siddhanta: This is dual system which argues Shiva creates the universe to liberate bound souls having Mala/impurity by default since eternity. You can read here. Thus, this system shows benevolence of creation & Shiva, But this system along with other dual or semi dual systems are questionable to me as you can see here.

Btw Having stated in short the arguments laid by those systems, Now I am interested to know the arguments given by Vishishta Advaita regarding the reason of creation? i.e, Why Lord Vishnu creates the world? Does this system give the same arguments like Shaiva Siddhant?

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    Theory of Existence
    – Pandya
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 7:22
  • @Pandya Effect was already in the cause. But why cause? it is like death is already present in the birth or life but why birth? Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


The cause or reason for creation is addressed in the Brahma Sutras. In Ramanuja's (the founder of modern Vishishtadvaita) commentary on the Brahma Sutras, his Sri-Bhasya, this is in verses 2.1.32-36. Ramanuja's commentary on these verses is essentially in agreement with Sankara's commentary. Here are the verses and most of Ramanuja's commentary on these verses from his Sri-Bhasya (Swami Vireswarananda translator):

  1. (Brahman is) not (the creator of the world) because (creation appears to have) a motive (behind).

There is some motive or purpose at the back of this creation and the Lord has no purpose to gain by such creation. Nobody engages himself in any action without a motive or purpose. This purpose can be twofold. It can be either to satisfy one's own desire or for the sake of others. Brahman being self-sufficient, It has nothing to gain for Itself by the creation of this world. Neither can it be for the sake of the individual souls, for in that case It would have created a world full of happiness, out of pity for the souls, and not this world full of suffering for them. Therefore, as Brahman has no purpose whatsoever to achieve by this creation, It cannot be the cause of the world.

  1. But (Brahman's creative activity) is mere pastime, as is seen in the world.

Even as kings engage themselves in activity, like playing with a ball, without a motive but for mere amusement, or even as children playing out of fun, so also Brahman, without any purpose to gain, engages Itself in creating this world of diversity as a mere pastime.

An objection is raised against this view expressed in this Sutra. The creation of a world in which there is so much suffering would subject Brahman to the charge of partiality and cruelty. So Brahman who is full of pity cannot be the cause of this diabolical world even out of mere sport.

  1. Partiality and cruelty cannot (be attributed to Brahman) on account of Its taking into consideration (other reasons in that matter), because (the scripture) declares (it to be) so.

Some are born as men while others are born as gods; so the Lord is partial to some. He is cruel insomuch as He creates a world full of suffering for the souls. The latter part of the Sutra refutes these objections and says that on account of the Lord's taking into consideration the past Karma of the various beings before creating them as gods, man, or lower animals, partiality cannot be attributed to Him. Souls are born according to their past Karma in different species. So their Karma accounts for the difference in their condition and not the Lord's partiality. Sruti also declares the same thing: 'A man becomes good by good work, bad by bad work' (Br. III. ii. 13). the Lord is only the operative cause in the creation of beings; the main cause is the past Karma of the beings. Just as rain helps different seeds to sprout, each according to its nature, so the Lord is the general efficient cause in bringing the latent tendencies of each individual to fruition. Hence He is neither partial or cruel.

  1. If it be said (that is) is not (possible) for want of any distinction in work (before creation), (we say) no, because (the world) is beginningless; this is reasonable and is also seen (from the scriptures).

...Moreover, creation is also beginningless, and when the scriptures talk of the beginning of creation they mean only the beginning of a new cycle. This is borne out of texts like, 'the Lord devised the sun and the moon as before' (Rig Veda X. cxc. 3).

So partiality and cruelty cannot be attributed to the Lord.

  1. And because the attributes (required for the creation of the world) are possible (only in Brahman, It is the cause of the world).

As all attributes necessary necessary for the creation of the world which were denied in the Pradhana and atoms in Sutra II. i. 29 are possible in Brahman. It is alone the cause of the world. As the powers of the Pradhana and atoms are limited and as they are of the same nature as things seen in the world, there are any number of objections against against the possibility of their being the cause of the world. But as scriptures alone are the source of knowledge with respect to Brahman, It being quite different in nature from all things experienced, and as scriptures declare that It possesses infinite powers and that It has no other motive than sport in creation and arranges the diversity of creation in accordance with the Karma of the souls, It alone can be the cause of the world.

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    Brahman's pastime is our's curse. Begin less creation gives us many paradoxes. This answer/commentary further gives rise to many questions which Better I would ask as different questions. BTW, Thanks :) Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 8:02
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    I would call Ramanujacharya the popularizer, not the founder, of Visistadvaita. The prior Sri Vaishnava Acharyas Nathamuni and Yamunacharya believed in the exact same Visistadvaita philosophy that Ramanujacharya did. This can be gleaned from comparing Yamhnacharya'a Siddhitrayam and Agama Pramanya to Ramanujacharya's works. But what is true is that Ramanujacharya turned Sri Vaishnavism (and its Visistadvaita philosophy) from a tiny group of followers into a major sect of Hinduism. Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 13:27
  • @KeshavSrinivasan I said the founder of modern, not the founder. Visistadvaita has been around for thousands and thousands of years. Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 4:54
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    @SwamiVishwananda Well, what do you mean by modern Visistadvaita exactly? Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 5:03
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    @SwamiVishwananda OK, but then your statement becomes trivial - of course Ramanujacharya is the founder of "Visistadvaita since the time of Ramanujacharya". One might as well say that Vidyaranya is the founder of modern Advaita, where modern Advaita is defined as Advaita since the time of Vidyaranya. But that wouldn't be a particularly useful definition. My point being, Nathamuni and Yamunacharya (leaving aside pre-Shankara philosophers like Baudhayana) unambiguously had the same beliefs as Ramanujacharya, so if anyone should be called the founder of "modern Visistadvaita" it's Nathamuni. Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 13:45

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