There are many schools of thought like VisistAdvaita, Achintya Bheda Abheda and Dvaita which are followed by different sects of Vaishnavites. Most of these Vaishnava sects seem to be very critical of Advaita as they see it alien to their beliefs. However, I am a Vaishnava myself and attracted to Advaita Vedanta. Can I be both an Advaitin and Vaishnava?

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    Your observation is mostly correct. Being a Vaishnav myself, it seems strictly "no-no" for a Vaishnav to be in believing Advaita. Many Vaishnava are leaned towards celebrating colorful life of Shri Krishna. For them Advaita will be too bland. My personal opinion is that Advaita is the highest state towards realisation. It's a "state" rather than a "philosophy". – iammilind Aug 20 '17 at 17:47
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    Not all Vaishnavas are dualistic i.e., follow Dvaita. For instance, SriVaishnavas are proponents of VisistAdvaita. – DirghaChintayanti Aug 20 '17 at 19:21
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    @user1952500 No problem. AFAIK, SriVaishnavas and other sects of Vaishnavas come under the generic/categorical label of Vaishnavas. – DirghaChintayanti Aug 20 '17 at 19:57
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    there is a quote from Sankara or Gaudapada that says the advaita has no argument with dvaita, it is only followers of dvaita that have a problem with advaita. I am traveling for the next week and don't have access to my books so can't find for another week. – Swami Vishwananda Aug 20 '17 at 23:24
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    @SwamiVishwananda yeah, Gaudapada karika on Mandukya Upanishad has those verses. – Paṇḍyā Aug 21 '17 at 0:04

Yes, Advaitha is too generic, you can be almost anything, when you are an Advaithi.

Besides, Adi Shankaracharya himself was a Vaishnava, he composed many stotrams on the highest Lord as Vishnu. And confusingly enough he was also a Shaktha, Shaiva etc.

Because one of the core philosophies of Advaitha is that the same ethereal Brahman underlies all existence and all forms. So yes, you can be an Advaithi and a Vaishnava.

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    a vishnu devotee is not necessarily a vaishnavite. a vaishnavite believes vishnu alone is the supreme deity. a false idea has been spread by vaishnavites about adi sankara that he was a vaishnavite. some people say that vishnu was his ista-devata which is not the same as his being a vaishnavite. sankara didn't agree with pancharatra agamas- hardly a vaishnavite position. – S K Jan 25 '18 at 14:47
  • It depends on how you define Vaishnavite – VARUN.N RAO Dec 26 '18 at 19:19

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