The philosophy of Advaita Vedanta was summed up by Adi-Shankara in a single verse:

Brahma Satyam Jagat Mithya, Jivo Brahmaiva Naparah

English Translation: Brahman is the only Truth, the world is unreal (objectively), and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and the individual self.

Now my question is what is the Vishishtadvaitin equivalent of this? What is the one verse that sums up the philosophy of Vishishtadvaita Vedanta?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The key principles of Vishishtadvaita are:

  1. There are three entities: cit (jivatma), acit (prakriti) and Isvara (Parabrahman).
  2. Parabrahman is Sriman Lakshmi Narayana who has infinite auspicious attributes.
  3. The entire universe of cit and acit form the body of Parabrahman and they are dependent upon Him for their existence.
  4. Surrender is the way to attain liberation.

Most Mangala shlokas of Visishtadvaitic core texts tend to summarize these points one way or the other. One example is the first verse of Ramanuja's Vedartha Sangraha:

aśeṣacidacidvastuśeṣiṇe śeṣaśāyine /

nirmalānantakalyāṇanidhaye viṣṇave namaḥ //

अशेषचिदचिद्वस्तुशेषिणे शेषशायिने /

निर्मलानन्तकल्याणनिधये विष्णवे नमः //

  • aśeṣacidacidvastuśeṣiṇe covers #1 and #3
  • śeṣaśāyine covers #2 and #3
  • nirmalānantakalyāṇanidhaye covers #2
  • viṣṇave covers #2
  • namaḥ covers #4

Vishishtadvaita is already declared by Krishna in Chapter 15 of the Bhagavad Gita:

Mamaivamsho jivaloke jiva bhuta sanatanah... [Bhagavad Gita 15.7(a)]

English Translation: The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts...[Bhagavad Gita 15.7(a)]

This half verse sums up the philosophy of Vishishtadvaita.

  • 2
    This verse is also accepted by other Vedantic doctrines as well. Btw, can you provide the reference to the translation (i.e translated by you or any Acharya) you quoted which interprets fragmental parts? – Pandya Sep 26 at 15:52
  • Yes amsa-amsi is fundamental in vishishtadvaita and I believe used by Acharya Ramanuja as well. Will try to find a reference – subash rajaa Sep 26 at 17:30
  • I can find a reference in para 2 of vedartha sangraha by Acharya Ramanuja. It mentions the individual self to be tadamsha where tad is the highest self i.e.Ishvara – subash rajaa Sep 26 at 17:45
  • @Pandya See for that verse at vedabase there an explanation of fragmental parts. – brahma jijnasa Oct 12 at 0:17

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