The Philosophical Contribution of Vedānta Deśika to the Development of the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedanta

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Abstract


Veṅkaṭanātha, also known as Vedānta Deśika, is one of the most significant figures of Indian philosophy of the 13th-14th centuries. His contribution to viśiṣṭādvaita-vedānta allowed to establish it finally as a philosophical system. Deśika justified its doctrines and defended the teachings of his predecessors from the criticism of other philosophical schools, especially, Śaṅkara’s advaita-vedānta. Before the advent of the works of Deśika, which are about 120, the followers of viśiṣṭādvaita of Rāmānuja paid attention mainly to theological aspects of the teaching. We present the main concepts of the Veṅkaṭanātha’s philosophical teaching and analyze his contribution to the development of viśiṣṭādvaita in this article. The main tasks and problems which had been solved by this philosopher in his treaties were described, three important ontological concepts were outlined: the concept of substance and attribute, the theory of relation and the concept of cause and effect. Six types of substance and its theories were consecutively considered (God - īśvara, the individual soul - jīva, knowledge - jñāna, the transcendental substance - nitya-vibhūti, time - kāla and matter - prakṛti), its division on the conscious and non-conscious, material and non-material entities. The theory of knowledge was reviewed in details: the essence of knowledge and its functional characteristics were defined as well as the question of true knowledge.


About the authors

N A Safina

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: videhidevi@gmail.com
Mikluho-Maklaya str., 6, Moscow, Russia, 117198

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