Ontology of Ramanuja

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at BLR.VSNL.NET.IN
Thu Feb 4 19:52:47 UTC 1999

At 21:42 02.02.99 +0100, Martin Gansten wrote:
>>John Braisted Carman. _The Theology of Ramanuja._ Bombay: Ananthacharya
>>Indological Research Institute, 1981. (Indian repr.; orig. Yale Univ. Press,
>Thanks for the reference. Was it meant as an answer to my request for works
>calling Ramanuja's realism into question?


>In other words, does Carman doubt
>that R. was an objective realist?

I must admit that I have not gone deeply into Ramanuja's thought, so I have no critical opinion about what Carman says; but he has a few statements that point in that direction, e.g.: "Ramanuja often says that the body is only a mode, but it is mode of self or soul. He frequently indicates some causal sequence, and this almost always has the form: 'By virtue of being a body [in the instrumental case, ;sariiratayaa] this substance is a mode.' Occasionally there is a statement that seems to reverse the sequence: 'By virtue of being a mode of the soul, a material body is a definite thing or substance [padaartha].' This means, however, that any material substance has intelligible and substantial reality only when it is a mode of a soul or self, which is the same as saying: only when it is the body of a self." (p.125).

Is this of any help?


Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Mysore (India)
e-mail zydenbos at bigfoot.com

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