Consciousness in visishtadvaita

Martin Gansten mgansten at SBBS.SE
Thu Jan 14 14:40:10 EST 1999

Mani: thanks again. You make several useful points. On John's
recommendation, I am also renewing my acquaintance with the Great Siddhanta
of the Sribhashya.

>I think your question boils down to what the jIva essentially
>"is".  Is it consciousness or something else?

You are right, it does. And perhaps that is an impossible question from
Ramanuja's point of view; if only attributes can be known, the substance
itself would be indefinable (anirvacaniya?! :-) .

>I don't think van Buitenen says that Ramanuja accepts _only_
>dharma-bhUta-jnAna; he was better read than that.  van Buitenen,
>following Ramanuja directly,

Certainly he was very erudite, but in this instance he is not following
Ramanuja directly, which was why I took notice in the first place. There are
at least two or three instances in the Vedarthasamgraha where Ramanuja
explicitly says that the svarupa of the jiva is jnana, but van Buitenen,
"more Catholic than the Pope", in each of these cases conscientiously notes
that R. does not really mean svarupa, but rather svarupa-nirupana-dharma.
That's why I raised the question.

Best regards,
Martin Gansten

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