Rāmānuja’s Viśiṣṭādvaita and Hegel’s Absolute Idealism -A Comparative Study

Journal of the Oriental Institute 67 (1-4):93-114 (2018)
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Rāmānuja is known as a theistic ācārya who interpreted Brahmasūtras in Viśiṣṭādvaita point of view. He propounded his philosophy by refuting Kevāldvaita system of Śaṅkara. He criticized the existence and knowledge of indeterminate objects and refuted the concept of Nirviśeṣa Brahman. Therefore, Brahman for him is Saviśeṣa. The name Viśiṣṭādvaita itself signifies that it is Qualified Monism. Brahman is qualified by matter and soul. Matter and soul though real are completely dependent on Brahman for their existence. Hegel is a German Philosopher who propounded Absolute Idealism. Hegel solved the problem of reality from a synthetic and positive point of view. Predecessors of Hegel were reflecting on Reality with one sided abstractions. Absolute is ultimately real for him. Hegel’s Absolute is not devoid of all objects and qualities. Absolute is inclusive of all the categories and all things of the world. Absolute is not abstract like Śaṅkara’s Brahman but it goes very much closer to Ramanuja’s Saviśeṣa Brahman. Thus, both these philosopher though differ in some principles which are very peculiar to them, they definitely meet at on one point of ‘Concrete Monism’. Logical method adopted by them to reach towards their goal is also strikingly similar. The aim of this paper is to analyse the concept of monism according to Rāmānuja and Hegel with philosophical point of view. Comparative study of both will throw light on some striking similarities as well as some differences of these great philosophers.

Author's Profile

Shakuntala Gawde
University of Mumbai


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