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Bhedabheda

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Part of a series on
Hindu philosophy

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Bhedābheda Vedānta is a subschool of Vedānta.

Etymology

Bhedābheda is a Sanskrit word meaning "difference and non-difference".[1]

Philosophy

The characteristic position of all the different Bhedābheda Vedānta schools is that the individual self (jīvātman) is both different and not different from the ultimate reality known as Brahman. Bhedābheda reconciles the positions of two other major schools of Vedānta. The Advaita (Non-dual) Vedānta that claims that the individual self is completely identical to Brahman, and the Dvaita (Dualist) Vedānta that teaches complete difference between the individual self and Brahman. Bādarāyaṇa’s Brahma Sūtra (c. 4th century CE) may also have been written from a Bhedābheda Vedāntic viewpoint.[1]

Each thinker within the Bhedābheda Vedānta tradition has their own particular understanding of the precise meanings of the philosophical terms "difference" and "non-difference". Bhedābheda Vedāntic ideas can traced to some of the very oldest Vedāntic texts, including quite possibly Bādarāyaṇa’s Brahma Sūtra (c. 4th century CE).

Influence

Bhedābheda ideas had an enormous influence on the devotional (bhakti) schools of India’s medieval period. Among medieval Bhedābheda thinkers are:

Other major names are Bhāskara (8th and 9th centuries),[1] Rāmānuja’s teacher Yādavaprakāśa,[1] and Vijñānabhikṣu (16th century).[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 [1]
  2. Sivananda 1993, p. 247-253.

Sources

Further reading

  • Nicholson, Andrew J. (2010), Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History, Columbia University Press 
  • Complete English Translation of Sri Subodhini jee, published in Collected Works of Sri Vallabhcharya series, Sri Satguru Publications

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