Statue of Ramanuja, Tirumala.

The Vedarthasamgraha (Sanskrit: वेदार्थसंग्रह, romanizedVedārthasaṃgraha),[1] also rendered Vedarthasangraha, is a treatise by the Hindu philosopher Ramanuja,[2] comprising his exegesis of a number of Upanishadic texts.[3] The first of his three major works,[4] Ramanuja propounds the doctrine of the Vishishtadvaita philosophy in this work[5] and offers a discourse on the concepts of Brahman, bhakti, and moksha in Vedanta philosophy.[6]


Vedarthasamgraha literally means "summary of the meaning of the Veda" in Sanskrit.[7]


The Vedarthasamgraha begins with the exaltation of the deity Vishnu, traditional in Vaishnava works of his period.

Criticism of Advaita

The work is noteworthy for its criticism of Adi Shankara's Advaita philosophy.[8] He offers a number of arguments to oppose the postulations of Advaita:[9]

Criticism of Bhedabheda

Ramanuja also offers a critique of the school of Bhaskara called Bhedabheda. He contests the idea that Brahman assumes the form of many Jivas due to upadhis (limitations), reasoning that the faults caused by the upadhis contradict the flawless nature of Brahman as described by the scriptures. He also opposes the belief that the essential nature of Brahman's svarupa (essence) evolves into achetana (non-sentient objects), which conflicts with the unchanging nature of Brahman. He also opposes the Bhedabheda school of Yadavaprakasa, one of his teachers, which posited that that the individual self and Brahman are both really different and non-different, arguing that the very concept is inherently contradictory.[10]

Treatise on Vishishtadvaita

The author propounds the principles and concepts underlying the philosophy of Vishishtadvaita in the latter half of the work. He begins with the ontological basis of the philosophy, called tattva, explaining the relationship between Brahman, Jiva, and Prakrti. He then explores upaya, the means of achieving Brahman through parabhakti (supreme devotion). He offers assertions for the validity of pramanas (sources of knowledge) and arguments for the belief that Narayana (Vishnu) is the Para Brahman (Supreme Reality). This is followed by a discourse that seeks to prove that Brahman is both the upadana karana (material cause) and nimitta karana (instrumental cause) of creation. He criticises the Mimamsa philosophy for its opposition to the Upanishads as a valid source of knowledge. He affirms the existence of Vaikuntha, the celestial abode of Vishnu, referred to as Nitya Vibhuti and Paramapada, on scriptural basis. In the final chapter of the work, he offers a recapitulation and his interpretation of the Vedas.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Klostermaier, Klaus K. (1989-01-01). A Survey of Hinduism: First Edition. SUNY Press. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-88706-807-2.
  2. ^ Flood, Gavin (2022-05-23). The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. John Wiley & Sons. p. 496. ISBN 978-1-119-14486-1.
  3. ^ Chari, S. M. Srinivasa (1997). Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Āl̲vārs. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 235. ISBN 978-81-208-1342-7.
  4. ^ Nitsche, Bernhard; Schmücker, Marcus (2023-03-20). God or the Divine?: Religious Transcendence beyond Monism and Theism, between Personality and Impersonality. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. p. 423. ISBN 978-3-11-069841-1.
  5. ^ Hawley, John Stratton (2015-03-09). A Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement. Harvard University Press. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-674-42528-6.
  6. ^ Ramakrishnananda, Swami (2022-04-07). Life of Sri Ramanuja. Sri Ramakrishna Math. p. 408.
  7. ^ Adluri, Sucharita (2014-10-30). Textual Authority in Classical Indian Thought: Ramanuja and the Vishnu Purana. Routledge. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-317-62526-1.
  8. ^ Banerji, Sures Chandra (1989). A Companion to Sanskrit Literature: Spanning a Period of Over Three Thousand Years, Containing Brief Accounts of Authors, Works, Characters, Technical Terms, Geographical Names, Myths, Legends and Several Appendices. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 371. ISBN 978-81-208-0063-2.
  9. ^ Ayyangar M. R. Rajagopala. (1956). Vedartha Sangraha Of Sri Ramanuja (1956). The Cauveri Colour Press. pp. 43–92.
  10. ^ Ayyangar M. R. Rajagopala. (1956). Vedartha Sangraha Of Sri Ramanuja (1956). The Cauveri Colour Press. pp. 97–101.
  11. ^ Ayyangar M. R. Rajagopala. (1956). Vedartha Sangraha Of Sri Ramanuja (1956). The Cauveri Colour Press. pp. v–vi.