The way Srimanta Sankaradeva termed Iswara as different from Jiva is a clear

The way srimanta sankaradeva termed iswara as

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The way Srimanta Sankaradeva termed Iswara as different from Jiva is a clear proof thathe was not a pure monist. He termed Iswara as ‘Uttama Purusha’ (Best Man) and Jiva as‘Adhama Purusha’ (Worst Man) (Bhâgavata 11 / 78). This is clear evidence that the saintconsidered Iswara and Jiva as different entities. But this difference disappears at the timeof dissolution of the creation, according to Srimanta Sankaradeva. He says that at thatpoint, the Jiva merges in Iswara (Anâdi Pâtana / 50). This approach is different from thatof Maddhacharya, for whom the difference between Iswara and Jiva persists.Another feature of Srimanta Sankaradeva’s blending Parinâmavâda and Vivartavâda isthat, while he termed Iswara and devotee as different, he also accepted the identity of
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both in the final analysis. Such a feature is seen in Dvaitâdvaitavâda of Nimbarka also.But Nimbarka was a strict believer of Parinâmavâda, which refutes his theory of identitybetween Iswara and devotee. Moreover he worshipped dual entities, which is differentfrom the tenets of Eka-Sarana-Nâma-Dharmapreached by Srimanta Sankaradeva.Achintya Bhedâbhedavâda, the philosophy of Chaitanyadeva, is almost akin toNimbarka’s. Moreover, Achintya Bhedâbhedavâda failed to explain the identity andduality of Iswara and Jiva at the same time; they just declared it to be beyond allinterpretation. Against that, Srimanta Sankaradeva explained that paradox verysuccessfully and minutely. So Srimanta Sankaradeva’s philosophy cannot be clubbedwith any of them.Srimanta Sankaradeva’s philosophy also differed from that of Ramanuja, theproponent of qualified monism. Ramanuja considered Brahma as summation of allsentient and insentient beings (Sri Bhâshya 2 / 2 / 33). But Srimanta Sankaradeva talkedabout a different relationship between Jiva and Iswara. He treated Jiva as equivalent toIswara, since Iswara permeates all beings. The saint enjoined upon every one to treat allbeings as manifestations of Lord Vishnu (Kirtana-ghoshâ / 1820). Ramanuja could notshare this perspective of Srimanta Sankaradeva. Ramanuja analyzed the sentient andinsentient beings differently. He did not accept their identity or equality. Anotherdifference of Srimanta Sankaradeva’s philosophy from that of Ramanuja lies in theirdistinct perspectives about Brahma. While Srimanta Sankaradeva termed Brahma asshapeless and beyond all attributes, Ramanuja termed Brahma as only attributeful andequipped with a body. For him, the universe constitutes the body of Brahma (SriBhâshya).It is true, both Srimanta Sankaradeva and Ramanuja accepted the existence ofBrahma inside every creature. But there is a subtle difference between them regardingtheir conception of the end of the creatures. Srimanta Sankaradeva believed in theultimate merger of all entities in Brahma at the end of Kalpa (the cycle of existence). Butaccording to Ramanuja, the creatures remain appended to and united with Brahma in asubtle form at the end of Kalpa; they do not merge in Brahma. Here Srimanta
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Sankaradeva is more nearer to monism, which accepts Brahma as the ultimate reality.
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