DR Ambedkar IAS Academy

Doctrine of Vallabhacharya

This book, in six chapters, discusses Vallabhacharya’s doctrine of Bhakti Vedanta. The introductory chapter gives the quintessence of the major systems of philosophy — Advaita, Visishtadvaita, Dvaita and so on — and also mentions the tenets of the Hamsa sect of Vishnavism (of Nimbarka). While clearly bringing out how and where the Advaita differs from Buddhism, the author dispels the misconception underlying the description of Sankara as a “Pracchanna Bauddha.” His analysis, supported by ‘Sruti’ and cogent arguments, should help in getting a clear and proper understanding of these schools of philosophy, with all their nuances.


The third chapter discusses the Purva Mimamsa concepts, mentioning the differing interpretations placed on them by the three schools, and explains how Vallabhacharya considers both Karma and Jnana as significant in one’s spiritual journey. While the fourth chapter spells out the different forms of Bhakti — his signal contribution here being ‘pushti bhakti’ (grace of God), which he holds to be superior to the conventionally recognised nine forms (he calls them ‘maryada bhakti’), the fifth elaborates on the ways in which devotion is practised. In the concluding chapter, the author makes some general remarks about the different schools of Vedanta. On the whole, this is a commendable effort by the author in bringing out the intermingling conceptual strands in Vallabhacharya’s philosophy and thereby helping one to understand it better.

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