Letter to: V. S. R. Chakravarti

To:
V. S. R. Chakravarti
Date:
November 22
Year:
1974
Place:
Bombay

V.S.R. Chakravarti
24, Kasturi Ranga Iyengar Road
Madras-18 

Dear Sri Chakravarti: 

The book compiled by your father V.R. Srisaila Chakravarti, namely “The Philosophy of Sri Ramanuja,” given to me by you on 2/11/74 was very interesting to read. Of course we Gaudiya Vaisnava follow Srila Ramanuja’s philosophy almost in the same manner. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gives the identification of jiva soul as the eternal servant of Krishna and is situated as marginal potency of the Lord based on the philosophy of acintya-bheda bheda-tattva. This is almost similar to Visistadvaita vada. Vaisnava philosophy is now being pushed on all over the world under the Hare Krishna movement, and we feel Sripada Ramanuja a great support for the Vaisnava philosophical understanding. It is like a combination of nyaya sruti and smrti prasthans. The Bhagavad-gita supports the Vedanta Sutra brahma-sutra-padais caiva/ hetumadbhir viniscitaih (Bg. 13.5)plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 13.5

That knowledge of the field of activities and of the knower of activities is described by various sages in various Vedic writings—especially in the Vedānta-sūtra—and is presented with all reasoning as to cause and effect.

To the jiva brahma identification is one part of acintya-bheda bheda-tattva. As spirit soul or identical brahma, or jiva brahma is identical with the Supreme Brahma or the param brahma. In this sense jiva soul is avheda or non-different from the param brahma. But on account of the param brahma being the supreme, the biggest, the identical brahma or jiva brahma being very minute, it is different from the param brahma. The summary is that the simultaneous one and different jiva brahma is simultaneously one with and different from the param brahma. Because it is appreciated simultaneously which is very difficult to comprehend by the common man, this philosophy is called acintya-bheda bheda tattva, inconceivable. This is supported by the Katho Upanisad 2/5/13 nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam/ eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman. This is almost similar to the visista-dvaita vada. 

So far I am personally concerned, following the footsteps of my guru maharaj Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, we accept the principles of all the acaryas, although officially we belong to the Madhva sampradaya. Our sampradaya is known as the Madhva Gaudiya sampradaya. We find great shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Ramanujacarya because his lotus feet are the strongest fort to combat the mayavadi philosophy. 

I hope the book “The Philosophy of Sri Ramanjua” published by you will be a great help the the Vaisnavites all over the world. 

Thanking you once again. 

Yours sincerely,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami,
ACBS/bs