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This project intended to give insight into the relationship between Visistadvaita Vedanta and the Advaita Vedanta and Pancaratra traditions. Both of these traditions were important factors in the development of the religious and philosophical ideas of Visistadvaita Vedanta.

The tradition of Advaita Vedanta was influential essentially in that, in philosphical questions, it was one of the main opponents of Visistadvaita Vedanta. In its polemical discussions with Advaita Vedanta, Visistadvaita Vedanta developed fundamental ideas and teachings. These polemical discussions will be presented according to selected topics and in our investigation, will be limited to passages from the following texts: Rāmānuja's Sribhasya, Sudarsanasuri's Srutaprakasika, Varadaguru's Prameyamala and Tattvasara, Narayanarya's Nitimala, Meghanadarisuri's Nayadyumani and Veṅkaṭanātha's Satadusani and Nyayasiddhanjana.

Initially, the relevant passages from these texts will be collected and made accessible through translation and analysis. Subsequently, these texts will be interpreted historically and philologically in the light of the development of their philosophical ideas. Finally, a comparison of those Advaita Vedanta teachings critizised by the Visistadvaita Vedanta and the Visistadvaita Vedanta polemics against them should deepen our understanding of Visistadvaita Vedanta.

The Pancaratra tradition comprised the religious environment of many advocates of Visistadvaita Vedanta. Their religious perspective on life, religious practice, and social and cultural surroundings were essentially characterized by this tradition. Therefore their Visistadvaitic theological and philosophical conceptions can not be understood and explained without an investigation into the influence of Pancaratra.

In order to understand the interrelations between these two traditions it is necessary to be well acquainted with the philosophical and theological teachings of both. While the teachings of at least the older Visistadvaita Vedanta have been examined comparatively well, those of Pancaratra have yet to be investigated. Therefore, an as yet untranslated text of this tradition, the Paramesvarasamhita, will be presented in the form of a study. This Samhita from South India is particularly interesting because it belongs to the Ranganathasvami Temple in Srirangam, where famous followers of Visistadvaita Vedanta acted as acaryas. This temple is still relevant today as it is now the center of the Srivaisnavas. In addition, when compared to the oldest texts of Pancaratra, the Paramesvarasamhita represents the next stage of development. The aim of the research is a detailed and systematic description of the Paramesvarasamhita's philosophical, theological and cosmological teachings, and the clarification of its relationship to the Jayakhyasamhita and the Pauskarasamhita, it being dependent on both with regard to its contents and history.


Marion Rastelli, Der Tempel als Mythisierung der Transzendenz. In: Gerhard Oberhammer, Marcus Schmücker, ed., 2003. Mythisierung der Transzendenz als Entwurf ihrer Erfahrung: Arbeitsdokumentation eines Symposiums. (BKGA 41.) Wien: VÖAW, 2003, 313–348.

Marion Rastelli, The āsana according to the Pārameśvarasaṃhitā or A Method of Writing a Saṃhitā. In: Gerhard Oberhammer, Marion Rastelli, ed., 2002. Studies in Hinduism III: Pancaratra and Visistadvaitavedanta. (BKGA 40.) Wien: VÖAW, 2002, 9-32.

Marcus Schmücker, Debates about the Object of Perception in the Traditions of Advaita and Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta. In: Mīmāṃsā and Vedānta. Interaction and Continuity. Papers of the 12th World Sanskrit Conference. Vol.10.3, ed. Johannes Bronkhorst. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 2006, 93–114.

Marcus Schmücker, What is the object of perception according to Mandana Misra? In: 2nd International Conference on Indian Studies. Proceedings (Cracow Indological Studies 4–5), ed. Renata Czekalska, Halina Marlewicz. Kraków: Institute of Oriental Philology, Jagiellonian University, 2003, 491–505.

Marcus Schmücker, Differenz oder Identität? Zur Problematik endgültiger Erfahrung und Sprache des Absoluten in den philosophischen Traditionen des Vedānta. In: Die Sprachen der Religion (Schriften der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Religionsphilosophie 4), ed. Florian Uhl und Artur R. Boelderl. Berlin: Parerga 2003, 91–112.

Marcus Schmücker, Zur Kontroverse um die Erkennbarkeit des Unterschiedes im Advaita- und im Viśiṣṭādvaita-Vedānta. In: Gerhard Oberhammer, Marion Rastelli, ed., 2002. Studies in Hinduism III: Pancaratra and Visistadvaitavedanta. (BKGA 40.) Wien: VÖAW, 2002, 131–152.

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