We are happy to make available again this work on Visistadvaita which has been much in demand.
Professor P. N. Srinivasachari in his Preface to the edition of 1943 states:
'The main purpose of this work is to give a critical and comprehensive exposition of the central features of the philosophy of Visistadvaita and its relation to other schools of Vedanta. Visistadvaita is not as widely known as Advaita among students of Philosophy. It has also suffered at the hands of its few expositors who use the misleading term " qualified monism" as its English equivalent and who in their interpretations identify it with the Bhedabheda system of Vedanta and Hegelian thought. With a view to do justice to Visistadvaita and set the balance right so far as influence on modern thought is concerned, I published in 1928 Ramanuja's Idea of the finite Self in a very concise form. My later work, The Philosophy of Bhedabheda, published in 1934, was designed to serve as an exhaustive introduction to the study of Ramanuja and the development of his system in the history of Indian Philosophy. The present work is a comprehensive but modest survey of the system of Visistadvaita as outlined in a series of eight lectures delivered by me under the auspices of the University of Madras.
'Visistadvaita maintains its position in the history of Indian thought by establishing its own siddhanta by a criticism of rival systems. It has, at the same time, a synthetic insight into the essentials of other Darsana-s and accepts whatever in them is consistent with its own basic principles. It is a true philosophy with its own basic principles. It is a true philosophy of religion which reconciles the opposition between philosophy and religion and the conflict between monism and pluralism. If it is liberally interpreted in terms of contemporary philosophy and comparative religion without in any way sacrificing its foundational principles, it is capable of satisfying the demands of science and philosophy on the one hand, and of ethics and religion on the other; and an attempt is made in the following pages to give such an interpretation.
'It is a pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to all those who have helped me in the preparation of this book. I had the rare privilege of sitting at the feet of the late mahamahopadhyaya kapisthalam Desikachariar Swami, and being instructed by him in the essentials of the Visistadvaita Darsana. My thanks are due to my teacher, Sri S. Vasudevachariar, who warmly encouraged me in this venture by reading the typescript and offering valuable suggestions; to my esteemed friend, Professor M. Hiriyannna, for the great care with which he went through the MS. and for important and friendly counsel; to Dewan Bahadur V.K. Ramanujachariar, who in spite of the infirmities of old age, read portions of the typescript and commended this " labour of love"; and to Rao Bhadur K. V. Rangaswami Aiyangar who also read portions of the work and helped to secure its early publication. I record my gratitude to my friends, Rao Saheb M. R. Rajagopala Aiyangar, Sri G. K. Rangaswami Aiyangar and Sri K. R. Sarma for their continued and enthusiastic assistance in reading through the proofs and in the citation of authorities; I am also beholden to Dr. R. Nagaraja Sarma who willingly read portions and offered valuable criticism and to Sri D. Ramaswami Aiyangar for similar help on some of the concluding chapters. My thanks are due to Sri P. Sankaranarayanan for kindly preparing the Index. I take this opportunity of acknowledging my obligations to the Madras University for the kind permission to utilize my lectures on Ramanuja in the preparation of this work.'
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