Appendix (Part 6)

This article is part 131 of 135 in the series Jīvana-dharma-yoga

The study of five aspects

Let us now examine the difference between the three matas. Each mata has its many subtle processes and detailed specifications. That is out of the scope of this book. I am not competent enough to do that. I do not even feel that it is required here. I have tried to summarise the five aspects that I feel are central and fundamental for philosophical seekers in a table.
If there are any shortcomings or excesses in this short discussion from the point of view of any mata, kindly let me know and I will correct them.
Which of the three matas are correct? All the three are correct, and equally correct. One is milk, one is butter and the other is ghee. All are equally gavyas[1].

No Topic Dvaita Viśiṣtādvaita Advaita
1 Jagat It is different from the parabrahma in five key aspects. It is satya (it is true, it exists). It is the body of the Brahma, the result of the energy of Brahma. It is the vivarta of Brahma (Vivarta refers to the phenomenon wherein an entity appears in different forms without actually changing itself. That is Māyā. Exhibiting differences is one of its characteristics).
It is anirvacanīya - something that cannot be explained with words.
2 Parabrahma (Īśvara) It has qualities and has a form.
Hari is the most excellent.
It has qualities and has a form.
Nārāyaṇa is omnipresent.
It has qualities and form, and does not have them too. Also known as paramātmā.
Worshipped in forms such as, Śiva, Viṣnu, and Devī. Parabrahma is omnipresent and beyond everything.
3 Jīva Follower or servant of Hari A subsidiary or a part of Īśvara —
Īśvara’s entourage.
Īśvara is śeṣi - the essence or the owner.
An apparent modification of Brahma consciousness with upādhis (adjuncts) such as the body.
A part of Brahma.
4 Mokṣa Closeness to Viṣnu
Innate bliss.
A state of enjoyment similar to that of Viṣṇu. Appearance identical to Viṣṇu in all aspects except creation of the world and consortship with Lakṣmī Dissolution of the jīva adjunct; cessation of the jīva-state; merging with Brahma.
5 Sādhana (Means) Bhakti
"Bhaktiśca tatsādhanam"
Bhakti that results in jñānaśemuṣī bhaktirūpā Jñāna that is of the form of one’s own experience.

One way is fit for some; for some others, another way is prescribed; for yet others, yet another way is proper. There is a difference between the three. When food is seen, the tongue recognizes that there is difference in tastes; the doctor recognizes there is difference in guṇa[2]. Therefore there will be a difference in the claimants for the food as well. Even if there is a difference in appearance and taste, all three can be used equally well. Different vessels have to be used for different foods, they are intended for different people too.

There are two perspectives from which a theory’s validity and invalidity can be examined. One is that of the viewed object and the other is that of the viewer. Here the object is Parabrahma or Paramātmā. It is not perceptible to us. It has not shown us its form directly. Has it not shown itself in the Vedas? That is true, but such statements about Brahma appear ambiguous in the hubbub of commentaries. If there are ten perspectives, there will be ten views. All the ten views are congruous for the single object.
Let us look at an example.

rāmāya rāma-bhadrāya rāma-candrāya vedhase ।
raghunāthāya nāthāya sītāyāḥ pataye namaḥ ॥

At first glance, this verse appears to be a list of synonyms of a person’s name, like the Amara-kośa. But if it is observed keenly, an interesting meaning might emerge out of it, like below:
Śri Rāmacandra is sitting in his court. Many people have gathered there. All of them love him equally. Everyone regards him as his own. Everyone has flowers and akṣatas[3] in their hands to worship him. Then —
A simple-minded vaidika raised his voice and said ‘rāmāya’.
The elders there felt that it was not enough. Is Rāma a common man on the streets? They said ‘rāmabhadrāya’, to signify their love and his auspiciousness.
The people of the city decided that ‘rāmacandrāya’ was right to express their happiness.
Ṛṣis such as Vaśiṣṭha and others who dwell in Brahma felt that ‘vedhase’ was the right name.
Can Lakṣmaṇa, Bharata and Śatrughna remain quiet? They remembered their lineage and said ‘raghunāthāya’.
Can Mother Sītā forget her privilege? She expressed the love of her heart by saying ‘nāthāya’.
Then the womenfolk that had gathered there — with pride — proclaimed ‘sītāyāḥ pataye’ — “our Sītā’s husband”.
Which among these seven is valid? Which ones are wrong? Let those who look only at the differences deliberate upon this.
In our understanding, all seven are right. From seven different points of view, all seven are equally valid.
Arjuna told Bhagavan -

piteva putrasya sakheva sakhyuḥ priyaḥ priyāyāḥ ॥

-BG 11.44

that he has seen Bhagavān through three different relationships. Which of them is correct? Which of them is wrong? All three are correct. All three relationships can be present in the same person. May our polemic pundits discuss this.
I have again and again submitted that personal experience is required for the right understanding of the principle of mata. The true nature of Brahma can only be understood by deliberation, not just by bookish information.
The upaniṣad says  -

naiṣā tarkeṇa matir-āpaneyā ॥

-kaṭhopaniṣad - 1.2.9

The path of harmony
The feelings of the mental organ (antaḥkarana) towards Bhagavān might be of three kinds, as below :
Svatāsamarpaṇa - Surrendering oneself to the divine : finding happiness in serving
Svatāsahabhāga - Partnering with the divine : indicates happiness in being with the divine.
Svatāvilayana - Merging with the divine : finds happiness in becoming one with the divine.
These three kinds of happiness are the essence of mokṣa.
Among the three kinds of happiness, it is natural that a philosophical seeker has exceeding affinity towards one. This affinity is due to the impressions created due to multiple past lives. These impressions create and encourage love for an object other than oneself. Towards Bhagavān, this love can be that of (1) a master and a servant ; (2) a lover or a brother; (3) father and a child.

The secret of Dvaita

A bhakta’s surrender to the divine is like the relationship between master and servant. Illustrations of this are bhaktas such as Āñjaneya and Prahlāda. Āñjaneya is the foremost among the doers of Rāma’s work. He does not desire any position beyond that. If Śri Rāmacandra had called Āñjaneya and asked him to sit next to him on his throne, this servant of Rāma would have felt dejected about it rather than feeling happy. If anyone other than Śri Rāma had told him that, he probably would have slapped him. Such was Āñjaneya’s bhakti towards Rāma. He was not equal to Rāma; it would never happen. This is the feeling of a good servant. This is the bliss of Dvaita. For ordinary householders, the worship of the divine and service to the divine are mere means towards another objective. Their main intention is to obtain the result of their good karma - towards the enjoyment of the fruits of karma. They try to propitiate the divine for their own desires. But great bhaktas like Āñjaneya are happy by merely expressing the bhakti in their hearts. Their main satisfaction is that Bhagavān accepted their bhakti. The fetters of bhakti are the means to remove the shackles of the universe. The bond of bhakti to Bhagavān is their sole means to get rid of worldly fetters. The feeling of Dvaita happens due to such proclivities.

Bhakti is satisfied by expression. It does not beg for anything else. It should keep flowing and reach the desired object. It is the nature of love.

If a cow’s udder is full of milk, it feels satisfied if its calf comes and suckles it. If the calf does not approach its mother, the cow’s fortune itself becomes a burden to it. It experiences pain because of its milk. When the lips of the mouth that desire the cow’s milk touch its udder, the cow forgets all its pain and feels that its life is fulfilled.

When does a horse feel satisfied? When its master uses its speed. The satisfaction obtained by the expression of its power is much greater for a horse than that obtained by feeding on grass and gram.

When does a dog feel most satisfied? When it does something for its master. This satisfaction is greater than that when it gets milk and bread. Thus, love keeps roaming, looking for a recipient — like a river searching for the ocean.

To be continued...

The present series is a modern English translation of DVG’s Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award-winning work, Bhagavad-gītā-tātparya or Jīvana-dharma-yoga. The translators wish to express their thanks to Śatāvadhāni R Ganesh for his valuable feedback and to Hari Ravikumar for his astute edits.


[1]Gavya is anything obtained from a cow

[2]According to Ayurveda, each food has a quality that can increase or decrease the three doshas of the body, viz., vāta, pitta and kapha.

[3]It is customary to use flowers and akṣatas to worship any deity.



Devanahalli Venkataramanayya Gundappa (1887-1975) was a great visionary and polymath. He was a journalist, poet, art connoisseur, philosopher, political analyst, institution builder, social commentator, social worker, and activist.



Engineer. Lapsed blogger. Abiding interest in Sanskrit, religion, and philosophy. A wannabe jack-of-all.


Mother of two. Engineer. Worshiper of Indian music, poetry, and art.

Prekshaa Publications

Indian Perspective of Truth and Beauty in Homer’s Epics is a unique work on the comparative study of the Greek Epics Iliad and Odyssey with the Indian Epics – Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata. Homer, who laid the foundations for the classical tradition of the West, occupies a stature similar to that occupied by the seer-poets Vālmīki and Vyāsa, who are synonymous with the Indian culture. The author...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the sixth volume of reminiscences character sketches of prominent public figures, liberals, and social workers. These remarkable personages hailing from different corners of South India are from a period that spans from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Written in Kannada in the 1970s, these memoirs go...

An Introduction to Hinduism based on Primary Sources

Authors: Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh, Hari Ravikumar

What is the philosophical basis for Sanātana-dharma, the ancient Indian way of life? What makes it the most inclusive and natural of all religio-philosophical systems in the world?

The Essential Sanātana-dharma serves as a handbook for anyone who wishes to grasp the...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fifth volume, episodes from the lives of traditional savants responsible for upholding the Vedic culture. These memorable characters lived a life of opulence amidst poverty— theirs  was the wealth of the soul, far beyond money and gold. These vidvāns hailed from different corners of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom and lived in...

Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam represents the quintessence of Sage Bharata’s art and Bhārata, the country that gave birth to the peerless seer of the Nāṭya-veda. Padma’s erudition in various streams of Indic knowledge, mastery over many classical arts, deep understanding of the nuances of Indian culture, creative genius, and sublime vision bolstered by the vedāntic and nationalistic...

Bhārata has been a land of plenty in many ways. We have had a timeless tradition of the twofold principle of Brāhma (spirit of wisdom) and Kṣāttra (spirit of valour) nourishing and protecting this sacred land. The Hindu civilisation, rooted in Sanātana-dharma, has constantly been enriched by brāhma and safeguarded by kṣāttra.
The renowned Sanskrit poet and scholar, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R...

ಛಂದೋವಿವೇಕವು ವರ್ಣವೃತ್ತ, ಮಾತ್ರಾಜಾತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಷಣಜಾತಿ ಎಂದು ವಿಭಕ್ತವಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಬಗೆಯ ಛಂದಸ್ಸುಗಳನ್ನೂ ವಿವೇಚಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳ ಸಂಕಲನ. ಲೇಖಕರ ದೀರ್ಘಕಾಲಿಕ ಆಲೋಚನೆಯ ಸಾರವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ಈ ಹೊತ್ತಗೆ ಪ್ರಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಛಂದಸ್ಸಿನ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಲಕ್ಷಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ತೌಲನಿಕ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನಗಳ ತೆಕ್ಕೆಗೆ ಬರುವ ಬರೆಹಗಳೂ ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಕಾರನಿಗಲ್ಲದೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತನಾದ ಕವಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸ್ಫುರಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಹೊಳಹುಗಳು ಕೃತಿಯ ಮೌಲಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿವೆ. ಈ...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fourth volume, some character sketches of the Dewans of Mysore preceded by an account of the political framework of the State before Independence and followed by a review of the political conditions of the State after 1940. These remarkable leaders of Mysore lived in a period that spans from the mid-nineteenth century to the...

Bharatiya Kavya-mimamseya Hinnele is a monograph on Indian Aesthetics by Mahamahopadhyaya N. Ranganatha Sharma. The book discusses the history and significance of concepts pivotal to Indian literary theory. It is equally useful to the learned and the laity.

Sahitya-samhite is a collection of literary essays in Kannada. The book discusses aestheticians such as Ananda-vardhana and Rajashekhara; Sanskrit scholars such as Mena Ramakrishna Bhat, Sridhar Bhaskar Varnekar and K S Arjunwadkar; and Kannada litterateurs such as DVG, S L Bhyrappa and S R Ramaswamy. It has a foreword by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh.

The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to...

Shiva Rama Krishna

சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
இந்திய பாரம்பரியத்தின் முப்பெரும் கதாநாயகர்கள்.
உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
மனித ஒற்றுமை நூற்றாண்டுகால பரிணாம வளர்ச்சியின் பரிமாணம்.
தனிநபர்களாகவும், குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களாகவும், சமுதாய பிரஜைகளாகவும் நாம் அனைவரும் பரிமளிக்கிறோம்.
சிவன் தனிமனித அடையாளமாக அமைகிறான்....

ऋतुभिः सह कवयः सदैव सम्बद्धाः। विशिष्य संस्कृतकवयः। यथा हि ऋतवः प्रतिसंवत्सरं प्रतिनवतामावहन्ति मानवेषु तथैव ऋतुवर्णनान्यपि काव्यरसिकेषु कामपि विच्छित्तिमातन्वते। ऋतुकल्याणं हि सत्यमिदमेव हृदि कृत्वा प्रवृत्तम्। नगरजीवनस्य यान्त्रिकतां मान्त्रिकतां च ध्वनदिदं चम्पूकाव्यं गद्यपद्यमिश्रितमिति सुव्यक्तमेव। ऐदम्पूर्वतया प्रायः पुरीपरिसरप्रसृतानाम् ऋतूनां विलासोऽत्र प्रपञ्चितः। बेङ्गलूरुनामके...

The Art and Science of Avadhānam in Sanskrit is a definitive work on Sāhityāvadhānam, a form of Indian classical art based on multitasking, lateral thinking, and extempore versification. Dotted throughout with tasteful examples, it expounds in great detail on the theory and practice of this unique performing art. It is as much a handbook of performance as it is an anthology of well-turned...

This anthology is a revised edition of the author's 1978 classic. This series of essays, containing his original research in various fields, throws light on the socio-cultural landscape of Tamil Nadu spanning several centuries. These compelling episodes will appeal to scholars and laymen alike.
“When superstitious mediaevalists mislead the country about its judicial past, we have to...

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a society’s unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods – especially in the realms of...

Prekṣaṇīyam is an anthology of essays on Indian classical dance and theatre authored by multifaceted scholar and creative genius, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh. As a master of śāstra, a performing artiste (of the ancient art of Avadhānam), and a cultured rasika, he brings a unique, holistic perspective to every discussion. These essays deal with the philosophy, history, aesthetics, and practice of...


इदं किञ्चिद्यामलं काव्यं द्वयोः खण्डकाव्ययोः सङ्कलनरूपम्। रामानुरागानलं हि सीतापरित्यागाल्लक्ष्मणवियोगाच्च श्रीरामेणानुभूतं हृदयसङ्क्षोभं वर्णयति । वात्सल्यगोपालकं तु कदाचिद्भानूपरागसमये घटितं यशोदाश्रीकृष्णयोर्मेलनं वर्णयति । इदम्प्रथमतया संस्कृतसाहित्ये सम्पूर्णं काव्यं...


इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।


इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।


इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।


अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...


ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...


“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...