Vedartha Sangraha by Sri Ramanujacharya.
I picked up this book at Vivekananda Rock Memorial and on giving it a cursory glance, I had this insight.
Ramanujacharya, spent a lot of effort into reading all the Upanishads, the Vishnu Purana and other books, besides studying under Yamunacharya, before he formulated his philosophy.
In his book Vedartha Sangraha, Ramanujacharya quotes various texts, interprets them and defends his views.
(This is similar to the effort that I am making today. I am not in anyway claiming that I am of his level).
The English translation itself uses much difficult jargon and needs further translation to simpler English, so I had to wait till I got home to a dictionary and could not complete it in the train.
Our ancestors were both respectful of authority and free thinking enough to be critical of it.
They were respectful enough to study the sacred texts under a guru with great austerity and rigour. Then they wrote commentaries, expanding upon the ideas they found there as well as debating them.
Sri Sankaracharya even rejected some of the statements that he found in the texts before his time.
The works are filled with clear logic. Their thoughts were original.
Neither Sankara nor Ramanuja expected people to take their word for it. They stated their premises and their arguments. They participated in debates. They studied and they travelled.
Like Me! ! In sense of course. Where I have just begun, they crossed the ocean and reached the other shore.
It gives me pride and joy to know that I belong to a culture where serious questioning and logical debating was a way of life.
Once I “get” Visishtadvaita, I will certainly share my (two paise worth) knowledge with you.
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