ラーマーヌジャ神学の一考察 : ブラフマン〈被限定者性〉の三側面
A Study of Rāmānuja’s Theology : Three Aspects of viśiṣṭatva of Brahman
Rāmānuja (1017-1137) is known as a philosopher who tried to harmonize the Vedānta philosophy with Vaiṣṇava theology. In later times his theory came to be called viśiṣṭādvaitavāda ‘qualified monisim’, since, in his view, Brahman is supposed to be qualified by three real factors: specifiers or differentiators (viśeṣa), auspicious qualities (kalyāṇaguṇa), and a twofold body (śarīra, spiritual and physical). The present paper aims at considering Rāmānuja's concept that Brahman has the qualifiers (viśiṣṭatva ‘the status of being qualified’）．
(1) Rāmānuja accepts three kinds of valid means of knowledge (pramāṇa): perception (pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna), and scriptures (śruti). According to him, they have as their objects entities which have their differentiators. If Brahman were devoid of the differentiators, it could not be known at all. Accordingly, it follows that Brahman is qualified by its differentiators.
(2) The Vedic scriptures (Upaniṣads) do not teach us Brahman without differentiators. Certainly, Brahman is defined as nirguṇa ‘quality-less' there. But what is meant by the word nirguṇa is that Brahman is devoid of qualities to be abandoned (heyaguṇa). Many Vedic scriptures, on the contrary, say that Brahman has the property of being omniscient. Therefore it cannot be denied that Brahman is qualified by its own differentiators and that it has auspicious qualities.
(3) The qualifiers of Brahman are real. Spiritual and physical entities exist in reality as the body of Brahman. The body is different from Brahman. The two, however, are inseparably connected. In a sense they are identical (eka) with each other and in another sense they are distinct (bheda) from each other. Thus Brahman is said to be qualified by the body.
It is important to note that Rāmānuja's Vaiṣṇava theology demands for him to develop the theory that Brahman and its qualifiers are equally real, that is, the theory of viśiṣṭādvaitavāda.