Dvaita

Definition - What does Dvaita mean?

Dvaita is a word in Sanskrit that means “duality” or “dualism.” In its broadest sense, dvaita can refer to any concept that there are two principles or truths that exist completely separately and independently.

Dvaita is best known as the name of an important school of Vedanta, a philosophical system closely related to yoga. The Dvaita Vedanta school, unlike the other two main Vedanta schools, teaches that God is separate to and distinct from individual souls. In Dvaita philosophy, God takes on a personal role. He is perceived to be an eternal being that governs, controls and maintains the whole universe.

Yogapedia explains Dvaita

The school of Dvaita Vedanta was founded by Madhva, a 13th-century scholar who was thought by his followers to be an incarnation of the wind god, Vayu. They believed Madhva was sent by Vishnu to save the good from the evils of the philosopher, Shankara, who promoted Advaita, a non-dualist school of Vedanta. Shankara’s teachings ran in direct opposition to Madhva’s.

Dvaita teaches that there are three ontological orders: God, the soul, and things that are inanimate. God is the cause of the universe, but because of dualism, God cannot also be the material that the world is made from. In Dvaita, it would be considered blasphemous to imply that the perfection of God could be manifest in an imperfect world.

Today, the school of Dvaita centers on a monastery in Karnataka state. This was founded by Madhva himself and it has been maintained over the years by a series of abbots.

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