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Vallabhacharya is the founder of this school of Vedanta which is also known as the Rudrasampradhaaya of Vaishnavism. Pushtimaarga is another name for this school since it believes that liberation is obtained by the grace of God due to devotion. Vallabha was a Brahmin from Andhra who is said to have developed the views of Vishnusvamin into ShuddhAdvaita or pure non-dualism i.e, undefiled by the Advaitic maya - mayasambhandharahitam shuddham ityuchyate budhaih ShuddhAdvaitamaartanda. Vallabha has written a commentary on the Brahma Sutras called the Anubhaashya and a commentary on the Bhagavatam called Subhodini.

Vallabha's son Vitthalanaatha has written Vidvanmandana. The commentary on the Anubhaashya is the Bhaashyaprakaasha by Purushottama, which itself has been commented on by Gopeshvara in his Rashmi. Gopeshvara has also commented on the Subhodini and Vidvanmandana in his Suvarnasutra. Giridhara's Shuddhadvaitamaartaanda and Balakrishnabhatta's Prameyaratnaarnava are other important works of this school.


According to the Upanishads Brahman made the world out of itself. Advaita interprets this as there's no real modification (parinaama) of Brahman into the universe and that the manifestation of Brahman as the universe is only an appearance (vivarta). Vallabha on the other hand holds that the manifestation is real. But again it is not parinaama as this manifestation doesn't involve any change or transformation in Brahman. This view of Vallabha which is takes a middle place between vivarta and parinaama is called avikrtaparinaamavaada.

Vallabha rejects the relation of samavaaya between substance and attribute and advocates tadaatmaya or identity. Attributes are identical to the substance and effects are identical to the cause. The substance really appears as the attributes and the cause really appears as the effect. As Brahman is the inherent material cause of this world he is identical with the effect (the universe) but still as far as Brahman is concerned the manifestation doesn't involve any change in him.

Brahman is also the efficient cause. He manifests himself as the universe without undergoing any change. Creation basically means manifestation of Brahman into the universe without involving any change in Brahman and dissolution means withdrawal of this manifestation by Brahman into himself. Like sparks spring forth from fire, the universe springs forth from Brahman. Just like cotton spreads itself as threads, Brahman spreads himself as this universe.


Brahman is Shri Krishna and his essence is sat-chit-ananda - existence, knowledge and bliss. Matter and souls are his parts and real manifestations. He is the abode of all good qualities and includes even seemingly contrary ones - he is smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest, one as well as many. It is by his power or maya that he manifests himself as this diverse universe revealing his natures of existence, knowledge and bliss in different proportions. From his nature as existence springs forth life(prana), senses and bodies. From his nature of knowledge springs forth infinite atomic souls which are the subjects of bondage. And from his nature as bliss spring forth the antaryaamins (inner controllers) who are the presiding deities of the souls and are as many in number as the souls.

God is the supreme antaryaamin - the inner ruler of the universe. In the material world only the existence aspect of God is manifested while knowledge and bliss are obscured. In the souls existence and knowledge are manifested while bliss is obscured. In the antaryaamins all the three aspects are manifested. All the three forms - jagat, jiva and antaryaamins - are essentially identical with God. While jagat is dissimilar from him (vijaatiya), the jivas are similar to him (sajaatiya) and the antaryaamins are inside him (svagata). He pervades all the forms which are non-different from him. There's no difference either homogeneous or heterogeneous or internal in God.

Jagat is different from samsara. Jagat is the real manifestation of God, while samsara is the cycle of births and deaths imagined by the soul due to ignorance which is fivefold : 1. ignorance of its real nature, 2. false identification with the body, 3. false identification with the senses, 4. false identification with the vital breaths and 5. with the mind. With the dawn of knowledge ignorance vanishes and with it vanishes samsara. But jagat being a real manifestation of God, endures.

The soul as it is a part of God is identical with him and only appears as different due to the limited manifestations of some divine aspects and obscuration of others.


Bhakti as a firm and all surpassing affection (sneha) for God with a full sense of his greatness is the only means to liberation. It is the loving service of God which means attachment to God and detachment from all other things. It is neither worship nor knowledge, but prema (affection). In Pushtimaarga bhakti, is attained without any individual effort simply by the grace of God who destroys all sins forthwith. Pleased with devotion, God either takes the devotee within himself and keeps him near Himself to enjoy the sweetness of service.