Predestination and Hierarchy: Vallabhācārya’s Discourse on the Distinctions Between Blessed, Rule-Bound, Worldly, and Wayward Souls [Book Review]

Journal of Indian Philosophy 39 (2):173-227 (2011)
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The Puṣṭipravāhamaryādābheda (PPM) by Vallabhācārya (1479–1531?) is a brief work (25 verses) written in Sanskrit in about the year 1500, which is accompanied by four Sanskrit commentaries and one Hindi (Brajbhāṣạ) commentary. The most important and authoritative commentary is by Puruṣottama, written about two centuries after the original text. The article contains a translation of the PPM with long extracts from the commentaries, particularly the one composed by Puruṣottama. After an introduction placing the PPM’s doctrine of the hierarchy of embodied souls (jīvas) and their eligibility to obtain states of devotion (bhakti) in a wider context of Vaiṣṇava sectarian and philosophical schools, the text is presented along with the translation and notes to the text (including extracts from the commentaries). The article concludes with reflections on the PPM’s doctrine of predestination, comparing it with those of other Indian religious sects and within the wider context of predestination in Western religions, where these discussions have been ongoing for more than 1500 years. An extensive bibliography is included at the end



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