Bhagavathas, in the Vedic times, developed Vaishnavism or
devotional worship to Sri Vasudeva or Sri Narayana. Their own
scripture was known as Pancharathra Agama, regarded as equal to
Upanishads. Later, Vaishnava Acharyas established the devotional
path of worship for the realization of God, combining Karma and
Jnana pathways to these teachings. Sri Ramanujacharya wrote
Sri Bhashya, his commentaries on Brahma Suthras and gave us the
philosophy, as the chief text of the system of Visishta-adhvaitha.
Visishta-adhvaitha system is an ancient one. It was originally
explained by Sage Bodhayana in his Vritti. It is the same as followed
by Sri Ramanuja in his interpretation of the Brahma Suthra. Sri
Ramanuja accepts perception, inference and Scripture as valid
sources of knowledge. He adopts the theories of Sathkara-Vaada
and Parinama-Vaada, the doctrine of real effect proceeding from
a cause. Sri Ramanuja also wrote a commentary on Bhagavat-Gita
and other books known as Vedantha Sara, Vedhantha Sangraha and
Sri Ramanuja explains Brahmam as a personal God with attributes.
Whatever exists is Brahmam; but It is not of a homogenous nature.
It has elements of plurality and manifests in a diversified world.
There is no room for Nirguna Brahmam and Saguna Brahmam or Iswara.
It is Savisesha Brahmam or Iswara with attributes. When Vedas
describe Him as Nirguna, it means there is no base or lower qualities
such as sorrow, pain, change or old age for Him. He is the essence
of the soul and all-pervading. He is Sathya (Truth), Jnana (Knowledge)
and Anandha (Bliss). He is Immanent, Transcendent and He is also
entire Universe is latent in Him during Pralaya. The world is
projected during creation, but this does not touch His essence.
God, soul and Nature are three eternal entities. The soul is self-conscious,
unchanging, partless and atomic. They are infinite in numbers
and individual. It is eternally distinct from God. It has, indeed,
sprung from Brahmam, but is never outside Brahmam and enjoys a
separate personality. The individual soul is immersed in a worldliness
or Samsara. It gets its body according to its past Karma and gets
reborn till the final emancipation. The liberated soul passes
into a kind of paradise (Vaikuntha) that is the place of Sri Narayana.