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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Parinamavada, PariNAmavAda, Parinaamavaada

Pariṇāmavāda literally means ‘the theory of change of state’.

Pariṇāmavāda as per Brahmasutras

According to the Brahmasutras,[1] this world has its origin in Brahman. It is sustained by It and is dissolved back into It. Evolution of this world from Brahman is explained by the different schools of Vedānta in different ways.

Pariṇāmavāda as per Advaita Vedānta

Advaita Vedānta of Saṅkara[2] considers this world as a ‘vivarta,’ a mere appearance, Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta of Rāmānuja[3] accepts ‘pariṇaria’ or change for Brahman. This change may be a change of form like that of clay being shaped into a pot or of state, like milk becoming curds. Rāmānuja accepts the latter and hence his view is known as ‘pariṇāmavāda,’ or ‘Brahmapariṇāmavāda’.


  1. Brahmasutras 1.1.2
  2. He lived in A. D. 788-820.
  3. He lived in A. D. 1017-1137.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore