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By Swami Harshananda

sajātīyabheda (‘homogeneous distinction’)

According to Advaita Vedānta, Brahman, the Absolute, is one without a second, is entirely homogeneous, and is the only Reality.

The Viśiṣtādvaita Vedānta, however, though it accepts Brahman as the Absolute and independent Reality, also accepts the cit (conscious entities, the jivas or the individual souls), and the acit (the insentient prakṛti or nature comprising the three guṇas) as secondary or dependent realities included in itself.

To prove the possibility of such internal distinctions, the protagonists of this school declare that bheda or distinction can be of three different kinds: vijātīya

bheda (heterogeneous distinction as that of a cow from a horse); sajātīyabheda (homogeneous distinction as that of one cow from another cow); svagatabheda (internal distinction as between the head and the tail of the same cow).

Though Brahman does not have the first two bhedas—because it is the only and independent Reality—it does have the third (svagatabheda).


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore