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Achintya-Bheda-Abheda (अचिन्त्यभेदाभेद, acintyabhedābheda in "IAST) is a school of "Vedanta representing the philosophy of inconceivable one-ness and difference. In "Sanskrit achintya means 'inconceivable', bheda translates as 'difference', and abheda translates as 'non-difference'. The "Gaudiya Vaishnava religious tradition employs the term in relation to the relationship of creation and creator ("Krishna, "Svayam Bhagavan), between God and his energies.
It is believed that this philosophy was taught by the movement's theological founder "Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486 - 1534) and differentiates the Gaudiya tradition from the other "Vaishnava Sampradayas. It can be understood as an integration of the strict dualist ("dvaita) theology of "Madhvacharya and the qualified monism ("vishishtadvaita) of "Ramanuja, rejecting the absolute non-dualism ("advaita) of "Adi Shankara which contradicts "Vyāsadeva's "siddhānta.
Historically within "Hinduism there are two conflicting philosophies regarding the relationship between living beings (Jiva or "Atma) and God ("Ishvara, "Brahman or "Bhagavan). "Advaita schools assert the monistic view that the individual soul and God are one and the same, whereas "Dvaita schools give the dualistic argument that the individual soul and God are eternally separate. The philosophy of Achintya-bheda-abheda includes elements of both viewpoints. The living soul is intrinsically linked with the Supreme Lord, and yet at the same time is not the same as God - the exact nature of this relationship being inconceivable to the human mind. The spirit Soul is considered to be part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Same in quality but not in quantity. The Supreme Lord Sri Hari having all opulence in fullness, the spirit soul however having only a partial expression of His divine opulence. The Lord in this context is compared to a fire and the spirit souls as sparks coming off of the flame.
The theological tenet of achintya-bheda-abheda tattva reconciles the mystery that God is simultaneously "one with and different from His creation". In this sense "Vaishnava "theology is "panentheistic as in no way does it deny the separate existence of God ("Vishnu) in His own personal form. However, at the same time, creation (or what is termed in Vaishnava theology as the 'cosmic manifestation') is never separated from God. He always exercises supreme control over his creation. Sometimes directly, but most of the time indirectly through his different potencies or energies ("Prakrti). Examples are given of a spider and its web; earth and plants that come forth and hair on the body of human being.
It is clearly distinguished from the concept of anirvacaniya (inexpressible) of "Advaita Vedanta. There is a clear difference between the two concepts as the two ideas arise for different reasons. "Advaita concept is related to the ontological status of the world, whereas both "Svayam bhagavan and his "shaktis (in Lord himself and his powers) are fully real, and they are different from each other, but at the same time they are the same. But that does not negate the reality of both. The Brahmavadi concept is a direct opposite and a contradicting concept to an early Krishna-theism.
While it applied to relations between "Purusha (the Lord) and "Prakriti (be it material, marginal, or spiritual powers), in the theology of the concept there are areas of exceptions. "Jiva Goswami also accepts that any object and its energy are non-different, such as fire and power of burning. While some maintain that its only a secondary extension of the principle that it is primarily applied to "Svayam bhagavan and His energies. It does not, however, apply to differences between "Avatars of "Svayam bhagavan and Lord Himself, so the difference between "Vishnu and His origin, is not covered by the concept of acintya bhedabheda, i.e. it cannot be applied in cases where different levels of "Purusha are compared.