Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva Acharyas are the three main classical theologians who form the foundations of much of modern Hinduism, just as Aristotle, Socrates and Plato are the three classical philosophers behind much of Western philosophy. Their theologies are an attempt to render an overall conclusion, called a siddhanta, to what the Vedas mean. This is known as Vedanta theology. Respectively their theologies are known as Advaita, Vishishta Advaita and Dvaita Vedanta. However, even though they have interpreted the same texts their conclusions are very different.
Beside this three classical theologians there are many later theologians in the same Vedanta tradition, such as Nimbarka, Vallabha and Caitanya to name just three, who in one form or another, have built on the work of these three classical theologians.
A summary of the life stories and theologies of Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva are included below.
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