The Chandogya Upanishad says that Purusa (Brahman) is Hiranmayah or brilliant like gold with eyes like the freshly blossomed lotus. The Itihasas and Puranas portray God as a personal Being wearing the weapons such as discus (chakra), conch (sankha), club (gada), sword and bow and decorated with various ornaments. The hymns of the Alvars also emphasise the aesthetic aspect of Divine Being in their mystic outpourings. Based on such descriptive accounts of the Godhead, Ramanuja in the Gadyas presents a vivid and enchanting description of the divine personality of God (divyarupa), His divine ornaments (divya husana) and His divine weapons (divyayudha).
There are certain important philosophic questions that need to be considered here. Firstly, it needs to be analysed as to what exactly is the philosophic justification behind accepting that the Brahman has a bodily form. Philosophically, it would seem sounder to conceive Reality as an impersonal Being, as pure sat, cit and ananda. In fact the Upanishads declare that Reality is devoid of hands, feet etc. So does the concept of God having a body mean that Ultimate Reality is said to have human traits?
Regarding the metaphysical issue relating to the nature of the ultimate Reality, it may appear sounder, prima facie, to conceive it as a pure transcendental Being devoid of attributes and bodily form. But what is transcendental in the strict metaphysical sense cannot have any relation to the universe. Such a Reality cannot be the cause of the universe because creation, protection and dissolution of the universe, the three important functions of primary causal Being as enunciated in the Upanishad, need knowledge, power and mental activity in the form of desire or will (sahkalpa) to create. If we attribute these functions to an Ultimate Reality, then the latter would invariably become a personal Being endowed with knowledge and divine power.
The problem with the idea that Reality consists of a single basic substance or element can be overcome by postulating the concept of maya, a principle to account for the phenomenal appearance of universe and defend the theory of pure undifferentiated Being as the highest metaphysical Reality. But such a theory according to the Visistadvaita, is riddled with logical contradictions. Besides, epistemologically the existence of an absolutely undifferentiated entity, whether it is ontological or physical, is an impossibility because all entities in the universe is characterised. Further, a transcendental Being does not meet the religious needs. The main goal of Religion in the context of the Vedanta is the realization of God through the liberation of the soul from bondage by means of upasana (meditation). The impersonal Being cannot serve the object of meditation. A Reality possessing a bodily form is alone suitable for meditation.
Even the Absolutists have to admit in order to meet the needs of religion, a personal God in the name of Saguna Brahman, but such a divine Being, though it may serve the practical needs of religion, does not enjoy the status of being absolutely real. In view of all these considerations, Ramanuja has equated Brahman of the Upanishads with Purusottama, a personal God of Religion.