The jīva’s root problem: beginningless absence of awareness of the Absolute Reality

In a previous article, I presented Śrī Jīva Goswami’s formulation of the jīva’s basic problem that he defines in the Prīti Sandarbha: atha jīvaś ca tadīyo’pi taj-jñāna-saṁsargābhāva-yuktatvena tan-māyā-parābhūtaḥ sann ātma-svarūpa-jñāna-lopān māyā-kalpitopādhy-āveśāc cānādi-saṁsāra-duḥkhena sambadhyata iti paramātma-sandarbhādāv eva nirūpitam asti | The individual living being (jīva), although belonging to the […]

Translation of Gītā 2.29

Reader Sridhar ji requested a translation of Śrī Baladeva’s commentary on Gītā 2.29. For reference, the verse is below: āścaryavat paśyati kaścid enam āścaryavad vadati tathaiva cānyaḥ | āścaryavac cainam anyaḥ śṛṇoti śrutvāpy enaṁ veda na caiva kaścit || Someone considers the self as amazing, another speaks of […]

‘Svayam-prakāśatva’ refers to the intrinsic jñāna-śakti of the ātmā

Claim: The quality of the jīva of svayam-prakāśatva, discussed in the Paramātmā Sandarbha, means ‘self-manifestation’. This refers to the phenomenon, in which the jīva, upon liberation, ‘self-manifests’ its intrinsic qualities of jñāna-śakti or knowership, its agency or doership, and other qualities, on its own. Further, these śaktis are […]

The jīva uses the ātmā’s own jñāna śakti, and not Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti or māyā śakti, to know – part I

Some claim that instead of using the ātmā’s intrinsic jñāna śakti, the ātmā uses māyā’s jñāna śakti or the material jñāna śakti to know. Likewise, instead of using the ātmā’s intrinsic kriyā śakti, the ātmā uses māyā’s kriyā śakti or the material kriyā śakti to act. To understand […]

Of swans and jīvas

Some offer an analogy between swans and jīvas. The analogy goes like this: “Consider a caged swan. Looking at the swan, one would not know that the swan has the ability to swim. But unlock the cage and put the swan onto the water, and it starts to […]