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If I had to pick the most misunderstood topic in the Caitanya tradition today, it would have to be jīva-tattva. The ontology of the jīva as taught in the Sandarbhas is fundamental to the bhakti tradition but few know and understand it clearly. The same types of questions […]

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Summary of the Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha

From Śrī Babaji’s commentary on the Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha, Anuchheda 183 Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī concludes his lengthy investigation into the existential reality of Kṛṣṇa’s being Svayaṁ Bhagavān. The conclusion that he reaches in this anuccheda constitutes the heart and the uniqueness of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism. We summarize here his conclusions […]

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Śrī Jīva Goswami considers objections to svarūpa-śakti in the paraṁ tattva, Part II

In a previous post, I examined the objections of Advaitins to svarūpa-śakti in the paraṁ tattva, as presented by Śrī Jīva Goswami in his Sarva-samvādinī commentary. Here, I will examine his refutation. Śrī Jīva starts with the Śrī Vaiṣṇava response to Advaitins: śrī-vaiṣṇavās tv evaṁ vadanti—bhāva-rūpasyaiva tasya tattvasya […]

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Q/A: Definition of ācārya

Question: Who is an ācārya? Answer: The definition of the term ‘ācārya’ is as follows: svayamācarate yastu ācāre sthāpayatyapi ācinoti ca śāstrārthānācāryastena cocyate He who collects the [essential] meanings of śāstra [i.e. explains them to the disciple], models [them] in his own behavior [ācarate], and inculcates [them] in […]

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Are the Sandarbhas not written by Śrī Jīva Goswami?

Question: Is Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa or Śrī Jīva author of the Sandarbhas? Answer: Anuchheda 4 and Anuccheda 5 of the Tattva Sandarbha make this matter clear. There, Śrī Jīva writes as follows (Śrī Babaji’s translation) ko’pi tad-bāndhavo bhaṭṭo dakṣiṇa-dvija-vaṁśajaḥ | vivicya vyalikhad granthaṁ likhitād vṛddha-vaiṣṇavaiḥ ||4|| Śrī Gopāla […]