The unique contributions of Śrī Jīva Goswami

In the cast of stellar Indian theologians, Śrī Jīva Goswami occupies an important position. He made several unique contributions to Indian theology that were not present before his advent. Śrī Jīva’s theology stands out not only because it draws exclusively from the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, but also because he was a grammarian, theologian and logician par excellence. Such a genius has rarely graced the Indian tradition.

Below, we list some unique contributions of Śrī Jīva Goswami that were enumerated in a lecture by Śrī Babaji.

  1. Acintya bheda-abheda.
  2. The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the supreme pramāṇa. 
  3. Kṛṣṇa is Svayaṁ Bhagavān. (Even Sridhar swami does not accept Kṛṣṇa as Svayaṁ Bhagavān)
  4. Prema is the fifth prayojana.
  5. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is a commentary on the Vedānta sūtra.
  6. Absolute truth manifests in three ways: Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān
  7. Vaṛṇāṣrama is not needed for bhakti.
  8. Rādhā and the gopīs are the topmost devotees.
  9. Parakīya vāda.
  10. Bhakti as rasa.
  11. Gokula is beyond Vaikuṇṭha.
  12. There are types of manifestations of Kṛṣṇa: Mathura, Dwaraka and Vrindavan Kṛṣṇa.
  13. The difference between mādhurya bhāva and aiśvarya bhāva.
  14. The difference between vaidhī bhakti and rāgānugā bhakti.
  15. Drawing out of the key conclusions of the Bhāgavatam by analysis of the experience of individuals. For example, the thread that ties the entire theology of the Sandarbhas is Śrī Jīva’s analysis of the samādhi of Vyasa described in the Bhāgavatam.

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