jīva-tattva

Frequently asked questions about the jīva’s svarūpa

I present an FAQ regarding the jīva’s svarūpa:

  1. Is the svarūpa of the jīva already fixed?

Answer: If by svarūpa, you mean ‘own form’, the jīva does not have a svarūpa.

2. But doesn’t the jīva have a form in Vaikuṇṭha?

Answer: yes, but that form is not inherent to the jīva – it is not its own form. The form is made of Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti.

3. Then does the jīva go through different stages till finally settling onto a form in Vaikuṇṭha? I have heard that one may become a butterfly first, then a flower, and so on till one settles on perhaps becoming a gopī?

Answer: no. The form comes from the bhāva, and the bhāva comes from the guru when the jīva is still in the material world. Without the bhāva, there is no entry possible into Vaikuṇṭha. Therefore the jīva has no choice in the matter, except when the jīva chose a guru.

4. Does the jīva have an inherent or intrinsic form?

Answer: no. The jīva is aṇu, and therefore is formless.

5. Did the jīva not already have a form before it fell from Vaikuṇṭha?

Answer: no, because the jīva did not fall from Vaikuṇṭha.

6. What kind of form does the jīva get upon attaining Vaikuṇṭha?

Answer: that is decided by the bhāva one gets from the guru. The form is suitable for the bhāva.

7. Then why is the jīva in the material world?

Answer: This question is ill-posed because the jīva has been in the material world from beginningless time, and beginningless events do not have a cause.

8. Can the jīva get the position of a gopī?

Answer: no.

9. What is a manjarī then?

Answer: A servant of the gopī.

10. What according to you is the meaning of the word ‘svarūpa’?

Answer: it means inherent nature. It is commonly used to distinguish inherent nature from upādhi. Red color is not in the inherent nature of a glass (i.e. not in its svarūpa) if the red color is only perceived due to the rose next to it. The word svarūpa is commonly used to assert that Bhagavān’s form is inherent to Him, and not an upādhi.

11. Doesn’t the word svarūpa refer to one’s own form?

Answer: It depends on the context. But the most popular use of this word is to convey the meaning of ‘inherent nature’.

12. Can you show this?

Answer: read this article: https://bhaktitattva.com/2021/07/24/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-word-svarupa/

13. Is bliss in the svarūpa of the jīva?

Answer: no. An absence of misery is.

14. Why is the jīva called ‘ānanda’ then?

Answer: ānanda simply means that the jīva has the potential for experiencing bliss, and not that it has ānanda inside of it.

15. What is ānanda?

Answer: it is Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti.

16. Is there anything positive in the jīva’s svarūpa?

Answer: yes, consciousness.

17. What about knowledge?

Answer: that is not in the jīva’s svarūpa.

18. What is in Bhagavān’s svarūpa?

Answer: Knowledge, form, ānanda and unlimited śaktis.

19. What is ānanda?

Answer: It is Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti.

20. Can you say nothing positive about this ānanda?

Answer: The essence of this ānanda is experienced in serving Bhagavān’s devotees.

21. But Bhagavān is served. He is not a devotee.

Answer: Bhagavān is a devotee of His devotee.

22. Then what is the difference between Bhagavān and His devotee?

Answer: The difference is that bhakti is Bhagavān’s śakti, not the devotee’s.

23. Is there prema in the jīva?

Answer: No.

24. Then how can he get it?

Answer: from the guru.

25. How does the guru have prema?

Answer: He or she got it from his or her guru.

26. Ultimately where did the prema come from?

Answer: in our parivāra, it came from Pandit Goswami who is Śrī Rādhā herself.

27. That means, if the guru does not have prema, we cannot get it?

Answer: yes.

28. What if we cannot find a guru who has it?

Answer: then you cannot get it.

29. That doesn’t seem fair.

Answer: it is what it is. Don’t expect Bhagavān to conform to our notions of what is fair and unfair. We are insignificant and irrelevant in the scheme of things.

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      • Prabhu, how can you say that the jiva has no size, shape, etc. when it is clearly stated in Svetasvatara Upanisad that the jiva’s size is equal to one ten-thousandth part of a tip of hair and when Jiva Goswami himself quotes this verse in Paramatma-sandarbha? Do you have any sastric statements or statements of the acaryas in which it is said that the jiva has no form, no shape, no size, etc? I also don’t understand on what grounds you say that the jiva is only consciousness when it is clearly stated in sastra that the jiva is not only consciousness and knowledge but that it is a knower. This sounds pretty impersonal to me.
        Also, how do you interpret statements such as muktir hitvanyatha-rupam svarupena vyavasthitih and the statement in the eighth chapter of Chandogya Upanisad which says that one attains one’s svarupa upon achieving liberation?

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      • You say that Sri Jiva himself cited this verse. So shall we take the atma as a few nanometers in size? Isnt the atma spiritual? Are you going to take a ruler out an measure its size?

        In the same Anuccheda 33 of the Paramatma Sandarbha that Sri Jiva cites the balagra verse, he writes this:

        aṇuḥ paramāṇur ity arthaḥ | paramāṇuś ca yasya dig-bhede’py aṁśo na kalpayituṁ śakyate, sa evāṁśasya parā kāṣṭheti tad-vidaḥ

        What do you think he is trying to say?

        In Anuccheda 46, he quotes the following verse:

        na tasya rūpaṁ varṇā vā pramāṇaṁ dṛśyate kvacit

        What do you think he is trying to say?

        Yes the jiva is a knower, and yes it is has the capacity for knowledge, but it does not have knowledge inside of it. Do you think that that the words you are reading on the screen are going inside your atma and being stored as knowledge? If so, how is the atma unchanging, and eternal? If not, where is this knowledge stored in your view?

        Svarupa does not mean one’s own form. I have written a whole article on this point. Muktir hitvanyata-rupam simply means the following: mukti is: giving up identification with its acquired nature and becoming established in one’s own essential nature.

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  1. QUESTION Nº 1: Why is it that in God’s creation, related to the material and spiritual worlds, we find eternally conditioned jivas, living in the material world, like prisoners suffering in a prison house, and eternally liberated creatures, living in the spiritual world, by experiencing unlimited happiness? You, yourself, say that the jiva do not fall from Vaikhunta and my take on this is that the jiva eternal place of residence is the material world, Am I correct? Please?
    QUESTION Nº 2: If God is all-love, how can I accommodate that in His creation it seems that God loves the ones who live with Him in the spiritual world and hates the ones who live separate from Him in the material world. How can an all-loving God be so unfair, in relation to how He distributes His love and affection? Is it that, just because He is God, He is allowed to make some of his creatures suffer and some to enjoy unlimited happiness? Like some kind of sport or pastime? Is it that one of the favorite pastimes of God is to enjoy the suffering of some of HIs creatures? What kind of all-loving God is this? Please?

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    • QUESTION Nº 1: Why is it that in God’s creation, related to the material and spiritual worlds, we find eternally conditioned jivas, living in the material world, like prisoners suffering in a prison house, and eternally liberated creatures, living in the spiritual world, by experiencing unlimited happiness?
      * You need to understand what anadi means. Anadi means without beginning. That means this is how it is. Anyone who asks ‘why?’ has not understood the word ‘anadi’. Search this site for articles on this topic. Also, the atma is not suffering. It is the conditioned jiva who suffers. All suffering is in the mind. The atma is untouched.

      You, yourself, say that the jiva do not fall from Vaikhunta

      *I dont say this. Sri Jiva Goswami says that the jiva does not fall from Vaikuntha. And all Vaisnava sampradayas agree on this.

      and my take on this is that the jiva eternal place of residence is the material world, Am I correct? Please?
      *Incorrect. The jiva is here from beginningless time. But it can leave this place. So its time here can come to an end. The word ‘eternal’ means without beginning and without end.

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      • Regarding “All suffering is in the mind. The atma is untouched.”
        Can we compare the material life, our present joy and suffering with watching the horror movie in full identification with what is going on in the screen? Then who is watching this movie?
        Body is a place where the action is happening. Indriyas are sensors. Manas is the monitor for these sensors, technically speaking. Manas is also the cinema screen for this horror movie, poetically speaking. Ahamkara is the full identification of the one who watches with this horror movie. Buddhi is glasses of analyst. And who is watching and therefore “suffering”?

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      • If the analogy is with a horror movie, then you can’t say the mind is the screen. The horror movie is outside you on a tv monitor or on the theater monitor. The analogy is only to show that the movie’s events are outside you, and imagined to be happening to you.

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      • Sthula-sarira is a place of action, indriyas are sensors. Manas is the monitor of these sensors, isn’t it? If I am not my mind then both the movie and the mind are outside. Or do you mean that the mind, which is the monitor for sensors, also is not the cinema screen but a part of the movie?

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      • I am saying that you should not confuse the cinema analogy with the mind etc. Who is experiencing? The composite of atma and mind is experiencing. Where is it experienced? In the mind? Does the atma experience anything? No.

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    • QUESTION Nº 2: If God is all-love, how can I accommodate that in His creation it seems that God loves the ones who live with Him in the spiritual world and hates the ones who live separate from Him in the material world.

      * Can you show me where Sri Jiva Goswami says, or I say, anywhere on this site, that God hates the ones who live separate from Him in the material world?

      How can an all-loving God be so unfair, in relation to how He distributes His love and affection?
      * God is not being unfair at all. Bhakti is available to everyone- including to you in Portugal, if you want it. if you dont want it, its not available to you.

      * Is it that, just because He is God, He is allowed to make some of his creatures suffer and some to enjoy unlimited happiness?
      He did not put us in the material world. We have been here from beginningless time So how is he making us suffer? Karma makes the conditioned jiva suffer and enjoy.

      Like some kind of sport or pastime? Is it that one of the favorite pastimes of God is to enjoy the suffering of some of HIs creatures? What kind of all-loving God is this? Please?
      * God is not concerned with the jivas in this world. He is only interested in His bhaktas. He does not know what suffering is. So he cannot ‘enjoy’ the suffering of others.

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  2. So, the obvious follow-up question is (and thank you for your previous answers): If the jiva is in the material world from beginningless time, and if the jiva can get out of the material world, what, in the first place, caused the presence of the jiva in the material world? Why is it that the ones who are living with God in the spiritual world are not here with us, in the material world? Can they come here, if they choose as such? Or are they being forced to live with God forever in the spiritual world? Please?

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    • I dont think you understand what beginningless means. When you posted this comment today, the posting of the comment is not beginningless. The comment was not there yesterday. It is there today. Anything that has a beginning has a cause. You posted this comment because of some reason. So your comment has a cause. But now imagine that your comment has no beginning. That means it was there yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that. you go back trillions of years, your comment is still there. Then your comment has *no cause*. Because all cause-effect relations occur in time. That means – nothing caused the presence of the jiva in the material world.

      Why is it that the ones who are living with God in the spiritual world are not here with us, in the material world?
      * The ones who are living in the spiritual world are also there for *no cause* because they are there from beginningless time. Also they will be there eternally. So obviously they cannot be here with us.

      Can they come here, if they choose as such? Or are they being forced to live with God forever in the spiritual world? Please?
      * They cannot choose to come here. Their mind is made of svarupa sakti of Bhagavan, which can only give them thoughts to serve God. The material world is not the place to serve God. They are not being forced to live with God- living with God is the greatest happiness in all of existence.

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      • Thank you for your very, very, very helpful answers. By the way: I do understand what ‘beginningless’ means (I do have a degree in Philosophy. Actually, I am a Philosophy Graduated Teacher, although choosing fulltime service to my Guru’s Mission, as an initiated Hare Krishna monk). Now, related to your last answer, I still need, if I may, to insist on the following: How do you explain that there are ‘not caused creatures’ living in the spiritual world and ‘not caused creatures’ living in a different place, like the material world? Why such type of discrimination? Or is it that, in the ultimate sense, there is no difference between the material and spiritual worlds? Why not only one place of residence, all material or all spiritual? Why such, apparently, unnecessary type of variety related to how God wants life to be? Please?

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      • Your questions show me that you still don’t understand what beginningless is. For beginningless things, there is no question of ‘why’. Why implies a reason, a cause. Beginningless things have no cause. All your questions are of the why-type.
        Try to understand what beginningless means.

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      • I insist on saying that I do understand what beginningless is. The fact is that, because submitting myself to the spiritual training given by Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON, for almost 50 years, all such concepts as ‘falling from the spiritual sky’, and concepts of the same sort, related to cause and effect, are still covering my intelligence. And because I do want to uncover my intelligence, in order to understand correctly my present situation as a jiva, I am here, as your devoted student. Why devoted? Because my heart tells me that Jiva’s perspective and your personal presentation of Jiva’s teachings do make sense. For example: When you say that ‘We are here for no reason.’, such a statement echoes in my heart with such a spiritual intensity that I cannot deny the wisdom of it. And such spiritual wisdom makes me realize that you actually are an accomplished spiritual teacher and that I am extremely fortunate because of you accepting me as your pupil. With many more questions to present to Your Grace, in the most near future, your undeserving servant, Vijaya Krsna Dasa

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  3. No, I can not show you where Sri Jiva Goswami says, or you say, anywhere on this site, that God hates the ones who live separate from Him in the material world. QUESTION Nº 3: If God did not put us in the material world, is it that we are here out of our own volition? Please?

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    • We are not here out of our own volition. That would be a cause. Beginningless events have no cause. We are here from beginningless time. So we are not here because of God. And we are not here because we chose to. We are here for no reason.

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    • Vijaya Krsna dasa ji,

      1. Please don’t call me “Your grace”.
      2. I am not an accomplished spiritual teacher. Just a seeker.
      3. I am sorry that you have to unlearn what you have learned over 50 years. I am happy to answer your questions – please ask.

      Radhe Radhe

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      • So, if my questions make you happy, one more question: If a jiva. living in the material world, do not find a guru, is there any other way for the jiva to get out of the material world?

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      • What does the jiva need to do in order to find and deserve the blessings of a guru? Is there a price to be paid, like preparing and qualifying oneself for such good fortune?

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      • There is no reason why a specific jiva gets a genuine guru. All we can say is – the jiva was lucky. What else can you say? Who can ‘deserve’ something as precious as bhakti? No one.

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      • Yes, I understand. Thank you. More, if I may: As soon as the relationship starts with the guru, what kind of behavior does the jiva need to offer to the guru in order to avoid becoming dismissed by him? I am thinking about avoiding offenses against the guru or actions of a similar sort. How cautious should I be, while serving the guru, in order to avoid breaking the connection (you already mentioned ‘keeping my speech civil’). Please?

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      • When a disciple accepts a guru through the process of diksha, then the disciple’s job is to do what pleases the guru and avoid what displeases the guru. To know what pleases and what displeases the guru, one should a) study the first twenty limbs of bhakti in the bhakti rasamrta sindhu, and b) study the guru while serving him or her. One should use common sense also.

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  4. If I may say it, very helpful, brilliant answer!! More: Is it possible for the disciple to become a guru, himself? If your answer is yes, in what stage of his service to his guru such a ‘promotion’ happens and how does it happen? Please?

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  5. Yes, thank you. Related to the study of the first 20 limbs of bhakti in the BRS, MY QUESTION IS: Any online presentation of BRS you would recommend? Could you send me the link, please?

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  6. Yes, I’ll look through it. More: When it happens for you to be in the physical presence of Sri Babaji, how do you address yourself to him? By using the ‘Your Grace’ expression?

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  7. I see. More: Besides requesting the study of the first 20 limbs of bhakti in the BRS, what more is requested from the disciple by the Guru? Related to the spiritual training that the guru uses to train his disciple, apart from training the disciple in the study of the scriptures, what more the Guru requests from the disciple? Washing the Guru’s clothes, for example?

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  8. I see. More: I do not know if I am allowed to ask personal questions like “Are you a disciple of Sri Babaji?” or “For how long have you been serving Sri Babaji as his disciple (in the case that you are his disciple)?” or “For how long this site have been existing” or other questions of the same sort. Are such questions necessary for the good development of this conversation? Please?

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  9. Good. More: Is it that marriage and procreation are allowed in your line of devotion? What is Jiva’s take on marriage and procreation in the life of a disciple of a Guru?

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  10. Sorry, but I didn’t understand. What do you mean by “no special views on marriage and procreation in our line.”? Do you mean that if I adopt your line of devotion I can get married and procreate?

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      • I am asking such a question because some schools training us in spiritual advancement do not allow their students to get married and procreate. They require total celibacy. Isn’t that to get married and to procreate may take us to fall prey to too much of sex enjoyment with our wives (illicit sex, which is sex not exclusively related to sacred procreation)? Isn’t that total brahmacarya is more conducive to quicker spiritual advancement? Please?

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      • Renunciation is needed for advancement on the jnana marga. It is not important in bhakti. If you understand bhakti and practice it properly, then detachment will occur as a consequence of bhakti.

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  11. Yes, I see. Very helpful answer. Thank you very much. More: Related to the jiva living in the material world since time immemorial or beginningless time, MY QUESTION IS: Is it that, because living in the material world, the jiva must submit to incarnate successively in material bodies, from the less developed forms of life, like microbes, to the most developed forms of life, like the human form? I am specifically referring to the science of transmigration of the jiva, while living in the material world. Does your line of devotion accept the transmigration of the soul, in the material world, which carries the jiva from less developed forms of life to the most developed forms, like a ladder for the jiva to climb it, step by step?

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    • Anadi does not mean time immemorial. That is misleading and wrong. I wrote an article on this also. We accept that the jiva goes into different forms, but I am not aware of any mention of a ladder in Sri Jiva’s writings.

      Given your interest- I have a suggestion. You should read carefully the different articles on this site. If you have questions related to a specific article, then list the question there. This way you will not ask questions that have already been answered in the different articles on this site.
      In other words, do a little homework.

      Thank you

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  12. Yes, I will follow your instructions to the letter. I’ll read the article about the meaning of ‘Anadi’ (yes, I’ll do the ‘little homework’. Thank you for that.) I do guess that, being your time extremely limited, like you already said before, you do not have the time for repeating yourself, related to answering again and again the same questions which are already answered in your site (your management of time is just amazing. Now I understand why brahmanas are recognized as the most intelligent class. Their intelligence go as far as managing the time at their disposal in the most efficient way. Just amazing!) From now on I’ll read the articles, the questions and answers related to the articles and I will list my questions there (just to help you with your time management). Thank you very, very much, for your devotional expertise and indispensable mercy. Your most undeserving student, Vijaya Krsna Dasa P. S. If I may: Planning to come to Portugal? You are most welcome and we will try to give you the best support to your preaching. You can count on us! Hare Krihsna!!

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    • Sorry, I forgot that one about reading words on a screen. Well, the answer is simple: All sensory information that we obtain in the material world is stored in the antah-karana. However, that question of yours has nothing to do with the atma’s intrinsic nature when it is not in contact with prakriti. As I said, Baladeva Vidyabhusana says that knowledge is concomitant with consciousness, and Jiva Gosvami says that we have jnana-sakti. Calling the jiva by names such as jnana and vijnana would be meaningless if we accept your view. Mayavadis say that consciousness can be contentless, but Vaisnavas don’t say any such thing. If you have any quote by any Gaudiya acarya to that effect, then provide it with precise references as I did. Otherwise, I have no reason to believe you.

      I paraphrased both the prose passage and the verse you cited, so I don’t know why you are saying that I didn’t provide a translation.

      Lastly, regarding the sun and ray analogy, analogies are used for comparing entities that have enough similarities to be compared in order to explain certain points to us. So, if that and similar analogies are indeed unsuitable, why did our acaryas use it then? Also, why is it said that the jiva has around 80 per cent of Bhagavan’s qualities if it is so different from Him as you say? From what you say, one would conclude that it hardly has anything in common with Him.

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      • Ok. Lets go with one thing at a time. If the sensory information we obtain is stored in the antah-karana, as you say, then what is the atma doing with this information? Does it know that information? Or no?

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      • Well, it certainly does because the atma is the source of consciousness and the one who perceives, but that knowledge doesn’t become a part of it. In any case, my point is that based on the acarya’s writings, I cannot but conclude that there is some knowledge that is inherently part of the jiva (presumably about its nature and its constitutional position as a servant of Krishna). Otherwise, we would have a bizarre situation where the jiva doesn’t have innate knowledge about anything, even itself, which is not the understanding I got by reading Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita with the commentaries of different acaryas.

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      • Hold your horses. Stay with this point. You say that the atma certainly perceives the information. If it perceives the information, that means it has changed. In the moment before it perceived the information, it did not know. Now it knows. So the atma has changed. This goes against the atma’s immutability. If you know something, that knowledge is part of you. You cannot say now that the knowledge does not become part off it.

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      • Now to your questions. I can provide direct statements from Sri Jiva Goswami for *every point* I made. He uses the word ‘contentless’. He uses the word ‘vrtti-jnana’. He uses the word ‘duhkha-pratiygotiva’. I am not smart to cook all of this up. And I learned all this from my guru who learned it from his guru in the parampara of the Gadadhara parivara. If you read the various articles on this site, you will find the pramana for all these claims and I can supply where they are missing.

        Here is my final point. Instead of searching for meaning in the Sandarbhas to fit your biases and your mental filters- put them aside and learn the Sandarbhas from start to finish *from a teacher*. I repeat: *from a teacher* who has learned it *from his or her teacher*. Not by self-study. Dont come here and spout verses and meanings as you see them. I will not discuss more with you till you are willing to unlearn what you have learned from others, and learn what Sri Jiva has to say. This is not a site to argue. It is a site to learn- learn if you can. Otherwise go your way. I dont have the time to argue.

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      • Okay, give me the links to those posts and I will see.

        As for duhkha-pratiyoga, I am not entirely sure that your translation is correct based on the translation I read of that part of anuccheda 28. There Jiva Gosvami says: “… the jiva is cid-anandatmaka. It is knowledge/consciousness as the opposite of unsentiency (jada-pratiyoga) and it is bliss and knowledge (cid-anandatmaka) as the opposite of suffering (duhkha-pratiyoga).” So, Jiva Gosvami doesn’t say that there is simply the absence of suffering in the jiva but that it has the above-mentioned qualities which are the opposite of suffering. However, I suppose you will dispute this saying that it is the translator’s bias or something like that.

        I am glad that you learned from a guru in the Gadadhara parivara. I learned from a guru coming down in the line from Bhaktivinoda Thakura through Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami and Srila Prabhupada, and I don’t think that such great acaryas could have cooker up something that is contrary to the teachings of the Gosvamis. Anyway, someone is in the wrong here.

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      • The term pratiyogi is a term from nyaya. It means counterpositive of absence. It does not mean opposite of suffering. It means absence. Very precise term. Go check out books on nyaya and let me know what you find. Don’t take my word for it.

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      • Also I am pleasantly surprised to learn that they are now teaching the Sandarbhas in ISKCON. Even though Prabhupada never taught them to any of his disciples. Interesting.

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      • I have an idea – find a Shri Vaishnav acarya if you can . Anuccheda 19 is straight from one of their acharyas.

        Ask them- does the atma store knowledge? Does it have bliss in it? What does duhkha pratiyogi mean? Does the atma have a form.

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      • I agree that all its attributes are eternal. However, we all know that our experience in this world, which includes countless pieces of information, doesn’t become a permanent part of ourselves. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even become a permanent part of the suble body, because most of what we experience even in this life is quickly forgotten, and at the end of life we forget everything. Only certain samskaras and unfulfilled desires remain in our subtle body. Speaking of which, I don’t know why we have to talk so much about this point when we know that our experiences of this world are stored in the sublte body, not the atma, because the atma cannot make anything of this world a part of itself or touch it, since it is spiritual and this world is material.

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      • you jump around like a slippery eel. Does the atma know or not know? You said *it certainly knows*. Bas! The atma has changed. Whether the change is temporary or permanent is irrelevant. You have gone against the properties of the atma.

        The reason we are discussing this point is because your atma *does not know* the information you are reading on the screen. All knowing is occuring in the mind. The knowing is occuring because the atma has the capacity to know, which it infuses into the mind that has become conscious. All knowing happens in the mind. The atma remains unchanged. So it is proven that atma does not store any knowledge. Because any knowledge will change it.
        The atma is not full of knowledge ‘cit’, and bliss. The word ‘cidananda’ is a technical term that both Sri Jiva and Sri Baladeva explain in various places.

        I have spent enough time on this. This is the last I will say on the matter.

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  13. In the verses from Padma Purana quoted in anuccheda 19 there are several terms which, in my opinion, don’t support your thesis. In the first verse the terms jnanasraya (one who is the shelter of knowledge) and eka-rupa-svarupa-bhak (one who has a single form as one’s nature) appear. In the second verse we have the term cid-anandatmaka, which means that consciousness and bliss are in the jiva’s very nature. And, as Baladeva Vidyabhusana points out in his introduction to the Bhagavad-gita, when it is said that the Lord, and by extension the jiva, has consciousness, that also entails that He has knowledge, since one cannot be conscious of nothing, and by being conscious of some object or person, one necessarily has knowledge of it or them. In anuccheda 22 Jiva Gosvami clearly says that the jiva is not knowledge alone but that it also has intrinsic jnana-sakti. In anuccheda 28 he comments on the term cid-anandatmaka. There he says that the jiva certainly has knowledge (cit), but that is of course inferior to the Lord’s knowledge because the Lord is omniscient. He doesn’t say that that ananda is simply the absence of suffering. However, he does say that that ananda is not the same as the one that is a result of prema. In conclusion, it is crystal clear that Jiva Gosvami says that the jiva has knowledge and bliss as an intrinsic part of its nature, that it is capable of knowing different things and that it has a form. Admittedly, he doesn’t say anything to the effect that we all have a certain svarupa (meaning original form) in the spiritual world that we simply need to regain, but since he is dealing with the jiva’s nature in the context of the material world, not the spiritual world, I wouldn’t discount that possibility. Since he also compares the jiva to a particle of a ray of light (i.e. the Lord) in anuccheda 37, I really don’t see how you the analogy of a drop of water and the ocean can be inappropriate. Both the Lord and the jiva are sac-cid-ananda, with the first being infinite in those qualities and the second being infinitesimal. Of course, the Lord has sandhini, samvit and hladini-saktis, but that is a different matter.
    Regarding the two anucchedas you mentioned, in anuccheda 33 Jiva Gosvami says that the word anu when applied to the jiva means that it is atomic in size and that consequently it cannot be divided just like paramanus. Of course, because the conditioned jiva is a spiritual spark, there is no way we can see it with our material eyes, let alone measure it with material instruments. Therefore, I don’t see the point of that argument of yours.
    As far as the verse from Skanda Purana quoted in anuccheda 46 is concerned, it says that the jiva’s colour, form and size cannot be seen, not that it doesn’t have them. I think that the answer why that is so is obvious: it is impossible to do so with our material eyes. In the very next verse we have a repetition of the statement that the size of the jiva is equal to one ten-thousandth of a tip of a hair, and in the third verse it is said that yogis do see the soul.

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    • Wrong on all counts. Sri Jiva Goswami has explained that ananda means duhkha pratiyogitva – absence of misery. The atma has no bliss in it. You did not answer my question – when you read the words on the screen, do they get written in the atma? If they dont, where are they going. If they do, how is the atma unchanging? Sri Jiva Goswami has explained that all knowledge is vrtti jnana. You are evading my questions.

      Sri Jiva has explained that what the atma has is jnatrtva – the capacity for knowledge- and not jnana – knowledge. When jnana is sometimes used for the atma, it means consciousness which is contentless. The atma has no bliss, no dormant prema in it. All this is apasiddhanta and I am tired of refuting it. Read the various articles on this site.

      I asked you for a translation of the Sanskrit from Sri Jiva- you did not reply. There is a reason why I asked you that question. Meaning has to be given according to the context. You obviously do not understand the context of the balagra verse.

      Nowhere is it written that the jiva has infinitesimal sac-cid-ananda qualities, while Bhagavan has infinite sac-cid-ananda qualities. Totally made up. Just because the atma is called a ray compared to Bhagavan’s sun, does not mean that they have the same qualities. It is a misuse of the analogy. He is simply saying that the atma is a sakti of Bhagavan; that’s all. Bhagavan has many saktis, and the atma is one sakti. I have written many articles on this point also. Read them. If you post such long messages again, pontificating on your obviously incorrect ideas, I am going to block you. Read the rules for posting on this blog.

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