concepts

The four types of ānanda

From the book Jīva-tattva by Śrī Babaji-

“The word “ānanda” can generally indicate any one of the following four different types of happiness:

  1. Martyānanda is material happiness. This, like material pain, does not contact the ātmā. Both are external conditions.
  2. Jīvānanda or ātmānanda is the happiness the ātmā experiences by being by itself without any contact with anything material. This is of two further subtypes: 1) experience of the self in a state of dreamless sleep in the conditioned state, and 2) experience of the self in the liberated state.
  3. Brahmānanda is the happiness of experiencing identity with Brahman.
  4. Bhaktyānanda is happiness derived from loving service to Bhagavān and His devotees.

These four types of ānanda are all completely distinct in quality and in quantity. Material happiness is simply relief from suffering; it is not really a positive feeling. If you carry a heavy weight on your shoulders, you get a sense of happiness when you can put it down. The happiness of deep sleep is similar: It is not a positive feeling but a sense of relief from all the disturbances caused by the body and mind. It is this second type of ānanda listed above, the feeling of relief from any material disturbance, that Jāmātṛ Muni refers to when he states that the jīva is of the nature of ānanda. In other words, the ānanda inherent in the jīva’s nature is jīvānanda, and not any other form of ānanda. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī writes in Paramātma Sandarbha (Anuccheda 28) that the meaning of the word “ānanda” in the context of jīvānanda refers to absence of suffering, duḥkha-pratiyogitva. Similarly, in his Digdarśini ṭīkā on Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī writes that the ānanda of the jīva is insignificant. Thus we should be careful not to think that the ātmā in its intrinsic nature contains brahmānanda or bhaktyānanda.”

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  1. I want to draw your attention to a new series of articles published on the Tripurari “swami”‘ website harmonist.us which is called ‘the simultaneous inherence & bestowal of bhakti”. In part 1, Tripurari has left a statement in the comments section that critices Babaji Maharaj’s teachings on the nature of the Jiva. Since Babaji Maharaj is mentioned by name here, I thought that maybe I should draw your attention to it and I hope that someone can give a fitting response to Tripurari’s apasiddhantik ideas.

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    • 🙏
      Pranams
      Jai Sri Radhe
      I also noticed the name of Babaji quoted, not in a positive context (in the comments section)and was about to draw your attention on the Bhaktitattva .com.
      Hoping someone can give a befitting reply and expose the wrong conclusion derived from their lack of understanding of sastra etc .🙏

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      • Sri Babaji has refuted inherence in so many writings! In fact he has been continually approached by this same group with so many questions on the topic that he has answered previously.
        Ab aur kya kare?

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    • One cannot explain inherence based on Sri Jiva Goswami or Sri Visvanatha’s writings. We only accept them as pramanas. If someone used these Acharyas to support inherence, please provide their Sanskrit and translation here.

      In the Gadadhara parivaar, we learn the meaning of the Sandarbhas in the parampara from guru to disciple going back to Pandit Goswami. So for us, there is no debate and no confusion. Ours is received knowledge and to me, it is crystal clear. I am just so glad that there is someone like Sri Babaji who is teaching them to his disciples. Those who critique him critique Sri Jiva himself in my view.
      Radhe Radhe

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      • I agree with you TK Das Ji but shouldn’t someone knowledgeable provide a fitting response as they’ve used Babaji Maharaj’s name here? And fyi, Tripurari’s statement was directed against the doctrine that the Jiva is devoid of jnana and ananda as is claimed by some of the Bhaktisiddhanta sampradāya’s modern and questionable “Acharyas”.

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      • Sri Babaji has instructed me not to indulge in debate. Those who want to follow others can and should follow them.
        The sandarbhas explicitly mention the jiva as cidanandatmaka. So no, the jiva is not devoid of jnana and ananda.

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      • Sorry for the typo but there’s no edit function on mobile WordPress. What Tripurari actually said is that the idea that jnana and ananda are not in the Jiva is something that he doesn’t like (as though that’s a criterion for Truth 🤣) Of course you should follow Babaji Maharaj’s instructions and not engage in debate but perhaps an article that addresses this question wouldn’t constitute debate?

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      • See jnana and ananda are in the jiva. But what is that jnana? Knowledge of physics? What is that ananda? Bhakti?
        Jiva Goswami does not leave it to our imagination. He tells us what it is.
        I have written many articles already on this.

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      • He doesn’t explicitly say it but I’m guessing that what he means by ‘jnana’ is knowledge of the Vedas and by ‘ananda’, he probably means Brahmananda or Premananda. This was an element in the teachings of their modern “Acharyas”. Yes, you have addressed this before in your posts.

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      • The author of the article mispresents Babaji’s explanation of this subect. She writes:

        “(This understanding) It holds that the soul is simply a quantum of consciousness that powers a material or spiritual body, much like a battery that powers a car. As such, the soul does not constitutionally have any personality at all…. This argument further holds that the soul never actually contacts the siddha-deha directly because in this understanding such contact would cause the soul to transform. Thus, essentially the theory considers that after an eternity of wandering in the material world, the sojourn of the jīva culminates in merely identifying with something other than what it is.”

        This is the first of a series of 14 articles that she will post once a week. She has worked on them for a year. In article number 4, she will explain that “since it is obvious that Jīva Gosvāmī establishes that bhakti is bestowed, my main effort has been to show how the Sandarbhas and other core Gauḍīya literature establish that bhakti is also inherent. By so doing, I establish that bhakti is simultaneously bestowed and inherent.”

        She also says that she will present evidence from Baladeva Vidyabhusana.

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  2. 🙏 Pranams,
    Jai Sri Radhe
    I have a question, just out of curiosity.
    Is it only the GM/ Iskcon institutes who follow the inherent understanding. Are their any known traditional parivar who also except the same conclusion as the above …

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    • I don’t see a reply button to reply to comments on my post.

      T. Krsna dasa asks me: “How does she misrepresent Babaji’s explanation?”

      She writes that if bhakti is not inherent, when the atma is bestowed with a spritual body, it identifies with something it is not (comparing it to the way the atma identifies with the body in the conditioned state). While Babaji explains that the atma becomes imbued with the svarupa-sakti just like iron becomes imbued by fire.

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      • ‘The atma becomes imbued with the svarupa-sakti’ implies permanence. This identification will not be broken. But this does not mean that the atma becomes modified in any way, because that goes against the basic properties of the atma.

        When she says, ‘it identifies with something that it is not’, I say, in one way she is correct, because the atma is distinct from visuddha sattva. The atma need not identify as a devotee – it could identify with Brahman also.

        But the atma, in any state, remains an amsa of Paramatma. Therefore the state of identifying as Bhagavan’s servant is also a state in which it is situated in its own nature, distinct from when it is in the material body where it’s state is one of bahirmukhata.

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      • You wrote: “When she says, ‘it identifies with something that it is not’, I say, in one way she is correct, because the atma is distinct from visuddha sattva. …. But the atma, in any state, remains an amsa of Paramatma. Therefore the state of identifying as Bhagavan’s servant is also a state in which it is situated in its own nature, distinct from when it is in the material body where it’s state is one of bahirmukhata.”

        Yes, the atma always remains in its own nature, but while the material energy never touches the atma, the atma becomes imbued with the spiritual energy when it receives the siddha-deha. So one can’t say that in both cases the atma “identifies with something that is not” in the same way, or that both indentifications are foreign to the atma in the same way.

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      • Do you think the spiritual energy changes the atma in some way when you write that it becomes imbued with spiritual energy? Does the atma, according to you, ‘know’ that it is has a siddha deha ? How is the atma’s identification with the siddha deha different from its identification with the material body?

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  3. You write “Jīvānanda or ātmānanda is the happiness the ātmā experiences by being by itself without any contact with anything material. This is of two further subtypes: 1) experience of the self in a state of dreamless sleep in the conditioned state, and 2) experience of the self in the liberated state.”

    Further down you write: “It is this second type of ānanda listed above, the feeling of relief from any material disturbance, that Jāmātṛ Muni refers to when he states that the jīva is of the nature of ānanda.”

    I have a question about jīvānanda/ātmānanda 2.2, the experience of the self in the liberated state. What kind of liberation is implied here ? It’s different from brahmānanda. How does the self exist in a pure state without having a material body (where it experiences ānanda 1, liberated in Brahman (ānanda 3), or imbued by the svarupa-sakti (ānanda 4)?

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    • Is jīvānanda/ātmānanda 2.2 experienced in nirbīja samādhī/ jñānī-jivanmukta state before realising Brahman? Or is there a liberation where the ātmā of such a jñānī does not identify with Brahman but only experiences his ātmā alone(this seems to be same as the kaivalya of Srivaishnavas)?

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    • The experience of the self can be in deep sleep, where one is afflicted by ignorance still, or it can be during self-realization, where the atma is perceived through the mind. I will check with Sri Babaji as this is quoted from his book, but I think jīvānanda/ātmānanda 2.2 refers to the ananda when the atma is perceived by the mind. This state is called ‘liberated state’ probably because there is a cessation of all citta-vrttis in this state and it is distinct from deep sleep (which is due to tamas).

      Ananda 1 is experienced in the mind. Ananda 4 is experienced in the mind. Ananda 2.1 and 2.2 are experienced in the mind. Nothing can be said about Ananda 3 as there is no distinction between experiencer and experienced.

      The atma is always in a pure state. It only identifies with something external to it. So it identifies with the material mind and body, with Brahman, or with the visuddha sattva mind and body.

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      • T.Krsna wrote: “The experience of the self can be in deep sleep, where one is afflicted by ignorance still, or it can be during self-realization, where the atma is perceived through the mind. I will check with Sri Babaji as this is quoted from his book, but I think jīvānanda/ātmānanda 2.2 refers to the ananda when the atma is perceived by the mind. This state is called ‘liberated state’ probably because there is a cessation of all citta-vrttis in this state and it is distinct from deep sleep (which is due to tamas).”

        Is this a permanent liberation and what is the Sanskrit term for it? Could you give examples from the Bhagavata?

        What is exactly self-realization as per the Sandarbhas ? I know its general meaning.

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      • Self realization as described in the Bhagavata (Sandarbhas) is described here:
        https://bhaktitattva.com/2019/03/30/the-mechanism-of-self-realization/

        It is not permanent liberation. I am not sure there is a separate term for it. This state is described in the Bhagavad Gita chapter 5: jnanena tu tad ajnanam yesam nasitam atmanah tesam adityavaj jnanam prakasayati tat param. Self realization is still under sattva guna (see Sri Visvanatha’s commentary on this verse and the next verse). Self realization does not lead to liberation necessarily.

        The next step is Brahman realization described here:

        https://bhaktitattva.com/2019/04/06/the-mechanism-of-brahman-realization/

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  4. T. Krsna dasa wrote: “Do you think the spiritual energy changes the atma in some way when you write that it becomes imbued with spiritual energy? Does the atma, according to you, ‘know’ that it is has a siddha deha ? How is the atma’s identification with the siddha deha different from its identification with the material body?”

    I made a point about a specific quote from Vrindaranya’s article. If you think that my point is not valid and that she presents Babaji’s teachings correctly, this is fine with me. What I think about the atma changing, etc., and what I can say “according to me,” is not why I wrote my comment.

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