Śrī Jīva Goswami’s commentary on na tu jīveṣu

In a previous article, I showed how Śrīdhar Swami’s commentary contains the words, “na tu jīveṣu” – not in the living beings, which explicitly denies the presence of Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti in the jīva. There I cited his original commentary from Viṣṇu Purāṇa. In Śrī Jīva Goswami’s quotation of the commentary, some additional words are found, including the words ‘jīveṣu ca’. An additional meaning gets added, which is underlined below:

This energy is present in You only, the support of everything ( sarva-saṁsthiti ), or in other words, the one from whom all things come into being. This potency, however, is not present in the living beings.

Moreover, the energy consisting of the three material guṇas , which is present in the living beings, is not in You.

What is to be made of the bolded section? The meaning is simple if we understand the simple concept below:

jīva = ātmā-mind/body complex

So, in the first phrase,

na tu jīveṣu means “not in the ātmā-mind/body complex”

In the second phrase,

jīveṣu ca means “in the ātmā-mind/body complex”

The simple meaning, clear as daylight, is as follows:

Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti is not in the ātmā-mind/body complex, but Bhagavān’s māyā śakti is in the ātmā-mind/body complex.

This means:

Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti is neither in the pure ātmā nor the mind/body, while Bhagavān’s māyā śakti is in the mind/body (which is part of the ātmā-mind/body complex).

The point is that the word jīva includes the pure ātmā AND the mind/body complex. Denial denies whatever is denied in both. Acceptance accepts whatever is accepted in one or both of the two.

Now just as it is absurd to posit that Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti is in the pure ātmā, it is absurd to posit that Bhagavān’s māyā is in the pure ātmā. Ergo, we are left with only one option: Bhagavān’s māyā is in the mind/body part of the jīva- indeed the mind/body complex is māyā.

The meaning is plain as it can be, but consider still, what Śrī Jīva Goswami writes next:

tām evāha—hlāda-tāpa-karī miśrā iti | hlāda-karī manaḥ-prasādotthā sāttvikī | tāpa-karī viṣaya-viyogādiṣu tāpa-karī tāmasī | tad-ubhaya-miśrā viṣaya-janyā rājasī | tatra hetuḥ sattvādi-guṇa-varjite | tad uktaṁ sarvajña-sūktau—

hlādinyā saṁvid-āśliṣṭaḥ sac-cid-ānanda īśvaraḥ |

svāvidyā-saṁvṛto jīvaḥ saṅkleśa-nikarākaraḥ || [bhāvārtha-dīpikā 1.7.6] iti ||

Śrī Dhruva further describes this [latter] energy, “which yields material happiness, misery and their mixture” ( hlāda-tāpa-karī miśrā ). Hlāda-karī means the “energy generated from mental contentment” and is of the nature of sattva-guṇa ; tāpa-karī is the energy which elicits misery due to the loss of sense objects and belongs to tamo-guṇa ; and the mixture of these two ( miśrā ), which arises from sense objects, is of the nature of rajo-guṇa . The reason why they are absent in the Lord is that He is free from the guṇas , beginning with sattva . This is stated in the Sarvajña-sūkta :

The Supreme Lord, who is sac-cid-ānanda , is embraced by hlādinī and saṁvit , but the living entity, covered by his own ignorance, is the storehouse of all miseries.

It is clear from the bolded section, that the word jīva here refers to the conditioned jīva, which includes not only the pure ātmā but also the mind/body.


Categories: Bhagavān, bhāva

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26 replies »

  1. Nice article.
    I have a question,
    Does the Paramatma feature within us, who is the Sachidanand Swaroop has Sandani-samvit-haladini shaktis accompanying Him?
    If the answer is yes, then perhaps the pure atama, by the grace of Paramatma, can get the blessings of Citshakti?

    • Yes Paramatma has the sacchidananda swarupa, and sandhini/samvit/hladini saktis are inside of Him.

      The pure atma experiences Paramatma Himself, as his own very svarupa- i.e. that he is an amsa and Paramatma is an amsi – in liberation. This is accompanied by the experience of the bliss of Paramatma, by Paramatma’s grace.

      • Pranam TK Das ji,

        Sri Jiva explains the anubhava of both Brahman and Bhagavān. But I wonder what is the anubhava of Paramatma like? Is it explained anywhere by the Acharyas?

      • I was in fact discussing this today itself in a class on the Gita. See commentary on 6.20-23 by VCT
        Also Priti Sandarbha

        My understanding now is that all anubhava in mukti is of Paramatma- because He is our very atma. And He is an amsa of Bhagavan- so some lucky few get anubhava of Bhagavan- the complete

      • “The pure atma experiences Paramatma Himself, as his own very svarupa- i.e. that he is an amsa and Paramatma is an amsi – in liberation. This is accompanied by the experience of the bliss of Paramatma, by Paramatma’s grace.”

        Also could you please direct me to the source of this Siddhanta in the Sandarbhas or any other grantha where the Acharyas have said/proved this Siddhanta?


      • Yes I will write an article on it. This comes in the Priti Sandarbha. This is the meaning of the statement – raso vai sah …. Anandi bhavati

      • I wonder how is seshatva perceived when jīvātmānubhavam takes place in samadhi. Without knowing Paramatma, seshatva which is an intrinsic property of the Jiva would remain unperceived.

        But since the Sandarbhas say that Brahman is realised after jīvātmānubhavam. So Paramatma’s experience must be savikalpa unlike Brahman and is a later experience.

      • One has to perceive Paramatma- that is when one perceives sesatva and that is mukti. Paramatma’s anubhava without qualities is Brahma anubhava. It happens by His grace only.

      • Regarding the Jiva experiencing Paramatma as his own svarupa(i.e. amshi svarupa). This is evident in the Upanishads:
        Sri Baladeva’s interpretation of Brahma-sūtra 1.3.8, according to the context of interpretation for this passage (reinforcing it with an allusion to Chāndogya-upaniṣad 7.15.4).[Vraja Mohana Dada’s translation of the Upanishadic statement]

        Chāndogya-upaniṣad 8.12.3 :

        evam evaiṣa saṁprasādo’smāc charīrāt samutthāya paraṁ jyotir-upasaṁpadya svena rūpeṇābhiniṣpadyate | sa uttama-puruṣaḥ | sa tatra paryeti jakṣat krīḍan ramamāṇaḥ strībhir vā yānair vā jñātibhir vā nopajanaṁ smarann idaṁ śarīram | sa yathā prayogya ācaraṇe yukta evam evāyam asmiñ charīre prāṇo yuktaḥ ||

        “In the same way, that vessel of grace [the jiva] rises up from this body, enters the paraṁ jyoti (Hari, the highest light), and appears before his [Hari’s] own svarūpa (svena rupeṇābhiṣnipadyante). He is the uttama-puruṣa (Hari, the supreme person). There he [Hari] goes around laughing, sporting, having enjoyment with women or chariots or relatives; never being conscious of persons near him [because of his ecstasy]. As the charioteer is appointed to the chariot, so is the prāṇa [ātmā] appointed [by Hari] to this body.”

      • Not sure I understand the provided translation. This also comes in 4.4.1 where svena rupena refers to the atma’s own svarupa. Sri Sankara takes it that way and the latter commentators follow him.

      • Thank you.
        So would it be correct to say that the jīva who has attained kaivalya doesnot realise seshatvam yet? Or is it that he does know but empties his mind from the form of Paramatma and became situated in Brahman ?

      • He knows about sesatva because Paramatma is experienced first, then he empties the mind of that experience also and attains Brahman. This method is described in Bhagavatam with the example of the hook and the fish.

      • Yes. I expected it. But isn’t it the mind which takes the form of Paramatma there? And true realisation of Paramatma(as Aniruddha, Pradyumna and Sankarshana orthe three purushas) should be after Brahman realisation right? I always thought: Brahman—>Paramātmā —>Bhagavān. That also seems to be the order of realisation for Kardama muni

      • It depends on your goal. If your goal is Bhagavan, for example, then Paramatma is bypassed- since He is Bhagavan’s amsa.

        In all realizations the mind is involved. If your goal is Paramatma, then the order is Brahman—>Paramatma, because Paramatma realization includes Brahman- but it is not like you dwell on Brahman there or anything. It’s just like nirvikalpaka Pratyaksha which must precede savikalpaka Pratyaksha.

        So even if your goal is Brahman, sequence will be

        Atma—>nirvikalpaka Paramatma—>savikalpaka Paramatma—>permanent Brahman.

      • I should add that Paramatma being bypassed means Bhagavan anubhava includes it- just like Paramatma anubhava includes Brahman. So in that way the sequence you mention is correct.

    • Thank you, So just to be clear, the scheme(for Yogis) would be:
      (For AtmA realisation):sabIja samAdhI—> nirbIja samAdhI—>AtmA—>(For Brahman realisation)sabIja samAdhI(with series of forms of Paramatma)—>nirbIja samAdhI[this is nirvikalpa pratyaksha of Bhagavan/Paramatma, i.e. Brahman]—>savikalpa pratyaksha of Paramatma(proceeding from Aniruddha to Sankarshana upto Vāsudeva, as in the case of Kardama muni)—>(in rare cases) Bhagavan(Narayana).

      In case of those who want brahma-sāyujya/Kaivalya, after attaining the second nirbIja samAdhI(i.e. realising identity with Brahman), they don’t want anything else and at a point leave their bodies at the end of prArabdha.

      • The words Sabija and nirbija have a technical meaning; so does the word samadhi. If by nirbija you mean citta vrtti nirodha, then first stage is correct for atma realization- except I don’t know if it should be called ‘samadhi’ – does it fit the definition?

        So sabija dhyana—> nirbija dhyana (Citta vrtti nirodha)—>being pleased by Bhakti, Paramatma self-manifests (momentary nirvikalpaka then savikalpaka)—>yogi withdraws mind from Paramatma—> Paramatma manifests as Brahman to the yogi in the state of complete identity.

  2. The sabIja and nirbIja dhyAna that you mention, what is the purpose of this dhyAna? Is it AtmA sAkShAtkAra?

    If so, then what is the Alambana(or bIja) for sabIja and the negation of what bIja for nirbIja?

    Is the second part is regarding conceiving Paramatma in the mind and subsequent withdrawing of that form to realise Brahman?

    That also seems to be a second round of sabIja dhyAna(where Paramatma’s form[momentary nirvikalpaka and then savikalpaka] itself is the Alambana) and nirbIja (when mind withdraws from Paramatma’s form) which is the ‘state of identity of the self with Brahman(extended nirvikalpaka anubhava of Paramatma).

    • I was using the word nirbija to mean devoid of any thoughts whatsoever whereas sabija means with thoughts- i.e. the mind is not stilled fully yet. I did not mean it in the sense of object of meditation.
      The second part is not a meditation but a manifestation of Paramatma when He so chooses..

      • Another way this could happen is :

        Meditation on Paramatma (all the while desiring Brahman)—>manifestation of Paramatma —> empty the mind of Him also—> manifestation of Brahman.

        I am not sure where exactly to put atma realization here – It probably happens at the stage of Paramatma manifestation (sesatva)- and then that atma is identified with with Brahman in the next step.

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