The word jnāna has the common meaning of ‘knowledge’. However, in Sanskrit usage, the word jnāna carries different meanings depending on the context. Here we examine these meanings, and how they apply to the ātmā.
T. Krsna dasa
I am interested in Chaitanya Vaishnavism. This site is inspired by the teachings of Sri Satyanarayana dasa Babaji, scholar and practitioner.
In a previous article, we examined the characteristics of Bhagavān’s names. There, we saw that Bhagavān’s name is self-existent, i.e. independent, and conscious. Here we explore this concept some more.
A major sādhana in Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism is the chanting of Bhagavān’s name (nāma in Sanskrit). It is not surprising, then, that Sri Jiva methodically analyzes the subject of nāma in the Sandarbhas. Here, we discuss key attributes of Bhagavān’s names. Bhagavan’s names are not mental constructs like other […]
Maharajji answers questions in Śrī Guru Darśanam, p 20 Question: Can you explain how Bhagavān is devoid of different types of bhedas? Answer: Bhagavān has potencies; and between śakti (potency) and śaktimāna (who possesses the potency), there is no bheda (difference) or abheda (non-difference). He is the only one who […]
A sticking point with many people is that Vaiṣṇavas insist that God has a specific form (rūpa), name (nāma), actions (līlā ), and attributes (guṇa). However, doesn’t that make God sectarian? The product of a specific culture, with specific clothes and language? Furthermore, why should God resemble human […]
Maharajji answers questions in Śrī Guru Darśanam, p 505 Question: Jīva Goswami describes that bhakti can also be attained by svābhāvika-dharma, performing one’s natural duty directed towards satisfying Śrī Hari. How does varṇāśrama-dharma lead to bhakti? Answer: Bhakti is the ultimate thing to be attained from svābhāvika-dharma, if it is […]
Śrī Jīva Goswami derives a number of insights into the nature of Śrī Kṛṣna’s existence by analyzing the direct experience of āptajanas, or reliable witnesses. One such individual is Śrī Nārada, who visited Dwaraka and was astonished to see Kṛṣna’s Līlā there. From an analysis of his experience, […]
Śrīla Rūpa Goswami has analyzed the various manifestations of the Lord in the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta.
One of the defining characteristics of Bhagavān is that it is most difficult to understand how He functions. In Anuchheda 40 of the Bhagavat Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Goswami analyzes Brahmā’s prayers to Bhagavān from the tenth canto of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, and gleans the four ways in which […]
All objects or entities are classified into four types according to nyāya. This understanding is essential to grasp Śrī Jīva’s explanations in the Sandarbhas of the nature of our existence. The classifications are based on whether the object has a beginning and an end. To describe objects, it […]
A common understanding is that Nārayāṇa, from whose navel Brahmā was born, spoke the catuḥśloki Bhāgavatam to Brahmā. However, Śrī Jīva Goswami disagrees with this concept, and provides evidence that it was Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself who revealed the Bhāgavatam to Brahmā. In Anuccheda 10 of the Bhagavat Sandarbha, […]
In the final verse of the Bhāgavata’s catuḥśloki, Bhagavān speaks about the fourth item, aṅga. The aṅga, Śrī Jīva Goswami explains in Anuccheda 96 of the Bhagavat Sandarbha, is sādhana bhakti or the means, to attain the rahasya, prema. Below, we present Śrī Jīva’s analysis of how the […]