There is the notion in some bhakti sects that the material world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world.
Sri Jiva Goswami lists several properties of the ātman in the Paramātma Sandarbha. Pertinent to this article are its qualities of knowership and experiential capacity. The ātman has the capacity to know. The mind and intelligence, being inert, cannot know. At the same time, the ātman cannot understand […]
To understand human psychology, we have to first understand how the mind operates. The mind is classified into different categories based on function. Here we consider the functions of manas (mind), citta (the part of the mind that we are not conscious of) and buddhi (intelligence; the decision making […]
The word anartha means anything that is not artha- or that which is not the goal. Anything which is undesirable for bhakti to Kṛṣṇa is anartha, even though it may fall under dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa. There are five types of anarthas which progress from the first to […]
An example where the primary meaning of scripture can be misleading is Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa līlā described in the Bhāgavatam. Here, there are references to intimate interactions between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs, which appear sexual in nature in their primary meaning, no different from an ordinary book of romance. And yet, at the end […]
In Sanskrit kāvya, words have three kinds of meaning. Kavi-karṇapūra’s Alaṅkāra-kaustubha describes these meanings in detail 1. They are abhidhā-vṛtti, lakṣaṇā-vṛtti and vyañjanā-vṛtti. The meanings of these words are best understood through an example. Consider the words: gaṅgāyāṁ ghoṣaḥ. The abhidhā or primary meaning of these words is […]
In kārikā 1.2.9, Rupa Goswami writes that vaidhī bhakti is the duty of everyone in varṇāśrama : इति असौ स्याद् विधिर् नित्यौ सर्व-वर्णाश्रमादिषु| नित्यत्वेSपि अस्य निर्णितम् एकादश्यादिवत् फलम्|| This vidhi (vaidhī bhakti) is a compulsory or regular activity (nitya) for all varṇas and āśramas. Even though it is nitya, […]
In Indian philosophy1, साधन (sādhana) and साध्य (sādhya) refer to cause and effect, or ingredient and product. Say for example, we are preparing soup. Before the soup comes into existence, only its separate ingredients exist – vegetables, tomatoes, some masala, water, salt etc.. Mixing the ingredients together and […]