The root cause of suffering is the jīva’s identification with the body. Is this identification real?
Some offer the analogy that the jīva is related to Bhagavān in the same way as a drop of the ocean relates to the ocean. The drop of the ocean:ocean analogy has been used to propagate the notion that the jīva is ‘qualitatively similar’ to Bhagavān, but quantitatively […]
That the ātmā is distinct from the body is accepted in most Indian schools of thought. Mīmāṁsā, Vedānta, Yoga and Sāṅkhya all accept this, but do not agree on the ātmā’s svarūpa or essential characteristics. There are many points about the ātmā on which there is agreement among […]
We continue our discussion of Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s commentary on the Brahma sutras. As mentioned in a previous article, this commentary has been (mis)interpreted to support the jīva’s beginningless choice to enter the material world. I present the translation below along with notes. || 2.3.35 || atha prakṛti-kartṛtvāde doṣān […]
One of the pramāṇas propped up by some to support the novel concept that the jīva made an ‘anādi choice’ to enter the material world is Śrī Baladeva’s commentary on Vedanta-sūtras 2.3.31-40. Here we present a translation of Śrī Baladeva’s commentary. As will become clear, these proponents put […]
I received a long reply from a proponent of the jiva-choice theory- but I did not publish it as it violates the rules for posting on this site. I will answer one question, which is worth answering: The writer quotes me from the previous article: Question: You yourself […]
The word ‘anādi’ is a simple word. Yet, in recent decades, much confusion has surrounded it owing to novel interpretations offered for it by some modern sects of Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism. Here we examine what it means according to our ācāryas like Śrī Jīva Goswami and Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravarti. […]
We examined the concept of ahaṅkāra in an earlier post. We saw how ahaṅkāra is at the very source of all suffering. We are sentient beings who fundamentally are free from all suffering. But ahaṅkāra, the misidentification with the body, ensures that we consider the body’s experiences as […]
The Paramātmā Sandarbha goes into great depth into the properties of the jīva. This knowledge forms part of sambandha jñāna that Śrī Jīva Goswami proffers to us for understanding the nature of our own being. His treatment is comprehensive and far more sophisticated than similar treatments in other […]
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.
As the ātman is situated in its own self during deep sleep and nothing else, i.e. it does not identify with anything external like the mind or body, one can intuit a number of intrinsic properties of the ātman through an analysis of deep sleep. In the Tattva […]
Free or not free- that is the question.