A key qualification on the path of bhakti is śraddhā, which is generally understood as faith. However, the word śraddhā indicates something very specific in the context of uttamā bhakti. Śrī Jīva Goswami takes this topic up in some detail in the Bhakti Sandarbha. Here we examine his […]
The spiritual prospects of many a modern sādhaka fade owing to entrapment by smart and savvy individuals who come across as authentic, scholarly spiritualists. In the Indian cultural context, a lot of thought has historically been given to protecting oneself from such dangers. The Hitopadeśa is one such […]
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 […]
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 […]
In Anuccheda 96 of the Bhagavat Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Goswami analyzes seven verses spoken by Bhagavān to Brahmā. Four of these seven verses constitute the famous catuḥśloki or four seed-verses of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. The word ‘seed’ here means that these verses constitute the essence of the Śrīmad […]
A book should begin by explaining the following four topics: Sambandha: the relation (sambandha) of the book (vācaka) with its main subject (vācya). Abhidheya: the means of attainment propounded in the book. Prayojana: the completion state or end state brought about by the means stated in point 2. […]
From Nāma-tattva, pp. 50-51: Q: It is recommended that if one chants with offenses, they should continue chanting to become free from those offenses. Does this mean that one should continue chanting with offenses or with nāmābhāsa? A: No, why chant with offenses? Just chant the name and […]
Śrī Jīva discusses absolute reality or tattva with an analysis of the famous verse from the Śrīmad Bhagavatām below (Tattva Sandarbha Anuccheda 51 and 52 and Bhagavat Sandarbha Anuccheda 1): vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate: All those who have realized Absolute reality refer […]
In vaidhī bhakti, we have seen that the adhikāra is śāstriya śraddhā. Śrī Rūpa Goswami explains that in rāgānugā bhakti, the intense desire to get the bhāva like the rāgātmikā bhaktas is the adhikāra. This desire comes from hearing Kṛṣṇa kathā relating to the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa and […]
The Bhagavad Gītā is an amazing book for many reasons. One reason is that it is amazingly difficult to understand.
Here we summarize uttamā bhakti, its divisions and the definitions which were discussed in previous articles. uttamā bhakti is defined as continuous service directed favorably towards Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. It should be devoid of all material desires and not covered by desire for brahma-sāyujya mukti, and/or faith in […]