The mechanism of self-realization

We continue to discuss the concept of Brahman and Bhagavān as explained by Śrī Jīva Goswami in the Bhagavat Sandarbha. Śrī Jīva Goswami explains that self-realization is a pre-requisite for Brahman realization. Therefore, here we first examine what it means to ‘realize the self’. The process of experience […]

The difference between Brahman and Bhagavān

There are differing views on Brahman and Bhagavān. There is one camp, particularly among some Vaiṣṇava sects, which tends to interpret all verses involving Brahman in the Purāṇas as Bhagavān. The camp of the Advaita-vadis considers Bhagavān as material, and only Brahman as the absolute reality. Sri Jiva […]

The elements of bhakti rasa

Here we revisit the definition of bhakti rasa and explanations of the terms vibhāva, anubhāva, vyabhicārī and sāttvika bhāvas, but this time as given by Sri Rupa Goswami in the Bhakti rasamṛta Sindhu. Definition of bhakti rasa Sri Rupa Goswami defines bhakti rasa (2.1.5) as follows: vibhāvair anubhāvaiḥ […]

The definition of rasa, part II

Continuing our discussion of rasa, we now examine vyabhicāri bhāva, which is also called sañcari bhāva. The word vyabhicāri = vi+abhi+car (car is a verbal root or dhātu meaning ‘move’). The definition of this bhāva is as follows: viśeṣeṇa abhimukhena caritam śilam yasya sa vyabhicāri: [that bhāva] which […]

The case for belief in Kṛṣṇa

The new atheism movement is on the upswing. Thinkers like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett have made a clear and logical case for atheism. Religious belief is on a decline in the developed countries. Anyone with even a basic education knows that the people in the past did […]

The definition of rasa, part I

Sri Rupa Goswami analyzes bhakti-rasa or the relish of bhakti in great detail. Indeed, his book is titled Bhakti-rasa-amṛta sindhu – the ocean of the nectar of bhakti-rasa. In this article, we examine the concept of ‘rasa’. How rasa becomes manifest is explained in a sutra by Bharata […]