We examine the existence of the ātman in the material world in a question-answer format. Perhaps its easier to grasp concepts this way.
First, here is a definition of free will — Free will is the capacity to make a choice independent of any external influence. If we strip the jīva of the mind, body, senses and prāṇa, what is left is the ātman. The ātman, as we have seen before, […]
We now examine the definition of bhāva by Sri Rupa Goswami. As a reminder, bhāva is the sādhya or goal of sādhanā bhakti. Sri Rupa Goswami defines bhāva as follows:
śuddha-sattva-viśeṣātmā prema-sūryāṁśu-sāmya-bhāk | rucibhiś citta-māsṛṇya-kṛd asau bhāva ucyate ||
As explained before, the conditioned soul’s identity is a conglomerate formed by his gross and subtle attachments. Thus when he says “I”, it does not refer to his original identity, but to the “I” formed by the sum-total of acquired brothers, sisters, mother, friends, land, wealth, social position and so on. This conditioned identity changes as the objects it is shaped by change.
Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral was the site of one of mankind’s more remarkable achievements- the moon landing. The picture shows launchpad 39A (taken with my iphone through the window of a NASA organized bus). Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins achieved the historic landing (Collins […]
Much of the confusion and disagreements in discussions over bhakti can be avoided if the involved parties stick to definitions of terms. Words can take on multiple meanings, and often people just talk past each other because their intended meanings are different. Rupa Goswami took pains to define […]
Many devotees think that science has a place in the field of bhakti. For example, some think that by using the scientific method to evaluate the descriptions in bhakti scriptures, one can demonstrate the veracity of bhakti scriptures. Others think that preaching to an increasingly scientific, modern audience requires […]
A scientifically testable hypothesis must make predictions that can be tested. The hypothesis should predict something that is likely to happen, and something that is unlikely to happen if the hypothesis were true. The predictions must have the property that they can be validated by independent observers. Furthermore, […]
Maharajji answers questions in Śrī Guru Darśanam, pp. 111-112 Question: Should I chant a certain amount of rounds on my japa beads, because formerly I was told to do so? Answer: One should chant any mantra a minimum of ten times. That is the minimum, and more than that you […]
From the Yoga of Dejection, p. 57. One who has confidence in himself can genuinely praise others because he is capable of recognizing the good in them. However, people who lack confidence in themselves, who suffer from an inferiority complex, may compensate for their insecurity by boasting. They create […]
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 […]