[Advaita-l] The nature of the jiva in Vedanta

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 05:23:08 CDT 2012

In gaudiya vaishnavam, there is mutual dependence betwee the jiva and
Ishwara in the liberated state. Ishwara is dependent on the jiva's use of
her free will to express love for Krishna. And the jiva is dependent on
Ishwara for His reciprocation of that love. This unconditional love is a
unique capability of consciousness, which should not be lost in the process
of getting rid of material miseries. Their objection to moksha in advaitam
is that Brahman does not even know I exist. It is like a lump of salt.
Their objection to moksha in other vaishnava schools is that liberation
from material miseries is given too much importance compared to the fruit
of this liberation namely bhakti.

On Thursday, March 29, 2012, V Subrahmanian wrote:

> The svarUpa of the jiva in the Vedanta systems is presented variously by
> these systems.  It would be interesting to know what the jiva's status is
> in these systems.
> Recently, during a discussion with Swami Sri Vishwanandana Tirtha, a
> scholar-sannyAsi of the Madhwa following, he stated that in Dvaita, that
> is, the Madhwa system, the jiva is 'nitya baddha'.  This means: the jiva is
> 'eternally bound'.
> Sri Velukkudi Kannan Swami, an exponent of the Vishishtadvaita philosophy,
> has said:  'In our srIvaiShNava sampradAya the jiva is 'nitya paratantra'.
> This means: the jiva is for ever dependent.
> In both the above systems, the jiva, while in samsara, is dependent on
> Ishwara and even while in mOksha is bound  by/dependent on Ishwara.  These
> systems admit of eternal 'kainkaryam', service, of Ishwara, in VaikunTha by
> the mukta jiva-s.   Liberation and bandha/paaratantryam co-exist in these
> systems in the state of mokSha.
> In the Advaita system the jiva is none other than Brahman and therefore
> there is no dependence or bondage for the jiva in moksha.  Liberation is
> absolute, without the bandha/pAratantrya attached to it unlike the other
> two systems.
> There is, however, dependence on Ishwara while in bandha.  This is because
> the jiva's karma that keeps him in bondage is dependent on Ishwara for the
> karma phala.  Shankara says in the Bhagavadgita commentary 15th chapter
> introduction:
> *यस्मात् मदधीनं कर्मिणां कर्मफलं ज्ञानिनां च ज्ञानफलम्, *अतो भक्तियोगेन मां
> ये सेवन्ते ते मत्प्रसादात् ज्ञानप्राप्तिक्रमेण गुणातीताः मोक्षं गच्छन्ति ।
> किमु वक्तव्यं आत्मनस्तत्त्वमेव सम्यग्विजानन्त इत्यतो भगवान् अर्जुनेन
> अपृष्टोऽपि आत्मनस्तत्त्वं विवक्षुरुवाच - ऊर्ध्वमूलमित्यादिना ।
> Here one can see that while in bondage the karma phala is dependent on
> Ishwara and even the sadhana for attaining Jnana and moksha through jnana,
> is dependent on Ishwara.  It might be questioned: Why should jnana phala,
> that is moksha, be dependent on Ishwara?  The reason is that moksha is
> relative to bandha.  All sadhana takes place in the ajnAna-born bandha
> avasthA alone and therefore is subject to the operation of Ishwara-created
> rules.  Thus, when a sAdhaka does the required sAdhana for Jnana, if there
> are not obstacles, the jnAna arises destroying ajnAna.  In case there are
> obstacles, pratibandhaka-s, despite the necessary sAdhana, the jnAna will
> not arise.  Once the obstacles are exhausted then the liberating jnAna
> arises unobstructed, resulting in moksha.  Thus the entire sAdhana-phala
> process is within the domain of Ishwara.  It would be pertinent to note
> what Shankara says - तदनुग्रहहेतुकेनैव  च ज्ञानेन मोक्षसिद्धिर्भवितुमर्हति
> .  It is by the Jnana that ensues owing to the* grace of Ishwara
> alone*that the accomplishment of moksha comes about. [ Brahma sutra
> bhashya:
> subrahmanian.v
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