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Qualities of the Jivas
Philosophy Questions & Answers

Qualities of the Jivas

Question: You seem to say that ananda is only in the svarupa-shakti. However the jiva shakti would not even be able to experience prakritic happiness if it did not have the potential to experience ananda. Consciousness and knowledge are the same thing. None of these things have any support in Sri Jiva from what I can tell. If there is, I would like to see it. In my reading of the Paramatma Sandarbha we find Sri Jiva in paragraph 18 citing with approval the Padmottarakanda (the Uttara Kanda of the Padma Purana) in which the jiva is described as cidanandatmaka. And then again he cites Jamatr Mani of the Ramanuja sampradaya as saying once again; cidanandatmaka.

When Sri Jiva defines the Paramatma in the Bhakti-sandarbha he says: antaryAmitvamaya-mAyAzaktipracuracicchaktyaMzaviziSTaM paramAtmA, “When the absolute is possessed of the quality of regulating from within, the maya-shakti, and multitudinous portions of the cit-shakti (the jivas) it is known as the supreme self (Paramatma). Here the jiva is clearly considered portions or parts of the cit-shakti.

Answer: Having potential to experience ananda and having ananda are two different things. We agree with the first one.

As for Jamatr Muni and Padmottara-khanda defining jiva as saccidanada in Paramatma Sandarbha, Sri Jiva Gosvami explains clearly that it simply means duhkhabahavay—freedom from misery.

There is verse from Visnu Purana (1.12.69) cited in Bhagavat Sandarbha (Anuccheda 7.3.) which says that samvit, sandhini and hladini exist only in the Lord and not in the jiva, on the other hand material misery is experienced only by the jiva and not by the Lord:

hladini sandhini samvit, tvayy eka sarva-samsthitau

hlada-tapa-kari misra, tvayi no guna-varjite

The potency of bliss (hladini), the potency of being (sandhini), and the potency of awareness (samvit) exist without any deviation only in You, the support of everything. You are completely free from the material gunas and thus the potencies that give rise to material happiness, distress, and a mixture of both, are non-existent in You.

We do accept that the jiva is cit or conscious. Cit-shakti here does not mean he has ananda.

In the Sandarbhas Sri Jiva is very clear on these points. In Priti Sandarbha as well in Bhagavat Sandarbha he clearly says that jiva has samsarga abhava of bhagavad-jnana. This is a specific term in Nyaya language which means something is non-existing but there is a potential for it to happen. If jnana was there Jiva Gosvami would not have used the word samsarga abhava. He is very precise in his wording.