Jīva Institute has started to publish the Ṣad Sandarbhas and other books as E-books. Currently, Tattva Sandarbha and Bhagavat Sandarbha are available through Amazon Kindle Store, Apple-books and our Online Store. These electronic editions include the full text and figures available in the print book. Additionally, it contains all forewords, introductions, and appendices. Only the subject and verse indices are omitted.
Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s Ṣaṭ Sandarbha is one voluminous work divided into six parts and taken as a whole, forms a far-reaching synthesis and commentary on the Bhāgavata Purāṇa. The original name of the work was Bhāgavata Sandarbha, indicating that it is an exposition and analysis of the essential message of Śrīmad Bhāgavata Purāṇa.
A sandarbha is a literary work that discloses the confidential meaning of a subject or book, incorporates its essence, explains the superiority of the subject, and elaborates its various meanings. The entire Ṣaṭ Sandarbha is a treatise on love for the Absolute, Bhagavān, as revealed in the Bhāgavata Purāṇa. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī wrote the Sandarbhas specifically for those who aspire to enter into a relationship of loving transcendental service to Bhagavān. He takes the beginner by the hand, guiding him or her through the subject matter to the ultimate goal of prīti, or divine love.
Previously, this knowledge was available only in Sanskrit and thus inaccessible to most readers. Satyanarayana Dasa Babaji has translated the entire text into English with elaborate commentaries on Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s often terse passages, while keeping the author’s intention in mind.
Additionally, the Sandarbhas lay the theological and philosophical foundation for the entire Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava school of thought by establishing Śrī Kṛṣṇa as Svayaṁ Bhagavān and by introducing the concept of acintya-bhedābheda tattva. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s treatise offers the most systematic and complete synthesis of Vedānta. Consequently, the highest benefit to the reader can be had by studying the Sandarbhas in order, as intended by the author.
Tattva Sandarbha, the first book of the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas, is the smallest in size but not in importance. As its name suggests, it discusses the Reality (Tattva) that is the ultimate subject to be understood and realized. Tattva also means “essence,” and thus Tattva Sandarbha provides the essence of what is to be elaborated upon in subsequent volumes of the Sandarbhas. Thus, it lays the foundation for entry into the subject matter of Bhāgavata Purāṇa, which Jīva Gosvāmī establishes as the supreme authority in the matter of the Absolute Nondual Reality, or Bhagavān.
This book can be divided in two parts; namely, pramāṇa and prameya. The first part deals with the highly essential topic of epistemology (pramāṇa), or the means of valid knowing, without which nothing conclusive can be determined. The second part of Tattva Sandarbha deals with the knowable (prameya). In keeping with the epistemological view established in the first part, the determination of the knowable is not arrived at through logical analysis but through direct revelation to Śrī Vyāsadeva in samādhi. The knowable is thus unmistakably shown to be Svayam Bhagavān, who is inclusive of diverse potencies.
Bhagavat Sandarbha is the second book of this treatise. Jīva Gosvāmī builds on the overview provided in Tattva Sandarbha to elucidate on the nature of nondual Reality in explicit detail. He covers the topic of ontology, or sambandha-jñāna, knowledge of Reality as the nondual Absolute, which finds its highest completion exclusively in Bhagavān, the transcendent personal Absolute. The one indivisible total Reality is referred to primarily by the names Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān.
These three different names refer to the exact same Reality but as seen from different points of view. When that Reality is intuited as unqualified being, it is known as Brahman; when realized as the Immanent Self, it is known as Paramātmā; and when directly apperceived as the trans-conventional Person inclusive of all opulence and potency, it is known as Bhagavān. He is the most complete manifestation of nondual Reality, inclusive of Brahman and Paramātmā.
Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī wonderfully elaborates on the trans-conventional nondual nature of Bhagavān, who can be only known through the Vedas. He provides a deep analysis of Bhagavān’s name, form, actions, and attributes, all of which are transcendental. They spring from His essential nature and are thus diametrically opposed to their material counterparts. Bhagavān is inconceivable in all respects.
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