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Books > Hindu > Puranas > Bhagavata Purana > Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha (God-His Qualities, Abode and Associates)
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Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha (God-His Qualities, Abode and Associates)
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Bhagavat Sandarbha
Is The Second in The Series of six Sandarbhas. It presents a detailed analysis of the Absolute Reality in its hightes manifestations, Bhagavan, based upon Srimad Bhagavatam. This ultimate manifestation of reality harmonize the seemingly divergent views of all scriptures because it reconciles all conceptions of the Absolute by including and surpassing them. Any partial understanding of the Absolute is incapable of providing such a synthesis. Therefore, the synthesis of all the Vedas, Puranas and Itihasas is said to be in Bhagavan alone because He is the all-inclusive Complete Whole, including and transcending Paramatma and Brahman. The many apparent contradictions and divergent opinions found in the scriptures provide appropriate views and paths for different people at different levels of self-identification and belief. The ultimate purpose of all scriptures, however, is to explain Bhagavan. Sri Jiva Gosvami systematically and conclusively demonstrates this fact in Bhagavat Sandarbha, while offering a methodology to reconcile apparent contradictions.

"God, The Absolute, Is That All-Inclusive Reality in which all opposing potentialities exist in harmony. Thus, formlessness are inherent aspect of the Absolute Truth. This is a necessary logical concludion, though it is utterly inconceivable. We have to accept the existence of such a trans-empirical Absolute Person in order to satisfy the literal meaning of the word "Absolute." By the same token, we have to concede that this Person must be acintya, inconceivable. Inconceivable, however, does not mean incomprehensible or ineffable (anirvacaniya).

It necessarily follows that this inconceivable Person has inherent, natural powers, since the Absolute encompasses all variety, without limits. Being the Absolute Person and inherently self-endowed with potency, it follows that He is the agent, wielder and manipulator of all potencies, and yet He has no material form. Although the possessor of material energy, He is not in contact with or influenced by it Although all-pervading, He is yet a person".

 

About the Author

Satyanarayana Das
Born In 1954, was drawn to the spiritual traditions of his home country India since his childhood. After receiving a postgraduate degree in 1978 from IIT Delhi and working in the United States for four years, he returned to India. There he studied the formal systems of Indian philosophy known as sad-darsana under the direct guidance of his guru Sri Haridasa Sastri Maharaja and Swami Syama Sarana Maharaja. This education was taken up in the traditional manner for more than 25 years, while he dedicated himself to practicing bhakti-yoga. In 1991 he accepted the traditional Vaisnava order of renounced life, babaji-vesa. His main focus has been on the works of Jiva Gosvami, particularly on translating the Sat Sandarbha into English and commenting on them. He also earned four sastric degrees, and received both a law degree and a PhD in Sanskrit from Agra University. Satyanarayana Dasa is the director of the Jiva Institute of Vaishnava Studies in Vrindavan, India. In 2013 he was honoured by the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee, for his extraordinary contribution in presenting Vedic culture and philosophy, both nationally and internationally.

 

Introduction

The Real Goal of Life Is Happiness. In whatever we do, our ultimate goal is to happy. Hapiness can be attained in two ways: by pleasing our own senses or by pleasing the Supreme Person (Bhagavan), directly or indirectly. Those who seek their own happiness independent of Bhagavan ultimately remain unhappy. The reason is that we cannot truly please ourselves while we are confused about who we actually are.

A human being is a conscious self, animating a physical body, ego, mind and discriminating intellect. As such, the conscious self is our true identity, whereas the other instruments are acquired, temporary and superficial dimensions of embodied life. Because we mistake the body, ego, mind and intellect to be the most important dimensions of our being, we fail achieve happiness and try in vain to please our senses. When one recognize oneself as a conscious being, as a part of Bhagavan distinct from the body-mind-complex, one will understand how to attain true happiness. Vedic literature teaches that the basic cause of suffering is ignorance about our real self. The Vedic seers thus provided authentic knowledge to enable humanity to overcome this ignorance. They considered this effort to be the highest welfare for society. Keeping the ultimate goal of enlightenment in mind, they devise four pursuits (purusarthas) for human life. They did not teach us to teach us to neglect our physical needs, but to satisfy them in a way that we remain aligned with the ultimate goal, which is to realize our real identity. Vedic society thus conceive of four human pursuits corresponding to the four aspects of a human being. The basic need of an individual is survival, which is derectly related to the physical body. This primarily entails food, clothing and shelter. To acquire these necessities, there is a need for wealth (artha), because not everyone can produce all the requirements for there arises the need to exchange commodities or for commerce.

Once the basic means for survival have been provided for, there is a natural tendency to seek pleasure or happiness (kama), which is related to the mind. Wealth is also needed to fulfil a person's desires for happiness. To procure wealth and mental pleasure, there is a need for social organization. This necessitates striving not only for one's own economic welfare and sense pleasure but doing it in such a way that one does not impede the goals of other members of society. Therefore, some order and discipline is required to maintain balance in society, and this integral system of morals termed dharma.

The previous three objective follow a single line of evolution, but the fourth goal arises to correct the ineffectiveness of all the previous goals. No matter how well defined our ethics, how equitable and stable our financial base, and how opulent our standard of living, still we remain unfulfilled. Our reaction to this persistent dissatisfaction is to seek moksa – "freedom." This begins with the simple desire to be disentangled from money and social restrictions, and culminates in the aspiration to be from all limitations imposed by finite existence within a relativistic universe. All four goals, however, are related only to the body, ego, mind and intellect, which together from the external covering of the self. Although the fourth goal extricates the self from mire of the body-mind-complex, it does not deliver any positive happiness to the self.

Perceiving that sense gratification provides but limited and selfish satisfaction, people propose that seeing to the wants and needs of others, rather than our own, will bring true happiness. Certainly this comes closer to the mark, yet a feeling of emptiness persists within, because such acts of welfare are not aimed at the ultimate goal. Rather than catering to one's own misidentification with the body-mind-complex, they cater to that same misidentification within others.

Why is this so? Because such acts do not take the root of problem into consideration. True altruism lies not in merely taking care of the external persona of a living being; it lies in alleviating the ignorance that is the root of everyone's disability in finding happiness – ignorance of one's true identity in relation to Bhagavan. To enlighten the ignorant and conditioned self to its true identity solves the eternal problem of happiness at its very root. Sri Krsna says in Bhagavad Gita that one of the basic godly characteristics is to be compassionate towards others, and that this compassion releases us from our beginningless suffering. The core mission of the Vedas is to provide knowledge about the self and its relation to the Supreme Self, enabling true altruism and compassion.

The great seers of India illustrated this transcendental altruism by striving tirelessly to enlighten the masses. Among such luminaries, Sri Jiva Gosvami is a brilliant moon who performed unparalleled welfare to humanity by presenting the essence of Vedic literature in the form of the Sai Sandarbhas. Without the detailed guidance of a work like the Sat Sandarbhas, a seeker of knowledge can easily get lost in the dense forest of Vedic literature, not knowing where to begin and how to pursure his spiritual life.

Sri Jiva Gosvami, who had studied the entire gamut of Vedic literature, including the Vedas, Puranas, Agamas, six darsanas and their various branches, came to the conclusion that in the present age, the easiest and best way to know our relation to Bhagavan in revealed in Srimad Bhagavatam, the final work of Sri Vedavyasa. He considered the study of Srimad Bhagavatam an integral process of realizing that relationship and thus finally attaining the ultimate goal of life: unadulterated joy. To grant humanity a thorough, systematic understand joy. To grant humanity a thorough, systematic understanding of Srimad Bhagavata Purana, Sri Jiva Gosvami wrote Bhagavata Sandarbha, "A Compilation of the Bhagavata" (also known as Sat Sandarbha, "Six Compilations," because it has six divisions: Tattva, Bhagavat, Paramatma, Krsna, Bhagavat, Paramatma, Krsna, Bhakti, and Priti Sandarbha).

Overview of the Six Sandarbhas

Sat Sandarbha is a systematically organized compilation of essential verses from Srimad Bhagavatam, thoroughly revealing its essential message. According to Jiva Gosvami, Srimad Bhagavatam describes three basic subjects: (1) our identity in relation to the Absolute (sambandha-jinana), (2) the process to realize that identity (abhidheya-tattva), and (3) the ultimate goal achieved by doing so (prayojana-tattva), In te Sat Sandarbhas, Sri Jiva elaborates on these three topics.

Tattva Sandarbha is the first of the Six Sandarbhas and is an introduction to the rest. It can be divided into two parts: pramana and prameya. The first part (pramana) deals with epistemology, the means of acquiring valid knowledge. In this part, Jiva Gosvami establishes Drimad Bhagavatam as the foremost source of valid transcendental knowledge. It is very important to note Sri Jiva Gosvami's conviction that Srimad Bhagavatam is not merely a book containing valid knowledge of Reality; it actually qualifies the readers to directly perceive Reality; it actually qualifies the reader to directly perceive Reality and is itself nondifferent from Reality. This conviction is indeed shared by Sri Vyasa himself and proclaimed decisively at the very beginning of Srimad Bhagavatam.

The second part (prameya) begins to focus on the actual meaning of Bhagavatam, revealing its essence in summary by examining the vision of Reality that was disclosed to Vyasadeva while in the state of trance. In short, Jiva Gosvami establishes that the ultimate subject of knowledge is Bhagavan in relation to His variegated energies.

In the next three Sandarbhas (beginning with this one, Bhagavat Sandarbha), [iva Gosvami elaborates on the topic of ontology (sambandha-jfidna). He begins this volume by establishing Reality as the non dual absolute substantive, existing most completely as Bhagavan, the transcendent Supreme Person.

In the third volume (Paramdtma Sandarbha), he delineates Bhagavan's manifestation immanent within all entities, called Paramatma, Isvara or Purusa. He also describes the ontology of the individual living beings (jivas) and the illusory potency (maya). The jtvu is a conscious integrated part of Paramatma, and the illusory energy that enthralls and conditions the jiva is Paramatma's external energy.

The fourth volume (KmlU Sandarbha) reveals Sri Krsna as Svayarn Bhagavan, the original Supreme Person. It also describes how Sri Krsna has His eternal abode manifest in three places, namely, Vrndavana, Mathura and Dvaraka, He is timelessly present in these three places along with His ever-liberated associates, engaged in His eternal divine lild.

The fifth volume (Bhakti Sandarbha) elaborates upon the methodology of self-realization (abhidheya). Srila [iva Gosvami explains that devotional service performed for the pleasure of Sri Krsna (bhakti) without any tinge of vested interest is the method to realize one's relationship to Absolute Reality, which naturally entails realization of one's true identity, Without bhakti, no other process, such asjfidna-yoga, is efficacious in realizing the Absolute. He describes the various types and practices of bhakti and concludes that the highest form of bhakti is performed following the intrinsic mood and nature of the eternal associates in Vraja.

Bhakti leads one to the ultimate goal, prayojana, which is the subject matter of the sixth and final volume, Priti Sandarbha. Here Sri Jiva Gosvami provides a detailed analysis of priti, love for Krsna. He shows that priti is not just a sentiment (bhdva), but an aesthetic relish of that sentiment (ruse). Priti brings about the union of the devo- tee and Krsna without any loss of ontological individuality. This union or oneness is indeed the secret meaning of the non-dualistic statements of the Upanisads, such as tat tvam asi - You are that.

Summary of Bhagavat Sandarbha

The central theme of Jiva Gosvami's discussion in Bha9avat San- darbha is based upon the second line of the famous verse from Bhii- 9avata Purdnu (1.2.11): "Knowers of the Absolute describe it as non dual consciousness, naming it as Brahman, as Paramatma and as Bhagavan."

Jiva Gosvami's purpose in writing this Sandarbha is to establish Bhagavan, consisting of a trans-empirical form replete with transcendental energies, as the highest manifestation of the Absolute, superior even to Brahman. Although Absolute Reality is one and indivisible, an individual will realize it in three stages of completion, as far as his or her individual capacity of realization permits. Thus, individuals can realize Absolute Reality as Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan. The specific sequence of nouns used in this verse ("Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan") indicates the increasing importance and completeness of each succeeding manifestation. Sri Jiva Gosvami also points out that Absolute Reality is never authentically realized as the jlva, the individual living being.

When one realizes the Absolute Truth without perceiving any distinction between its energies and the Absolute itself as Energetic Source, it is called Brahman. When through deeper intuitive insight one apprehends a distinction between the energies and the Energetic Source, but perceives this distinction only in relation to phenomenal energies (the world and the living entities within it), the Reality thus realized is called Paramatma. When one's discernment of the distinction between energy and Energetic Source moves still deeper to include the internal, transcendental energies of Reality, one begins to perceive Reality as Bhagavan.

Thus, it is clear that there is no ontological difference between Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. The difference lies only in the level of perception of the respective seekers. Nevertheless, the difference is not just one of nomenclature.

For example, the phrase "blue lotus" has three components: (1) "lotus" - the noun itself, a substance unqualified by any adjective, (2) "blue" - the adjective qualifying the noun, and (3) the complete phrase, "blue lotus" - a qualified substance. There is no real difference between "lotus" and "blue lotus" except that the former does not convey any specific features, whereas the latter clearly states its color. The distinction between Brahman and Bhagavan is similar.

In this way, even though He is qualified with all potencies, Bhagavan is the undifferentiated Reality because He is the complete manifestation of the Absolute Truth. Brahman, on the other hand, exhibits no specific qualities and is therefore an incomplete manifestation of that same Truth, just as "lotus" conveys an incomplete depiction of "blue lotus." As such, even though there is no real difference between Brahman and Bhagavan, they are not one and the same in all respects. The difference lies in the limitation of vision on the part of the seeker.

Sri Jiva explains that when the Absolute is perceived as unqualified (i.e., as Brahman), it amounts to bare awareness of the substantive prior to the specification of its intrinsic nature. At this stage it is known as visesya, or that which is yet to be defined. The energies that inhere in the Absolute are its qualifiers (visesana). When the same Absolute is perceived as inclusive of its intrinsic power (i.e., as Bhagavan), it amounts to complete awareness of the substantive as a qualified entity (visista).

If one realizes Bhagavan, one will naturally understand Brahman, just as one who beholds a blue lotus automatically sees a lotus. This is why Sri Jiva did not dedicate a separate Sandarbha to Brahman. Whatever is essential to know about Brahman is contained within Bhagavat Sandarbha.4 As there is no absolute difference between Bhagavan and Brahman, so too there is no absolute difference between Bhagavan and Paramatma, the latter being a partial manifestation (svamsa) of Bhagavan. In the Paramatrna manifestation, the Absolute is understood as the source of creation who enters the individual atmas constituting His "intermediary energy" (tatastha-sakti), catalyzes the evolution of material elements and various forms from pradhana, and acts as the inner regulator and facilitator of the interface between the atma and the material elements.

Although there is no absolute difference among the three aspects of the One Absolute Reality, Sri Jiva Gosvami's evaluation is that Bhagavan is the most complete manifestation (pilnJa-avirbhava),replete with-unparalleled variegated potencies. In comparison to Bhagavan, Brahman and Paramatma are incomplete manifestations (asamyag-avirbhava) of the One Absolute Reality. The realization of Bhagavan naturally includes that of Brahman, but not vice versa.

The rest of this Sandarbha involves a further elaboration on the nature of Bhagavan, revealing the transcendental character of His form, name, abode, devotees, activities and His superiority over Brahman. Hence, Jiva Gosvami rightly calls it Bhagavat Sandarbha-an essay on Bhagavan.

Referencing the statements of sage Parasara in Visnu Purdna (6.5.74), Jiva Gosvami shows that the word bhagavan means one who has six-fold majesties in infinite fullness: the power to regulate all existence from within, inconceivable potency, fame, wealth, knowledge and detachment. The word bhagavan also means one who is never influenced by the three gunas of prakrti (vr 6.5.79). His energies have a relationship of inherence (samavaya) with Him. They are inherent within His being, and thus He is never devoid of such potencies.

Although Bhagavan is endowed with infinite potencies, these potencies are categorized in three groups: internal (antaranga or svarilpa-sakti), intermediary (tatastha or jlva-sakti) and external (bahiranga or maya-sakti). The internal potency (constituting the true self of Bhagavan) is fully and directly displayed in Him. The other two potencies are displayed indirectly through Param-atma. By virtue of His inscrutable, inherent potency, the singular Ultimate Reality eternally manifests in four forms: (1) His own essential form (svarilpa), (2) His partial self-expansions (vaibhava), (3) conscious entities with distinct individuality (jlva / dtmd), and (4) the potentiality inhering in the material elements (pradhana). Thus, Bhagavan is simultaneously endowed with conscious energy (at-sakti) and inert matter (aat-sakti, also called maya-sakti or bahiranga-sakti).

Maya-sakti, or the external energy, can never exercise its influence on Bhagavan. However, it has the power of causing delusion to the individual atmas. The at-sakti and maya-sakti are mutu- ally antagonistic {one reveals, whereas the other deludes}, and yet their manifold functions are founded in the common substratum of Bhagavan.

Sri Jiva Gosvami stresses that Bhagavan's energies have two important features: they are trans-rational (aantyatva) and intrinsic to Him (svabhavikatva). Since they are trans-rational, the energies of Reality are ultimately inscrutable and not fully within the grasp of human thought and reason (tarka-asaha). "Trans-rational" also indicates that these energies can accomplish logically impossible feats. Another import of "trans-rational" is that the relationship between these energies and their energetic source is not entirely within the grasp of logic. These energies are not distinct from the Energetic, but also not entirely identical to Him. It is by virtue of this understanding that the philosophy of Sri Caitanya has become known as Acintya-bhedabheda-vada {the school of trans-rational simultaneous oneness and distinction}. That Bhagavan's energies are "intrinsic" indicates that they are natural to Him and constitute in their totality His very essence, although He remains transcendent to their totality, as their source. These energies are neither borrowed nor superimposed on Him from any other source.

In the final section of Bhagavat Sandarbha, Sri Jiva Gosvami explains that these energies have distinct personalities, names and forms. This is why in almost all Indian temples dedicated to Bhagavan as Krsna or Visnu, Bhagavan is accompanied by His consort, Sri Radha or Sri Laksmi, the personification of His internal potency.

The internal energy of Bhagavan also has three aspects: existence (scndhint}, awareness (samvit) and bliss (hladini). The sandhini potency is the intrinsic power of existence of the Self-existent Bhagavan, and it upholds the existence of the individual atmas and nature. The sarhvit potency is the power of knowledge of Bhagavan by which He is all-knowing and which enables all others to know. The hladini potency is the power of bliss, which bestows bliss both to Bhagavan - who is inherently full of bliss - and to others. These three aspects of the internal potency are the very nature of Bhagavan and thus exist eternally in Him. The sarhvit potency includes and supersedes the sandhini potency, and the hladini potency includes and supersedes the other two. This threefold internal energy of Bhagavan constitutes His very nature and that of His abode and associates.

Next, Sri Jiva establishes that the form of Bhagavan is not mate- riallike that of human beings. It is spiritual and consists of existence, consciousness and bliss (sat-cit-ananda-rilpatva). Such a form cannot be cognized by ordinary material senses, and yet it is self-revealed by the trans-rational potency of Bhagavan. Unlike mortal beings, the form of Bhagavan is not different from His essential nature. Although the form of Bhagavan is one, it can manifest in unlimited places in infinite aspects simultaneously, in direct correspondence to the mood of His devotees.

The contradictory attributes of localization and all-pervasive- ness were present in the form of Krsna simultaneously. The form of Bhagavan is always beyond the limits of time and place even when manifest in the material world.

Like the form of Bhagavan, His dress, ornaments, abode and associates are all manifestations of the svarilpa-sakti, the internal potency. Similarly, just as Bhagavan's form is nondifferent from His essential being, so too His name is identical with Him. It has the same power as Bhagavan and is similarly beyond the grasp of the material senses. Realizing His name even once can free one from the bondage of the material world. This is why Bengal Vaisnavism lays great stress on nama-japa and nama-sarikirtana - celebrating the names of Bhagavan in a solitary quiet manner (japa) or en masse to the accompaniment of music and dance (sarikirtana). SrI Caitanya Mahaprabhu proclaimed that in the present age, Kaliyuga, congregational chanting of the names of Bhagavan is the most efficacious means for attaining perfection in spiritual life. The birth, acts, name, form, color and other features of Bhagavan are all spiritual, being manifestations of His svarilpa-sakti; they manifest to enhance the bliss of His devotees. Bhagavan is dtmdrdrnn, one who delights in His own Self, yet He bestows grace upon His devotees. Bhagavan's grace is one of His infinite attributes, and it is an aspect of His particularly wonderful nature whereby He displays His internal bliss. It is through the grace bestowed on His devotees that Bhagavan discloses His birth, form, pastimes and so on. Other than bestowing bliss upon His devotees, there is no other purpose behind such revelations because He is inherently complete in Himself. The realization of Bhagavan together with the various unique characteristics constituting Him as the essence of Ultimate Reality is said to be perfect and complete. Such complete and perfect realization of Bhagavan is possible only through bhakti.

Sri Jiva Gosvami concludes Bhagavat Sandarbha with the glorification of divine love, prema-bhakti, the only means that self-discloses Bhagavan. But to realize the full benefit of bhakti, one must have a clear conceptual understanding of Bhagavan, without any lingering doubts.

In this way, Jiva Gosvami lays the groundwork for abhideyatattva, or the truth regarding the means of attainment. Therefore, a serious spiritual seeker should invest the time and attention necessary to thoroughly study this book with great care, because it forms the indispensible foundation for spiritual practice (sadhana).

In this book we have employed certain terminology that may be unfamiliar to the reader. There is an essay in the appendix entitled, "The Language of Transcendence," that lucidly explains these terms and any neologisms. Without going through this essay, one may be at a loss to grasp the precise meaning of the terminology used. Therefore, we recommend readers to first acquaint themselves with this terminology before entering into the book proper.

 

Contents

 

  Introduction xv
  Dedication xxvii
I Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha 1
  Mangalacarana 3
  Anucchedas1-102 5
II References 1041
  Editors' Notes 1043
  The Language of Transcendence - Key Terms and Concepts 1045
  Glossary 1059
  Abbreviations 1078
  Subject Index 1079
  Verse Index 1115
  Bibliography 1149
  Acknowledgements 1158
  Introduction xv
  Dedication xxvii
I Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha 1
  Mangalacarana 3
1 Absolute Reality Manifests in Three Different Ways 5
2 Distinction Between Brahman and Bhagavan 9
3 Vbhagavan as the Qualified Absolute 17
4 Bhagavan Is Narayana 35
5 Absolute Reality Manifests in Three Aspects 46
6 The Person Eligible for Brahman Realization 51
7 The Manifestation of Brahman 65
8 Devotion Is the Means to Bhagavan Realization 72
9 Bhagavan Manifests According to the Mood of the Devotee 74
10 An Example of Bhagavan Realization 77
11 The Characteristics of Bhagavan Are Inherent 121
12 Bhagavan Is the Refuge of Mutually Conflicting Potencies - I 126
13 Bhagavan Is the Refuge of Mutually Conflicting Potencies - II 129
14 Bhagavan Is the Refuge of Mutually Conflicting Potencies - III 132
15 Bhagavan's Potencies Are Inconceivable 134
16 Bhagavan's Energies Are Intrinsic 138
17 Bhagavan Has Both Conscious and Inert Potencies 165
18 Maya's Two Divisions 172
19 The Internal Energy Is the Source of All Action 187
20 The Jiva Is Depandent on Bhagavan for His Power of Cognition 198
21 Maya Is under Bhagavan's Control 206
22 Maya Is Activated by Bhagavan 209
23 Threefold Maya Is Real 213
24 The qualities of Bhagavan Are Intrinsic to His Nature 231
25 Bhagavan's Attributes Constitute His Esential Nature 243
26 Bhagavan's Attributes Are Eternal 248
27 Bhagavan Is Transcendental to Maya 252
28 Maya Feels Shy to Appear before Bhagavan 255
29 Bhagavan's Body Is Part of His Essential Nature 259
30 Bhagavan's Body Is Transcendental 268
31 Bhagavan's Bosy Is All-pervading 284
32 Bhagavan's Form Is Unlimited 300
33 Bhagavan's Form Is Not Limited by Material Elements 312
34 Bhagavan Is Both within and without the Universe 316
35 The Universe Is within the Lord's Belly 321
36 Krsna's Body Is Advaya-brahma 326
37 Sri Krsna Is the Ultimate Cause 332
38 Various Avataras of'Bhagavan 337
39 Bhagavan's Form Is Unlimited 340
40 Unlimited Forms of Bhagavan Exist within One Form 343
41 The Lord's Body Contains Everything 259
42 Krsna's Form Can Manifest in Innumerable places Simultaneously 370
43 Sri Krsna Is the Paramatma - I 378
44 Sri Krsna Is the Paramatma - II 385
45 The Lord's Body Is Eternal and All-pervading 392
46 Though Invisible, the Lord's Body Can Be Seen by His Mercy 405
47 His Name, Form, Actions and Attributes Are Transcendental 413
48 The Lord's Senses Are Transcendental 476
49 The Lord's Bodily Limbs Are Non-Material 488
50 Contradictory Statements Reconciled 497
51 The Lord's Form Is the Supreme Absolute Reality 510
52 SrI Rsabhadeva's Body Is Transcendental. 521
53 Krsna's Body Is Transcendental and Most Beautiful 530
54 Devaki's Prayer to Sri: Krsna 534
55 The Partial Expansions of Sri: Krsna Are Also Transcendental 539
56 Krsna's Form Is the Ultimate of All That Is to Be Attained 546
57 Krsna Is Sabdabrahman. 554
58 Krsna's Body Is the Complete Form of Bhagavan 557
59 Bhagavan's Attire and Ornaments Are Part of His Svarupa 574
60 Bhagavan's Weapons Belong to His Svarupa 579
61 Vaikuntha Is Also Part of Bhagavan's Svarupa 586
62 Vaikuntha Is beyond the Material World 596
63 No One Falls from Vaikuntha 600
64 Vaikuntha Is Both beyond Matter and a place of No Falldown 636
65 Only Those Free from the Gunas of Nature Attain Vaikuntha 639
66 Vaikuntha Is the Shelter of the Nirguna State 641
67 Vaikuntha Is Eternal 644
68 Vaikuntha Surpasses Liberation 646
69 Vaikuntha Is Sat-cit-ananda - 1 652
70 Vaikuntha Is Sat-cit-ananda - II 657
71 Vaikuntha Is Not Known to Ritualistic Performers 662
72 Dhruvaloka Is Also Transcendental Vaikuntha 666
73 Vaikuntha Has Numerous Manifestations 689
74 Vaikuntha Self-Manifests like the Lord's Body 692
75 Bhagavan's Associates Are Transcendental like Him 696
76 The Lord's Associates Are like the Lord 700
77 A Devotee's Highest Aspiration: To Be in the Company of the Lord's Associates 703
78 The Residents of'Vaikuntha Are Transcendental to the Material World 706
79 The Threefold Spiritual Manifestation Is Part of the Internal Potency 721
80 The Lord Is the Embodiment of All Human Attainments 782
81 Bhagavan Is the Most Complete Manifestation of Brahman 782
82 Atmaramas Render Service to Bhagavan 798
83 Bhagavan Realization Is the Highest Rung on the Ladder of Transcendence 802
84 Sri: Krsna Advises Uddhava to Transcend Brahma-jnana 815
85 Dhruva Maharaja Accepts Bhagavan as Superior to Brahman 818
86 Devotees Do Not Desire Liberation 821
87 Brahman Is Not Independent of Bhagavan 824
88 Brahman Is Part of Bhagavan 831
89 Brahman Is the Attributeless Magnificence of Bhagavan 835
90 Brahman Is the Opulence of Bhagavan 838
91 Brahman Is the Lord's Bodily Effulgence 841
92 Scriptures Describe Bhagavan As beyond Brahman 843
93 Bhagavan Is the Shelter of Everything, Including Brahman 848
94 The Primary Meaning of the Word Brahma Is Bhagavan 868
95 Srimad Bhagavatam Is the Complete Scripture 885
96 The Conclusion of the Catuh-sloki of Bhagavatam Is Bhagavan 898
97 All Scriptures Are Reconciled in Bhagavan 931
98 The Vedic Sound Reveals Bhagavan 937
99 Laksmi Is the Energy of the Lord 996
100 Laksmi Is the Lord's Eternal Consort 1019
101 Bhagavan Can Be Known Only through the Vedas 1026
102 Bhagavan Can Be Realized through Devotion Alone 1032
II References 1041
  Editors; Notes 1043
  The Language of Transcendence - Key Terms and Concepts 1045
  Glossary 1059
  Abbreviations 1078
  Subject Index 1079
  Verse Index 1115
  Bibliography 1149
  Acknowledgements 1158

 

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Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha (God-His Qualities, Abode and Associates)

Item Code:
NAM766
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2014
ISBN:
9788187153832
Language:
Sanskrit Text with English Translation and Jiva - Tosani Commentary
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
1185
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 1.3Kg
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$80.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha (God-His Qualities, Abode and Associates)

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About the Book

Bhagavat Sandarbha
Is The Second in The Series of six Sandarbhas. It presents a detailed analysis of the Absolute Reality in its hightes manifestations, Bhagavan, based upon Srimad Bhagavatam. This ultimate manifestation of reality harmonize the seemingly divergent views of all scriptures because it reconciles all conceptions of the Absolute by including and surpassing them. Any partial understanding of the Absolute is incapable of providing such a synthesis. Therefore, the synthesis of all the Vedas, Puranas and Itihasas is said to be in Bhagavan alone because He is the all-inclusive Complete Whole, including and transcending Paramatma and Brahman. The many apparent contradictions and divergent opinions found in the scriptures provide appropriate views and paths for different people at different levels of self-identification and belief. The ultimate purpose of all scriptures, however, is to explain Bhagavan. Sri Jiva Gosvami systematically and conclusively demonstrates this fact in Bhagavat Sandarbha, while offering a methodology to reconcile apparent contradictions.

"God, The Absolute, Is That All-Inclusive Reality in which all opposing potentialities exist in harmony. Thus, formlessness are inherent aspect of the Absolute Truth. This is a necessary logical concludion, though it is utterly inconceivable. We have to accept the existence of such a trans-empirical Absolute Person in order to satisfy the literal meaning of the word "Absolute." By the same token, we have to concede that this Person must be acintya, inconceivable. Inconceivable, however, does not mean incomprehensible or ineffable (anirvacaniya).

It necessarily follows that this inconceivable Person has inherent, natural powers, since the Absolute encompasses all variety, without limits. Being the Absolute Person and inherently self-endowed with potency, it follows that He is the agent, wielder and manipulator of all potencies, and yet He has no material form. Although the possessor of material energy, He is not in contact with or influenced by it Although all-pervading, He is yet a person".

 

About the Author

Satyanarayana Das
Born In 1954, was drawn to the spiritual traditions of his home country India since his childhood. After receiving a postgraduate degree in 1978 from IIT Delhi and working in the United States for four years, he returned to India. There he studied the formal systems of Indian philosophy known as sad-darsana under the direct guidance of his guru Sri Haridasa Sastri Maharaja and Swami Syama Sarana Maharaja. This education was taken up in the traditional manner for more than 25 years, while he dedicated himself to practicing bhakti-yoga. In 1991 he accepted the traditional Vaisnava order of renounced life, babaji-vesa. His main focus has been on the works of Jiva Gosvami, particularly on translating the Sat Sandarbha into English and commenting on them. He also earned four sastric degrees, and received both a law degree and a PhD in Sanskrit from Agra University. Satyanarayana Dasa is the director of the Jiva Institute of Vaishnava Studies in Vrindavan, India. In 2013 he was honoured by the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee, for his extraordinary contribution in presenting Vedic culture and philosophy, both nationally and internationally.

 

Introduction

The Real Goal of Life Is Happiness. In whatever we do, our ultimate goal is to happy. Hapiness can be attained in two ways: by pleasing our own senses or by pleasing the Supreme Person (Bhagavan), directly or indirectly. Those who seek their own happiness independent of Bhagavan ultimately remain unhappy. The reason is that we cannot truly please ourselves while we are confused about who we actually are.

A human being is a conscious self, animating a physical body, ego, mind and discriminating intellect. As such, the conscious self is our true identity, whereas the other instruments are acquired, temporary and superficial dimensions of embodied life. Because we mistake the body, ego, mind and intellect to be the most important dimensions of our being, we fail achieve happiness and try in vain to please our senses. When one recognize oneself as a conscious being, as a part of Bhagavan distinct from the body-mind-complex, one will understand how to attain true happiness. Vedic literature teaches that the basic cause of suffering is ignorance about our real self. The Vedic seers thus provided authentic knowledge to enable humanity to overcome this ignorance. They considered this effort to be the highest welfare for society. Keeping the ultimate goal of enlightenment in mind, they devise four pursuits (purusarthas) for human life. They did not teach us to teach us to neglect our physical needs, but to satisfy them in a way that we remain aligned with the ultimate goal, which is to realize our real identity. Vedic society thus conceive of four human pursuits corresponding to the four aspects of a human being. The basic need of an individual is survival, which is derectly related to the physical body. This primarily entails food, clothing and shelter. To acquire these necessities, there is a need for wealth (artha), because not everyone can produce all the requirements for there arises the need to exchange commodities or for commerce.

Once the basic means for survival have been provided for, there is a natural tendency to seek pleasure or happiness (kama), which is related to the mind. Wealth is also needed to fulfil a person's desires for happiness. To procure wealth and mental pleasure, there is a need for social organization. This necessitates striving not only for one's own economic welfare and sense pleasure but doing it in such a way that one does not impede the goals of other members of society. Therefore, some order and discipline is required to maintain balance in society, and this integral system of morals termed dharma.

The previous three objective follow a single line of evolution, but the fourth goal arises to correct the ineffectiveness of all the previous goals. No matter how well defined our ethics, how equitable and stable our financial base, and how opulent our standard of living, still we remain unfulfilled. Our reaction to this persistent dissatisfaction is to seek moksa – "freedom." This begins with the simple desire to be disentangled from money and social restrictions, and culminates in the aspiration to be from all limitations imposed by finite existence within a relativistic universe. All four goals, however, are related only to the body, ego, mind and intellect, which together from the external covering of the self. Although the fourth goal extricates the self from mire of the body-mind-complex, it does not deliver any positive happiness to the self.

Perceiving that sense gratification provides but limited and selfish satisfaction, people propose that seeing to the wants and needs of others, rather than our own, will bring true happiness. Certainly this comes closer to the mark, yet a feeling of emptiness persists within, because such acts of welfare are not aimed at the ultimate goal. Rather than catering to one's own misidentification with the body-mind-complex, they cater to that same misidentification within others.

Why is this so? Because such acts do not take the root of problem into consideration. True altruism lies not in merely taking care of the external persona of a living being; it lies in alleviating the ignorance that is the root of everyone's disability in finding happiness – ignorance of one's true identity in relation to Bhagavan. To enlighten the ignorant and conditioned self to its true identity solves the eternal problem of happiness at its very root. Sri Krsna says in Bhagavad Gita that one of the basic godly characteristics is to be compassionate towards others, and that this compassion releases us from our beginningless suffering. The core mission of the Vedas is to provide knowledge about the self and its relation to the Supreme Self, enabling true altruism and compassion.

The great seers of India illustrated this transcendental altruism by striving tirelessly to enlighten the masses. Among such luminaries, Sri Jiva Gosvami is a brilliant moon who performed unparalleled welfare to humanity by presenting the essence of Vedic literature in the form of the Sai Sandarbhas. Without the detailed guidance of a work like the Sat Sandarbhas, a seeker of knowledge can easily get lost in the dense forest of Vedic literature, not knowing where to begin and how to pursure his spiritual life.

Sri Jiva Gosvami, who had studied the entire gamut of Vedic literature, including the Vedas, Puranas, Agamas, six darsanas and their various branches, came to the conclusion that in the present age, the easiest and best way to know our relation to Bhagavan in revealed in Srimad Bhagavatam, the final work of Sri Vedavyasa. He considered the study of Srimad Bhagavatam an integral process of realizing that relationship and thus finally attaining the ultimate goal of life: unadulterated joy. To grant humanity a thorough, systematic understand joy. To grant humanity a thorough, systematic understanding of Srimad Bhagavata Purana, Sri Jiva Gosvami wrote Bhagavata Sandarbha, "A Compilation of the Bhagavata" (also known as Sat Sandarbha, "Six Compilations," because it has six divisions: Tattva, Bhagavat, Paramatma, Krsna, Bhagavat, Paramatma, Krsna, Bhakti, and Priti Sandarbha).

Overview of the Six Sandarbhas

Sat Sandarbha is a systematically organized compilation of essential verses from Srimad Bhagavatam, thoroughly revealing its essential message. According to Jiva Gosvami, Srimad Bhagavatam describes three basic subjects: (1) our identity in relation to the Absolute (sambandha-jinana), (2) the process to realize that identity (abhidheya-tattva), and (3) the ultimate goal achieved by doing so (prayojana-tattva), In te Sat Sandarbhas, Sri Jiva elaborates on these three topics.

Tattva Sandarbha is the first of the Six Sandarbhas and is an introduction to the rest. It can be divided into two parts: pramana and prameya. The first part (pramana) deals with epistemology, the means of acquiring valid knowledge. In this part, Jiva Gosvami establishes Drimad Bhagavatam as the foremost source of valid transcendental knowledge. It is very important to note Sri Jiva Gosvami's conviction that Srimad Bhagavatam is not merely a book containing valid knowledge of Reality; it actually qualifies the readers to directly perceive Reality; it actually qualifies the reader to directly perceive Reality and is itself nondifferent from Reality. This conviction is indeed shared by Sri Vyasa himself and proclaimed decisively at the very beginning of Srimad Bhagavatam.

The second part (prameya) begins to focus on the actual meaning of Bhagavatam, revealing its essence in summary by examining the vision of Reality that was disclosed to Vyasadeva while in the state of trance. In short, Jiva Gosvami establishes that the ultimate subject of knowledge is Bhagavan in relation to His variegated energies.

In the next three Sandarbhas (beginning with this one, Bhagavat Sandarbha), [iva Gosvami elaborates on the topic of ontology (sambandha-jfidna). He begins this volume by establishing Reality as the non dual absolute substantive, existing most completely as Bhagavan, the transcendent Supreme Person.

In the third volume (Paramdtma Sandarbha), he delineates Bhagavan's manifestation immanent within all entities, called Paramatma, Isvara or Purusa. He also describes the ontology of the individual living beings (jivas) and the illusory potency (maya). The jtvu is a conscious integrated part of Paramatma, and the illusory energy that enthralls and conditions the jiva is Paramatma's external energy.

The fourth volume (KmlU Sandarbha) reveals Sri Krsna as Svayarn Bhagavan, the original Supreme Person. It also describes how Sri Krsna has His eternal abode manifest in three places, namely, Vrndavana, Mathura and Dvaraka, He is timelessly present in these three places along with His ever-liberated associates, engaged in His eternal divine lild.

The fifth volume (Bhakti Sandarbha) elaborates upon the methodology of self-realization (abhidheya). Srila [iva Gosvami explains that devotional service performed for the pleasure of Sri Krsna (bhakti) without any tinge of vested interest is the method to realize one's relationship to Absolute Reality, which naturally entails realization of one's true identity, Without bhakti, no other process, such asjfidna-yoga, is efficacious in realizing the Absolute. He describes the various types and practices of bhakti and concludes that the highest form of bhakti is performed following the intrinsic mood and nature of the eternal associates in Vraja.

Bhakti leads one to the ultimate goal, prayojana, which is the subject matter of the sixth and final volume, Priti Sandarbha. Here Sri Jiva Gosvami provides a detailed analysis of priti, love for Krsna. He shows that priti is not just a sentiment (bhdva), but an aesthetic relish of that sentiment (ruse). Priti brings about the union of the devo- tee and Krsna without any loss of ontological individuality. This union or oneness is indeed the secret meaning of the non-dualistic statements of the Upanisads, such as tat tvam asi - You are that.

Summary of Bhagavat Sandarbha

The central theme of Jiva Gosvami's discussion in Bha9avat San- darbha is based upon the second line of the famous verse from Bhii- 9avata Purdnu (1.2.11): "Knowers of the Absolute describe it as non dual consciousness, naming it as Brahman, as Paramatma and as Bhagavan."

Jiva Gosvami's purpose in writing this Sandarbha is to establish Bhagavan, consisting of a trans-empirical form replete with transcendental energies, as the highest manifestation of the Absolute, superior even to Brahman. Although Absolute Reality is one and indivisible, an individual will realize it in three stages of completion, as far as his or her individual capacity of realization permits. Thus, individuals can realize Absolute Reality as Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan. The specific sequence of nouns used in this verse ("Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan") indicates the increasing importance and completeness of each succeeding manifestation. Sri Jiva Gosvami also points out that Absolute Reality is never authentically realized as the jlva, the individual living being.

When one realizes the Absolute Truth without perceiving any distinction between its energies and the Absolute itself as Energetic Source, it is called Brahman. When through deeper intuitive insight one apprehends a distinction between the energies and the Energetic Source, but perceives this distinction only in relation to phenomenal energies (the world and the living entities within it), the Reality thus realized is called Paramatma. When one's discernment of the distinction between energy and Energetic Source moves still deeper to include the internal, transcendental energies of Reality, one begins to perceive Reality as Bhagavan.

Thus, it is clear that there is no ontological difference between Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. The difference lies only in the level of perception of the respective seekers. Nevertheless, the difference is not just one of nomenclature.

For example, the phrase "blue lotus" has three components: (1) "lotus" - the noun itself, a substance unqualified by any adjective, (2) "blue" - the adjective qualifying the noun, and (3) the complete phrase, "blue lotus" - a qualified substance. There is no real difference between "lotus" and "blue lotus" except that the former does not convey any specific features, whereas the latter clearly states its color. The distinction between Brahman and Bhagavan is similar.

In this way, even though He is qualified with all potencies, Bhagavan is the undifferentiated Reality because He is the complete manifestation of the Absolute Truth. Brahman, on the other hand, exhibits no specific qualities and is therefore an incomplete manifestation of that same Truth, just as "lotus" conveys an incomplete depiction of "blue lotus." As such, even though there is no real difference between Brahman and Bhagavan, they are not one and the same in all respects. The difference lies in the limitation of vision on the part of the seeker.

Sri Jiva explains that when the Absolute is perceived as unqualified (i.e., as Brahman), it amounts to bare awareness of the substantive prior to the specification of its intrinsic nature. At this stage it is known as visesya, or that which is yet to be defined. The energies that inhere in the Absolute are its qualifiers (visesana). When the same Absolute is perceived as inclusive of its intrinsic power (i.e., as Bhagavan), it amounts to complete awareness of the substantive as a qualified entity (visista).

If one realizes Bhagavan, one will naturally understand Brahman, just as one who beholds a blue lotus automatically sees a lotus. This is why Sri Jiva did not dedicate a separate Sandarbha to Brahman. Whatever is essential to know about Brahman is contained within Bhagavat Sandarbha.4 As there is no absolute difference between Bhagavan and Brahman, so too there is no absolute difference between Bhagavan and Paramatma, the latter being a partial manifestation (svamsa) of Bhagavan. In the Paramatrna manifestation, the Absolute is understood as the source of creation who enters the individual atmas constituting His "intermediary energy" (tatastha-sakti), catalyzes the evolution of material elements and various forms from pradhana, and acts as the inner regulator and facilitator of the interface between the atma and the material elements.

Although there is no absolute difference among the three aspects of the One Absolute Reality, Sri Jiva Gosvami's evaluation is that Bhagavan is the most complete manifestation (pilnJa-avirbhava),replete with-unparalleled variegated potencies. In comparison to Bhagavan, Brahman and Paramatma are incomplete manifestations (asamyag-avirbhava) of the One Absolute Reality. The realization of Bhagavan naturally includes that of Brahman, but not vice versa.

The rest of this Sandarbha involves a further elaboration on the nature of Bhagavan, revealing the transcendental character of His form, name, abode, devotees, activities and His superiority over Brahman. Hence, Jiva Gosvami rightly calls it Bhagavat Sandarbha-an essay on Bhagavan.

Referencing the statements of sage Parasara in Visnu Purdna (6.5.74), Jiva Gosvami shows that the word bhagavan means one who has six-fold majesties in infinite fullness: the power to regulate all existence from within, inconceivable potency, fame, wealth, knowledge and detachment. The word bhagavan also means one who is never influenced by the three gunas of prakrti (vr 6.5.79). His energies have a relationship of inherence (samavaya) with Him. They are inherent within His being, and thus He is never devoid of such potencies.

Although Bhagavan is endowed with infinite potencies, these potencies are categorized in three groups: internal (antaranga or svarilpa-sakti), intermediary (tatastha or jlva-sakti) and external (bahiranga or maya-sakti). The internal potency (constituting the true self of Bhagavan) is fully and directly displayed in Him. The other two potencies are displayed indirectly through Param-atma. By virtue of His inscrutable, inherent potency, the singular Ultimate Reality eternally manifests in four forms: (1) His own essential form (svarilpa), (2) His partial self-expansions (vaibhava), (3) conscious entities with distinct individuality (jlva / dtmd), and (4) the potentiality inhering in the material elements (pradhana). Thus, Bhagavan is simultaneously endowed with conscious energy (at-sakti) and inert matter (aat-sakti, also called maya-sakti or bahiranga-sakti).

Maya-sakti, or the external energy, can never exercise its influence on Bhagavan. However, it has the power of causing delusion to the individual atmas. The at-sakti and maya-sakti are mutu- ally antagonistic {one reveals, whereas the other deludes}, and yet their manifold functions are founded in the common substratum of Bhagavan.

Sri Jiva Gosvami stresses that Bhagavan's energies have two important features: they are trans-rational (aantyatva) and intrinsic to Him (svabhavikatva). Since they are trans-rational, the energies of Reality are ultimately inscrutable and not fully within the grasp of human thought and reason (tarka-asaha). "Trans-rational" also indicates that these energies can accomplish logically impossible feats. Another import of "trans-rational" is that the relationship between these energies and their energetic source is not entirely within the grasp of logic. These energies are not distinct from the Energetic, but also not entirely identical to Him. It is by virtue of this understanding that the philosophy of Sri Caitanya has become known as Acintya-bhedabheda-vada {the school of trans-rational simultaneous oneness and distinction}. That Bhagavan's energies are "intrinsic" indicates that they are natural to Him and constitute in their totality His very essence, although He remains transcendent to their totality, as their source. These energies are neither borrowed nor superimposed on Him from any other source.

In the final section of Bhagavat Sandarbha, Sri Jiva Gosvami explains that these energies have distinct personalities, names and forms. This is why in almost all Indian temples dedicated to Bhagavan as Krsna or Visnu, Bhagavan is accompanied by His consort, Sri Radha or Sri Laksmi, the personification of His internal potency.

The internal energy of Bhagavan also has three aspects: existence (scndhint}, awareness (samvit) and bliss (hladini). The sandhini potency is the intrinsic power of existence of the Self-existent Bhagavan, and it upholds the existence of the individual atmas and nature. The sarhvit potency is the power of knowledge of Bhagavan by which He is all-knowing and which enables all others to know. The hladini potency is the power of bliss, which bestows bliss both to Bhagavan - who is inherently full of bliss - and to others. These three aspects of the internal potency are the very nature of Bhagavan and thus exist eternally in Him. The sarhvit potency includes and supersedes the sandhini potency, and the hladini potency includes and supersedes the other two. This threefold internal energy of Bhagavan constitutes His very nature and that of His abode and associates.

Next, Sri Jiva establishes that the form of Bhagavan is not mate- riallike that of human beings. It is spiritual and consists of existence, consciousness and bliss (sat-cit-ananda-rilpatva). Such a form cannot be cognized by ordinary material senses, and yet it is self-revealed by the trans-rational potency of Bhagavan. Unlike mortal beings, the form of Bhagavan is not different from His essential nature. Although the form of Bhagavan is one, it can manifest in unlimited places in infinite aspects simultaneously, in direct correspondence to the mood of His devotees.

The contradictory attributes of localization and all-pervasive- ness were present in the form of Krsna simultaneously. The form of Bhagavan is always beyond the limits of time and place even when manifest in the material world.

Like the form of Bhagavan, His dress, ornaments, abode and associates are all manifestations of the svarilpa-sakti, the internal potency. Similarly, just as Bhagavan's form is nondifferent from His essential being, so too His name is identical with Him. It has the same power as Bhagavan and is similarly beyond the grasp of the material senses. Realizing His name even once can free one from the bondage of the material world. This is why Bengal Vaisnavism lays great stress on nama-japa and nama-sarikirtana - celebrating the names of Bhagavan in a solitary quiet manner (japa) or en masse to the accompaniment of music and dance (sarikirtana). SrI Caitanya Mahaprabhu proclaimed that in the present age, Kaliyuga, congregational chanting of the names of Bhagavan is the most efficacious means for attaining perfection in spiritual life. The birth, acts, name, form, color and other features of Bhagavan are all spiritual, being manifestations of His svarilpa-sakti; they manifest to enhance the bliss of His devotees. Bhagavan is dtmdrdrnn, one who delights in His own Self, yet He bestows grace upon His devotees. Bhagavan's grace is one of His infinite attributes, and it is an aspect of His particularly wonderful nature whereby He displays His internal bliss. It is through the grace bestowed on His devotees that Bhagavan discloses His birth, form, pastimes and so on. Other than bestowing bliss upon His devotees, there is no other purpose behind such revelations because He is inherently complete in Himself. The realization of Bhagavan together with the various unique characteristics constituting Him as the essence of Ultimate Reality is said to be perfect and complete. Such complete and perfect realization of Bhagavan is possible only through bhakti.

Sri Jiva Gosvami concludes Bhagavat Sandarbha with the glorification of divine love, prema-bhakti, the only means that self-discloses Bhagavan. But to realize the full benefit of bhakti, one must have a clear conceptual understanding of Bhagavan, without any lingering doubts.

In this way, Jiva Gosvami lays the groundwork for abhideyatattva, or the truth regarding the means of attainment. Therefore, a serious spiritual seeker should invest the time and attention necessary to thoroughly study this book with great care, because it forms the indispensible foundation for spiritual practice (sadhana).

In this book we have employed certain terminology that may be unfamiliar to the reader. There is an essay in the appendix entitled, "The Language of Transcendence," that lucidly explains these terms and any neologisms. Without going through this essay, one may be at a loss to grasp the precise meaning of the terminology used. Therefore, we recommend readers to first acquaint themselves with this terminology before entering into the book proper.

 

Contents

 

  Introduction xv
  Dedication xxvii
I Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha 1
  Mangalacarana 3
  Anucchedas1-102 5
II References 1041
  Editors' Notes 1043
  The Language of Transcendence - Key Terms and Concepts 1045
  Glossary 1059
  Abbreviations 1078
  Subject Index 1079
  Verse Index 1115
  Bibliography 1149
  Acknowledgements 1158
  Introduction xv
  Dedication xxvii
I Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha 1
  Mangalacarana 3
1 Absolute Reality Manifests in Three Different Ways 5
2 Distinction Between Brahman and Bhagavan 9
3 Vbhagavan as the Qualified Absolute 17
4 Bhagavan Is Narayana 35
5 Absolute Reality Manifests in Three Aspects 46
6 The Person Eligible for Brahman Realization 51
7 The Manifestation of Brahman 65
8 Devotion Is the Means to Bhagavan Realization 72
9 Bhagavan Manifests According to the Mood of the Devotee 74
10 An Example of Bhagavan Realization 77
11 The Characteristics of Bhagavan Are Inherent 121
12 Bhagavan Is the Refuge of Mutually Conflicting Potencies - I 126
13 Bhagavan Is the Refuge of Mutually Conflicting Potencies - II 129
14 Bhagavan Is the Refuge of Mutually Conflicting Potencies - III 132
15 Bhagavan's Potencies Are Inconceivable 134
16 Bhagavan's Energies Are Intrinsic 138
17 Bhagavan Has Both Conscious and Inert Potencies 165
18 Maya's Two Divisions 172
19 The Internal Energy Is the Source of All Action 187
20 The Jiva Is Depandent on Bhagavan for His Power of Cognition 198
21 Maya Is under Bhagavan's Control 206
22 Maya Is Activated by Bhagavan 209
23 Threefold Maya Is Real 213
24 The qualities of Bhagavan Are Intrinsic to His Nature 231
25 Bhagavan's Attributes Constitute His Esential Nature 243
26 Bhagavan's Attributes Are Eternal 248
27 Bhagavan Is Transcendental to Maya 252
28 Maya Feels Shy to Appear before Bhagavan 255
29 Bhagavan's Body Is Part of His Essential Nature 259
30 Bhagavan's Body Is Transcendental 268
31 Bhagavan's Bosy Is All-pervading 284
32 Bhagavan's Form Is Unlimited 300
33 Bhagavan's Form Is Not Limited by Material Elements 312
34 Bhagavan Is Both within and without the Universe 316
35 The Universe Is within the Lord's Belly 321
36 Krsna's Body Is Advaya-brahma 326
37 Sri Krsna Is the Ultimate Cause 332
38 Various Avataras of'Bhagavan 337
39 Bhagavan's Form Is Unlimited 340
40 Unlimited Forms of Bhagavan Exist within One Form 343
41 The Lord's Body Contains Everything 259
42 Krsna's Form Can Manifest in Innumerable places Simultaneously 370
43 Sri Krsna Is the Paramatma - I 378
44 Sri Krsna Is the Paramatma - II 385
45 The Lord's Body Is Eternal and All-pervading 392
46 Though Invisible, the Lord's Body Can Be Seen by His Mercy 405
47 His Name, Form, Actions and Attributes Are Transcendental 413
48 The Lord's Senses Are Transcendental 476
49 The Lord's Bodily Limbs Are Non-Material 488
50 Contradictory Statements Reconciled 497
51 The Lord's Form Is the Supreme Absolute Reality 510
52 SrI Rsabhadeva's Body Is Transcendental. 521
53 Krsna's Body Is Transcendental and Most Beautiful 530
54 Devaki's Prayer to Sri: Krsna 534
55 The Partial Expansions of Sri: Krsna Are Also Transcendental 539
56 Krsna's Form Is the Ultimate of All That Is to Be Attained 546
57 Krsna Is Sabdabrahman. 554
58 Krsna's Body Is the Complete Form of Bhagavan 557
59 Bhagavan's Attire and Ornaments Are Part of His Svarupa 574
60 Bhagavan's Weapons Belong to His Svarupa 579
61 Vaikuntha Is Also Part of Bhagavan's Svarupa 586
62 Vaikuntha Is beyond the Material World 596
63 No One Falls from Vaikuntha 600
64 Vaikuntha Is Both beyond Matter and a place of No Falldown 636
65 Only Those Free from the Gunas of Nature Attain Vaikuntha 639
66 Vaikuntha Is the Shelter of the Nirguna State 641
67 Vaikuntha Is Eternal 644
68 Vaikuntha Surpasses Liberation 646
69 Vaikuntha Is Sat-cit-ananda - 1 652
70 Vaikuntha Is Sat-cit-ananda - II 657
71 Vaikuntha Is Not Known to Ritualistic Performers 662
72 Dhruvaloka Is Also Transcendental Vaikuntha 666
73 Vaikuntha Has Numerous Manifestations 689
74 Vaikuntha Self-Manifests like the Lord's Body 692
75 Bhagavan's Associates Are Transcendental like Him 696
76 The Lord's Associates Are like the Lord 700
77 A Devotee's Highest Aspiration: To Be in the Company of the Lord's Associates 703
78 The Residents of'Vaikuntha Are Transcendental to the Material World 706
79 The Threefold Spiritual Manifestation Is Part of the Internal Potency 721
80 The Lord Is the Embodiment of All Human Attainments 782
81 Bhagavan Is the Most Complete Manifestation of Brahman 782
82 Atmaramas Render Service to Bhagavan 798
83 Bhagavan Realization Is the Highest Rung on the Ladder of Transcendence 802
84 Sri: Krsna Advises Uddhava to Transcend Brahma-jnana 815
85 Dhruva Maharaja Accepts Bhagavan as Superior to Brahman 818
86 Devotees Do Not Desire Liberation 821
87 Brahman Is Not Independent of Bhagavan 824
88 Brahman Is Part of Bhagavan 831
89 Brahman Is the Attributeless Magnificence of Bhagavan 835
90 Brahman Is the Opulence of Bhagavan 838
91 Brahman Is the Lord's Bodily Effulgence 841
92 Scriptures Describe Bhagavan As beyond Brahman 843
93 Bhagavan Is the Shelter of Everything, Including Brahman 848
94 The Primary Meaning of the Word Brahma Is Bhagavan 868
95 Srimad Bhagavatam Is the Complete Scripture 885
96 The Conclusion of the Catuh-sloki of Bhagavatam Is Bhagavan 898
97 All Scriptures Are Reconciled in Bhagavan 931
98 The Vedic Sound Reveals Bhagavan 937
99 Laksmi Is the Energy of the Lord 996
100 Laksmi Is the Lord's Eternal Consort 1019
101 Bhagavan Can Be Known Only through the Vedas 1026
102 Bhagavan Can Be Realized through Devotion Alone 1032
II References 1041
  Editors; Notes 1043
  The Language of Transcendence - Key Terms and Concepts 1045
  Glossary 1059
  Abbreviations 1078
  Subject Index 1079
  Verse Index 1115
  Bibliography 1149
  Acknowledgements 1158

 

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Items Related to Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha (God-His Qualities, Abode and Associates) (Hindu | Books)

Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha (Set of 2 Volumes)
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Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha (Volume II)
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Sri Bhagavat Sandarbha (Volume I)
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Sri Krsna Sandarbha (Set  of 3 Volumes)
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Sri Paramatma Sandarbha (Set of 2 Volumes)
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Sri Krsna Sandarbha (Volume – III)
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Sri Paramatma Sandarbha (Volume I)
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Sri Krsna Sandarbha (Volume – I)
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Sri Tattva Sandarbha (Vaisnava Epistemology and Ontology)
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Sri Tattva Sandarbha
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