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Jaiva-Dharma The Universal Religion

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From the Jacket Jaiva Dharma is a Vaisnava novel written in Bengali prose. Most of the book is very philosophical, consisting of dialogue of questions and answers between the characters of the book. The book is primarily based on two books of Srila Rupa Gosvami Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani. These two books are accepted as the most important and authoritative books on rasa-tattva. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has taken the essential understanding of these books and presented i...

From the Jacket

Jaiva Dharma is a Vaisnava novel written in Bengali prose. Most of the book is very philosophical, consisting of dialogue of questions and answers between the characters of the book. The book is primarily based on two books of Srila Rupa Gosvami Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani. These two books are accepted as the most important and authoritative books on rasa-tattva. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has taken the essential understanding of these books and presented it in an easy-to-read story format. Simply by reading Jaiva Dharma, the serious student of bhakti can understand the intricacies of the soul's eternal relationship with the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

The precise meaning of Jaiva Dharma is given in the book itself, as follows: The activity of such pure souls is called Bhakti-the devotional service. Hari-Bhakti - the devotional service to Lord Hari, is also called by the names Suddha-Vaisnava-dharma - pure Vaisnava religion. Nitya-dharma the eternal religion. Jaiva dharma - duty of the individual souls. Bhagavata-dharma - religion of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Paramartha-dharma - the way to attain the final goal of life, and Paradharma - the highest religion.

Introduction

Jaiva Dharma is a Vaisnava novel written in Bengali prose. Most of the book is very philosophical, consisting of dialogue of questions and answers between the characters of the book. The book is primarily based on two books of Srila Rupa Gosvami-Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani. These two books are accepted as the most important and authoritative books on rasa-tattva. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has taken the essential understanding of these books and presented it in an easy-to-read story format. Simply by reading Jaiva Dharma, the serious student of bhakti can understand the intricacies of the soul's eternal relationship with the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.

The precise meaning of Jaiva Dharma is given in the book itself, as follows: The activity of such pure souls is called bhakti (devotional service). Hari-bhakti (devotional service to Lord Hari) is also called by the names suddha-Vaisnava-dharma (pure Vaisnava religion), nitya-dharma (eternal religion), jaiva dharma (duty of the individual souls), bhagavata-dharma (religion of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead), paraartha-dharma (way to attain the final goal of life), and para-dharma (highest religion).

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura must be recognized as the devotee who totally revitalized the movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Although the Thakura is especially noted for his having re-discovered the site of Lord Caitanya's birth, in fact, he practically re-discovered and re-established Lord Caitanya's movement, which was obscured by the cultural and religious chauvinism of the ruling British, and discredited by the perverse and useless activities of a number of sahajiya sects and other groups with motivated, concocted philosophies.

It is often pointed out that it was he who made the prediction that the day would soon come when devotees from around the world would congregate at Sridhama Mayapur, chanting the holy names of the Lord. In his youth, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura took an interest in Western philosophy and literature, and only gradually came to the path of pure devotional service to the Lord. This is mirrored in Jaiva Dharma, which embodies the mood of the staunch preacher of Krsna consciousness.

The main character throughout the first half of the book is Sri Prema dasa Babaji, who is known as a paramahamsa, or a topmost swan-like devotee of the Lord who has transcended all external forms of religiosity. He is always overwhelmed with pure ecstatic love, and his personal worship of the Lord cannot be understood by an ordinary person. One day, the babaji is approached by a sannyasi who is himself very well-versed in the revealed scriptures but has concluded that the impersonal conception of the Absolute is supreme. The sannyasi asks many questions, and the babaji gives the conclusive answers, thereby convincing the him of the supremacy of the personal theism of the Vaisnavas.

Other characters gradually make their appearance in the novel, and various philosophical discussions take place. This is a very thorough book, touching on practically every major topic of devotional life, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has quoted profuse scriptural passages to support his conclusions.

Finally, the last fifteen chapters of Jaiva Dharma discuss the subject of transcendental rasa very elaborately. Two sincere devotees named Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha approach Prema dasa Babaji with many questions, and together they discuss the nature of ecstatic symptoms, transcendental emotions, and affection for the Lord in the relationships of neutrality, servitude, friendship, parenthood, and conjugal love. Vijaya-kumara, who wishes to be further instructed in the conjugal mellow, is directed by Premadasa Babaji to proceed to Jagannatha Puri and receive the audience of Gopala-guru Gosvami, a disciple of Svarupa Damodara Gosvami. From him he learns about Krsna's role as the Supreme Hero, Radha's role as the Supreme Heroine, descriptions of Radha's girlfriends, stimulants for ecstatic love, the Lord's pastimes conducted throughout eight periods of the day, varieties of enjoyments shared by the Divine Couple, and so on.

The book ends with a description of how the two devotees, Vrajanatha and Vijaya-kumara attain the ultimate goal of life by taking the teachings of their spiritual master to heart. Vrajanatha remained on the banks of the Ganga in Sridhama Mayapura, and Vijaya-kumara stayed in a secluded cottage near the Jagannatha Puri seashore.

As to be expected, Kusakratha Prabhu has given us a very clear, concise, readable, and poetic description of the topics that he most relished. Jaiva Dharma is a very complex philosophical work but Kusakratha Prabhu has presented it in a way that one can relish it without becoming exhausted by the complexities.

 

Introduction 12
Chapter One: 19
The soul's eternal and temporary natures.  
Chapter Two: 31
The soul's eternal nature is pure and everlasting  
Chapter Three: 43
The soul's temporary duties are imperfect, horrible, contaminated, and short-lived.  
Chapter Four: 61
Another name for the eternal religion is the Vaisnava religion 77
Chapter Five: 77
Vaidhi-bhakti-the eternal religion. it is not temporary. 77
Chapter Six 95
Eternal religion and the differences of caste.  
Chapter Seven: 117
Eternal duties, household life, and the material world.  
Chapter Eight: 141
Eternal religion and ordinary activities.  
Chapter Nine: 165
Eternal religion and modern science-civilization  
Chapter Ten: 183
Eternal religion and history  
Chapter Eleven: 199
Eternal religion and byut-parasta, or Deity worship  
Chapter Twelve: 211
Eternal religion and devotional service in practice  
Chapter Thirteen: 227
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana (Evidence and truth)  
Chapter Fourteen: 245
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana (The Lord's potencies)  
Chapter Fifteen: 263
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana (The individual spirit souls)  
Chapter Sixteen: 279
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana (The individual souls swallowed by maya)  
Chapter Seventeen: 293
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana (the souls free from maya's prison)  
Chapter Eighteen: 311
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana (Simultaneous oneness and difference)  
Chapter Nineteen: 329
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana (Abhidheya)  
Chapter Twenty: 347
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana (Abhidheya: raganuga-sadhana-bhakti)  
Chapter Twenty-One: 369
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana (Abhidheya: raganuga-sadhana-bhakti)  
Chapter Twenty-Two: 385
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana (The discussion of prayojana begins)  
Chapter Twenty-Three: 399
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana (The discussion of the holy name begins)  
Chapter Twenty-Four: 411
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana (Offenses to the holy name)  
Chapter Twenty-Five: 423
Eternal religion and sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana (Offenses to the holy name)  
Chapter Twenty-Six: 435
The discussion of rasa beings  
Chapter Twenty-Seven: 445
Further consideration of the rasas  
Chapter Twenty-Eight: 453
Further consideration of the rasas, part two  
Chapter Twenty-Nine: 465
Further consideration of the rasas, part three  
Chapter Thirty: 477
Further consideration of the rasas, part four  
Chapter Thirty-One: 487
Madhurya-rasa, Part one  
Chapter Thirty-Two: 503
Madhurya-rasa, Part two  
Chapter Thirty-Three: 519
Madhurya-rasa, part three  
Chapter Thirty-Four: 537
Madhurya-rasa, part four  
Chapter Thirty-Five: 551
Madhurya-rasa, part five  
Chapter Thirty-Six: 565
Madhurya-rasa, part six  
Chapter Thirty-Seven: 583
Srngara-rasa (Madhurya-rasa)  
Chapter Thirty-Eight: 593
Srngara-rasa, part two  
Chapter Thirty-Nine: 605
Entering the Lord's pastimes  
Chapter Forty: 615
The greatest good fortune  

 

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Item Code: IDJ890 Author: Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Translated by Kusakratha Dasa, Edited by Purnaprajna Dasa Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2006 Publisher: Ras Bihari Lal and Sons ISBN: 9788184030143 Language: English Size: 9.3" X 7.0" Pages: 625 (Color Illus: 4) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 1.300 Kg
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