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Re: jiiva-jiiva bhinnatvam

From: bindinganavale suresh (
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 06:21:40 PDT

Dear member,
            You wrote :-

Fundamental question is what exactly Bhagavaan
Ramanuja imply in terms of jiiva jiiva bhinnatvam and
on what  basis for  these bhinnatvam established and
how are they recognized - that is, does 
one need upaadhi-s to recognize the other jiiva-s and
on what basis these upaadhi-s are provided since
sanchita and prarabda karma-s are all nullified in
moksha.  Or does jiiva recognize only paramaatma due 
to sesha-sheshii bhaava and but not other jiiva-s.


According to Visistaadvaitha school of thought
popularised by Sri.Ramanujaacharya,the Jiva atmas are
quantitatively infinite i.e there are inifinite number
of Jiva atmas,but they are all qualitatively the same
i.e they all have consciousness as their substance
which is pratyak(shining to itself as "I")causing it
to be a knower and also consciousness as its
through which it knows entities other than itself.

In the state of bondage,the jiva identifies itself
with the body,mind and intellect(due to avidya of the
form of Karma)which has prakriti or matter as its
source.Since,prakriti is dynamic both at
its substance and attribute level,there are no two
body,mind and intellect which are totally alike and
the same body,mind and intellect undergoes changes at
different points of time during the embodiment of a
jiva.This sets up a variation or difference between
any two jivas among the infinite number of jivas bound
in prakriti.So,this explains the tara tamya or
difference between any two jivas in bondage.

In Release or Moksha,the jiva is totally free from the
contaminations of prakriti and any two jivas in the
state of Release are completley similar to each other
with respect to their true nature mentioned in the
beginning.Infact even in the state of Bondage the
substantive nature of the jiva does not undergo any
change,it is only the attributive consciousness that
varies between any two jivas.So,there is no tara tamya
or difference between any two jivas in state of
according to visistaadvaitha school of thought.In this
state the jiva recognizes only two entities different
from itself from the point of view of essential
nature,one is prakriti in its totality and the other
is the Parabrahman itself known as Narayana in this
school of thought,it sees other jivas as similar to
Now,in the state of release from prakriti,the love of
jiva towards the paramaatman of which it is a part is
developed to such an extent that the jiva wants to
express it by somehow serving the Lord.At this point
Lord himself endows the jiva an divine form similar to
his and the jivas in this state assume different
identities only from the point of view of different
expressions of their devotion or love to God called as
service or Kainkaryam.

Hope the above answers your question.Any errors above
are mine.Feel free to write to me for further
discussions on the same.

Sri Krishnaarpanamasthu
Suresh B.N.

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