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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

In jiva also three stages are distinguished


the Vedantists who accept the reflection analogy the followers of N@rsi@mhas'rama think that when the pure cit is reflected in the maya, Is'vara is phenomenally produced, and when in the avidya the individual or jiva. Sarvajnatma however does not distinguish between the maya and the avidya, and thinks that when the cit is reflected in the avidya in its total aspect as cause, we get Is'vara, and when reflected in the anta@hkara@na--a product of the avidya--we have jiva or individual soul.

Jiva or individual means the self in association with the ego and other personal experiences, i.e. phenomenal self, which feels, suffers and is affected by world-experiences. In jiva also three stages are distinguished; thus when during deep sleep the anta@hkara@na is submerged, the self perceives merely the ajnana and the jiva in this state is called prajna or anandamaya. In the dream-state the self is in association with a subtle body and is called taijasa. In the awakened state the self as associated with a subtle and gross body is called vis'va. So also the self in its pure state is called Brahman, when associated with maya it is called Is'vara, when associated with the fine subtle element of matter as controlling them, it is called hira@nyagarbha; when with the gross elements as the ruler or controller of them it is called vira@t puru@sa.

The jiva in itself as limited by its avidya is often spoken of as paramarthika (real),

when manifested through the sense and the ego in the waking states as vyavaharika (phenomenal), and when in the dream states as dream-self, pratibha@sika (illusory).

Prakas'atma and his followers think that since ajnana is one there cannot be two separate reflections such as jiva and Is'vara; but it is better to admit that jiva is the image of Is'vara in the ajnana. The totality of Brahma-cit in association with maya is Is'vara, and this when again reflected through the ajnana gives us the jiva. The manifestation of the jiva is in the anta@hkara@na as states of knowledge. The jiva thus in reality is Is'vara and apart from jiva and Is'vara there is no other separate existence of


Brahma-caitanya. Jiva being the image of Is'vara is thus dependent on him, but when the limitations of jiva are removed by right knowledge, the jiva is the same Brahman it always was.

Those who prefer to conceive the relation as being of the avaccheda type hold that reflection (pratibimba) is only possible of things which have colour, and therefore jiva is cit limited (avacchinna) by the anta@hkara@na (mind). Is'vara is that which is beyond it; the diversity of anta@hkara@nas accounts for the diversity of the jivas. It is easy however to see that these discussions are not of much fruit from the point of view of philosophy in determining or comprehending the relation of Is'vara and jiva. In the Vedanta system Is'vara has but little importance, for he is but a phenomenal being; he may be better, purer, and much more powerful than we, but yet he is as much phenomenal as any of us. The highest truth is the self, the reality, the Brahman, and both jiva and Is'vara are but illusory impositions on it. Some Vedantists hold that there is but one jiva and one body, and that all the world as well as all the jivas in it are merely his imaginings. These dream jivas and the dream world will continue so long as that super-jiva continues to undergo his experiences; the world-appearance and all of us imaginary individuals, run our course and salvation is as much imaginary salvation as our world-experience is an imaginary experience of the imaginary jivas. The cosmic jiva is alone the awakened jiva and all the rest are but his imaginings. This is known as the doctrine of ekajiva (one-soul).

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