Jaiva Dharma

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Item Code: NAK826
Publisher: Gaudiya Vedanta Publications
Author: Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Language: English
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9781935428237
Pages: 1096 (8 Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 7.5 inch x 5.0 inch
Weight 630 gm
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Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description

About the Book


In this compelling narrative Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura presents the conclusions of all the Vedas. Through the medium of questions and answers he makes a comparative analysis of all religious beliefs, and thus leads the reader, step by step, to the ultimate goal of life.


In Jaiva-dharma you will find answers to questions such as:

• What is the eternal true nature of the soul?

• Is there a unifying concept that is the basis of all religious teachings?

• Why have I come into this material world?

• What is the difference between God and me?

Are logic and intelligence alone sufficient to understand transcendental subject matters?

• What is the process for awakening my spiritual awareness?

What is the description of the spiritual realm?

What are the activities of God and the liberated souls and what is the super excellent quality of their loving exchanges?




I am delighted that the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti's third Hindi edition of Jaiva-dharma is now being submitted before the public. This publication has fulfilled my long-standing desire, for I was deeply concerned that this book was not available in India's national language, Hindi.


The original Jaiva-dharma, written in Bengali, is a priceless ornament for all Bengali-speaking Vaisnavas. The author, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, is a confidential associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and is famous as the Seventh Gosvami. In the modern Vaisnava community, he reinitiated a powerful flow of the sacred Ganges of the unalloyed bhakti that Svayam Bhagavan Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed. Thakura Bhaktivinoda wrote well over a hundred books about bhakti in several languages, and Jaiva-dharma has ushered in a new era in the world of philosophy and religion.


This Hindi edition was produced under the direction of my most highly revered holy master, sri gurupada-padma om visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. He is a guardian of the Sri Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya and has fulfilled the inner heart's desire of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He is an acarya in the line of disciplic succession coming from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and is the Founder-Acarya of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti and its branches, which are spread throughout India. By his cause- less, unlimited mercy, inspiration and direct order, although I am unfit and incompetent in all respects, I was able to translate this book, which is full of exacting philosophy and profound and confidential truths regarding the worship of Bhagavan.


I have tried as far as possible in this translation to preserve the lofty philosophy and highly intricate and subtle moods concerning the analysis of rasa. I endeavored to the best of my ability to express these things in clear and easily understandable language. It is for the readers to see how successful I have been in this attempt. Whatever value there is in this effort is exclusively due to the credit of the lotus feet of Sri Guru.


The Hindi translation of Jaiva-dharma was first published in the monthly magazine Sri Bhagavat-patrika, in a series of articles spanning six years. The faithful readers greatly appreciated this and repeatedly begged me to publish it as a separate book. Our second edition of Jaiva-dharma came out in book form for the benefit of the faithful Hindi-speaking public and for the delight of the pure devotees. This edition was very quickly exhausted, so a third edition was presented to fulfill the deep interest and demand of the readers.


My most revered holy master, Sri Acaryadeva, has given an elaborate introduction in his editorial preface detailing the unique characteristics of the book, its author, and other impor- tant topics. However, I cannot restrain my enthusiasm to add a few words of my own on this subject. I beg the readers to study the introduction with serious attention before reading this book, and I have firm faith that by doing so, they will obtain clear guidance as to how to enter into the truth of the supreme reality.


The word jaiva-dharma refers to the dharma of the jaiva, or the constitutional function of the living being. From external appearances, human beings seem to have different religions according to classifications of country, caste, race, and so on. The constitutional natures of human beings, animals, birds, worms, insects, and other living entities also seem to be of different varieties. But in reality, all living beings throughout the universe have only one eternal, immutable dharma. Jaiva-dharma gives a compelling and thorough description of this dharma, which is eternal and which applies everywhere, at all times, and to all living beings. This book is filled with a highly concise form of the essence of the exceedingly deep and confidential topics of the Vedas, Vedanta, Upanisads, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Puranas, Brahma-sutra, Mahabharata, Itihasas, Pancaratra, Sat-sandarbhas, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nilamani, and other ideal sastras. Furthermore, it is written in the form of a tasteful, entertaining, and easily-comprehensible novel.


Jaiva-dharma gives an unprecedented and poignant analysis of many vital topics, such as: bhagavata-tattva (the truth regarding Sri Bhagavan), jiva-tattva (the truth regarding the pas); sakti- tattva (the truth regarding Bhagavan's potencies); the conditioned and liberated states of the jivas; a comparative study of the nature of karma, jnana, and bhakti; a conclusive and meaningful discussion of the distinguishing characteristics of regulated and spontaneous devotional service (vaidhi and raganuga-bhakti); and the supreme excellence of sri-nama-bhajana. All these topics are discussed in terms of sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana.


Prior to the Bengali edition of Jaiva-dharma published by the Gaudiva Vedanta Samiti, all editions of Jaiva-dharma published by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and the subsequent Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas in their line have included the section on rasa-vicara. However, for specific reasons, our most revered holy master, Srila Gurupada-padma, published an edition containing only the first two sections of the book, which deal respectively with nitya-naimittika-dharma and sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana. He did not publish the third part of the book, which deals with rasa-vicara (a detailed consideration of the confidential, transcendental mellows of bhakti).


Later, however, when Sri Kesava Gaudiva Matha was in the process of publishing its Hindi edition from Mathura, Srila Gurupada-padma personally reviewed the entire book. In his introduction to this edition, he very clearly instructed the readers to first examine their eligibility or lack thereof, and then cautiously proceed with their study of the third section dealing with rasa-vicara. Therefore, when all three parts of the book were published together in the second edition, I did not feel that it was necessary to give any further clarification.


At the time of writing Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, a doubt arose in the heart of Sri Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami regarding whether he should present the discussion on rasa-vicara. He questioned whether or not to include this topic in the book, lest ineligible people may read it to their detriment. Finally he resolved to include rasa-vicara in the book, expressing this in his own words in Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila (4.231-235)




Of the many religious traditions in the world, almost all of them adopt various methods to propagate their respective ideals. With this in mind, they publish literature in different languages. It is self-evident that in the realm of secular education there are elementary, intermediate and advanced levels, as well as higher and lower branches of learning. Similarly, it is self-evident - and those who are widely read and deeply learned in comparative religious studies universally admit it - that there are gradations of knowledge in the metaphysical teachings of the diverse religious traditions. Amongst all these religious ideologies, the instructions given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the religion of prema (pure love) are the highest revelation from all angles of vision. Surely, once the world's impartial thinkers are exposed to such sublime understanding, they will unanimously accept this fact.


Everyone wants to be inspired by the highest ideal and teachings, but how can this auspicious desire come to bear fruit? It is with this thought that the great liberated personality and crest-jewel of the educated elite, Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda established, by his personal example the foremost ideal of spiritual life, and composed many books on vaisnava-dharma in different languages. In these books can be found a thorough description in simple language of the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Out of all the author's books, this Jaiva-dharma is considered to be the quintessence by religious thinkers of the world.


Within this world the Vedas are the most ancient writings. Their corollaries, which include the Upanisads and other literature compiled by Sri Vedavyasa (such as Vedanta-sutra, Mahabharata, and Srimad-Bhagavatam), are all consummate literary works. Over the course of time, varieties of books were written, inspired by the ideals enunciated in that body of literature. They were widely circulated and thus gained broad popularity. In these books, not only do we find gradations of thought, distinguishing characteristics and contrasting views, but also we observe mutual exclusivity, polarization of doctrine, and speculative philosophy. As a result, there have been upheavals and calamities in the religious domain, and these continue to the present day.


Under such precarious circumstances, the original Supreme Lord, Svayam Bhagavan, who is the Absolute Truth, appeared approximately 500 years ago in the foremost of the seven holy places, Sri Dhama Mayapura within Navadvipa-dhama, to deliver the conditioned living beings. At that time the Lord specifically empowered some of His beloved associates to compile voluminous books, which contain the true purport and essence of all sastras. Through the medium of this literature, the Lord desired to invest bhakti, which is the root of divya-jnana (transcendental knowledge), within the hearts of all people. All these books with the exception of three or four, were written in the Sanskrit language.


Sri Rupa and Sanataria Gosvamis were among the most elevated and confidential associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Srila Jiva Gosvami was so dear to Sri Rupa and Sanataria that he was practically their identical manifestation. Extracting the essence of all the sastras, Srila Jiva Gosvami composed the Sat- sandarbhas and other books in Sanskrit. Through this effort, Svayam Bhagavan manifested His confidential desire to enact His lila of delivering the jivas.


Some people, who are incapable of ascertaining the true meaning of the sastras, are compelled to interpret them according to their relative understanding. In some cases, such people take only a partial meaning of the sastra; in other cases, their interpretations cloud the true meaning; and in other cases again, they adopt a view that is thoroughly opposed to the original intention. Srila Jiva Gosvami is not in any of these categories, and the instructions that flowed from his pen are the absolute and conclusive instructions of Sri man Mahaprabhu, which are the instructions of the Vedas, the Upanisads, the Mahabharata, and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Taking support of the flawless and complete purport of these instructions, Jaiva-dharma has been compiled in an astonishing form. So that readers may easily understand the utility and import of this book, we shall now give an analysis of the title's significance.


The author has named this book Jaiva-dharma. Since we all maintain some particular conception of dharma (essential occupation or religion), it is not necessary to elaborate further on this, also due to a shortage of space. In Sanskrit, when the secondary suffix an is added to the word jiva (living being), it causes the medial vowel to be strengthened, and the n in the suffix an to be dropped, and thus we obtain the word jaiva. The word jaiva means 'of or related to the jiva'. Therefore, Jaiva-dharma means the dharma of the jiva, or the characteristic function related to the jiva. But what is meant by the word jiva in this context? The author answers this question exhaustively in this book, but I still think that it is essential to submit one or two Points in brief. The word jivana (life) comes from the word jiva, which means 'one who has life'. In other words, all living beings are known as jivas. Thus, the author has used the term 'jaiva-dharma' to indicate the constitutional function of the jiva. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed jivas through His exclusively devoted followers, the Six Gosvamis - headed by Sri Rupa, Sanataria and Jiva Gosvami - as to what type of dharma they should accept and follow. Approximately four hundred years later, the author of this book, Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda, who is renowned as the Seventh Gosvami, appeared not far from Sri Dhama Mayapura, the birthplace of Sri Gauranga. Being very soft-hearted and empathizing with the plight of the jivas, he wrote Jaiva-dharma in the Bengali language.










The fundamentals of Nitya- and Naimittika-dharma


Chapter 1


The Eternal & Temporary Dharmas of the jiva


Chapter 2


The Nitya-dharma of the jiva is Pure and Eternal


Chapter 3


Naimittika-dharma is to be Relinquished


Chapter 4


Vaisnava-dharma is Nitya-dharma


Chapter 5


Vaidhi-bhakti is Nitya- not Naimittika-dharma


Chapter 6


Nitya-dharma, Race & Caste


Chapter 7


Nitya-dharma & Material Existence


Chapter 8


Nitya-dharma & Vaisnava Behavior


Chapter 9


Nitya-dharma, Material Science & Civilization


Chapter 10


Nitya-dharma & History


Chapter 11


Nitya-dharma & Idolatiy


Chapter 12


Nitya-dharma & Sadhana




The fundamentals of sambandha, abhideya, and prayojana


Chapter 13


Pramana & The Commencement of Prameya


Chapter 14


Prameya: Sakti-tattva


Chapter 15


Prameya: Jiva-tattva


Chapter 16


Prameya: Jivas Possessed by Maya


Chapter 17


Prameya: Jivas Free from Maya


Chapter 18


Prameya: Bhedabheda-tattva


Chapter 19


Prameya: Abhidheya-tattva


Chapter 20


Prameya: Abhidheya- Vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti


Chapter 21


Prameya: Abhidheya-Raganuga-sadhana-bhakti


Chapter 22


Prameya: The Commencement of Prayojana-tattva


Chapter 23


Prameya: Nama-tattva


Chapter 24


Prameya: Namaparadha


Chapter 25


Prameya: Namabhasa






Chapter 26


Introduction to Rasa-tattva


Chapter 27


Rasa-Vicara: Satvika-Bhava, Vvabhicari-bhava & Ratyabhasa


Chapter 28


Rasa-vicara: Mukhya-rati


Chapter 29


Rasa-Vicara: Anubhavas and Santa, Dasya & Sakhya Rasas


Chapter 30


Madhura-rasa-vicara: Vatsalya & Madhura


Chapter 31


Madhura-rasa-vicara: Svakiya-navikas & Krsna's Svarupa as Madhura-rasa-navaka


Chapter 32


Madhura-rasa-vicara: Paraktva-navikas


Chapter 33


Madhura-rasa-vicara: Sri Radha's Svarupa, Five types of Sakhis & Messengers


Chapter 34


Madhura-rasa-vicara: Different Categories of Sakhis


Chapter 35


Madhura-rasa-vicara: Uddipana


Chapter 36


Madhura-rasa-vicara: Sthayibhava & Stages of Rati


Chapter 37


Srngara-rasa-vicara: Srngara-svarupa & Vipralambha


Chapter 38


Srngara-rasa-vicara: Mukhya-sambhoga & Asra-kaliya-lila


Chapter 39


Entering into Lila


Chapter 40


The Supreme Wealth


Phala Sruti


The Fruits of Hearing




Glossary of Terms


Glossary of Names


Glossary of Places


Verse Index


Worldwide Centers & Contacts



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