About the Book
The purpose of this book is very succinctly stated: The description of sambandha - the relationship between the individual living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In this book there is a description of Paramatma (the Supersoul) and an explanation of how the Supersoul exists in millions and millions of living entities. There are discussions of the differences between the qualitative incarnations, and discourses concerning the living entities, maya, the material world, the theory of transformation, the illustory energy, the sameness of this world and the Supersoul, and the truth about this material world.
About the Author
"Jiva Gosvami has got six Sandarbhas, theses: Bhagavat-sandarbha, Krsna-sandarbha, Tattava-sandarbha, Priti-sandarbha, like that. So, I don't think that these books are published in English. These Sandarbhas of Jiva Gosvami are so philosophically discussed that throughout the whole world, there is not a single philosopher who can defy them. We belong to the Gaudiya-sampradaya from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, coming in the disciplic succession of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We have got immense literature to understand God. One who wants to understand God through philosophy, science, argument and logic, to supply them reading material, we have got immense literature, Vedic literature".
Back of the Book
The Super soul residing in the different material bodies is one person; the individual spirit souls in the different material bodies are all different persons
The Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests Himself as the all-pervading Super soul, the witness present in the hearts of all living entities. He witnesses all activities of the living entity. He witnesses all activities of the living entity. He is the supreme living force, and yet He is transcendental to all material qualities
In this purport to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi.10.85), Srila Prabhupada wrote: In the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika (195) it is said that Srila Jiva Gosvami was formerly Vilasa-manjari gopi. From his very childhood Jiva Gosvami was greatly found of Srimad-Bhagavastam. He later came to Navadvipa to study Sanskrit, and, following in the footsteps of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, he circumambulated the entire Navadvipa-dhama. After visiting Navadvipa-dhama he went to Benares to study Sanskrit under Madhusudana Vacaspati, and after finishing his studies in Benares he went to Vrndavana and took shelter of his uncles, Sri Rupa and Sanatana. This is described in the Bhakti-ratnakara.
As far as our information goes, Srila Jiva Gosvami composed and edited at least twenty-five books. They are all very much celebrated, and they are listed as follows: (1) Harinamamrta-vyakarana, (2) Sutra-malika, (3) Dhatu-sangraha, (4) Krsnarca-dipika, (5) Gopala-virudavali, (6) Rasamrta-sesa, (7) Sri Madhava-mahotsava, (8) Sri Sankalpa-kalpavrkasa, (9) Bhavartha-sucaka-campu, (10) Gopala-tapani-tika, (11) a commentary on the Brahma-samhita, (12) a commentary on the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, (13) a commentary on the Ujjvala-nilamani, (14) a commentary on the Yogasara-stava, (15) a commentary on the Gayatri-mantra, as described in the Agni Purana, (16) a description of the Lord's lotus feet derived from the Padma Purana, (17) a description of the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani, (18) Gopala-campu (in two parts) and (19-25) seven sandarbhas: the Krama, Tattva, Bhagavat, Paramata, , Krsna, Bhakti and Prit -sandarbha.
After the disappearance of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami in Vrndavana, Srila Jiva Gosvami became the acarya of all the Vaisnavas in Bengal, Orissa, and the rest of the world, and it is he who used to guide them in their devotional service. In Vrndamana he established the Radha-Damodara temple, where, after retirement, we had the opportunity to live from 1962 until 1965, when we decided to come to the United States of America.
In the Krsna-sandarbha, the second-to-last text states: The description of sambandha (the relationship between the individual living entities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead), which was begun in the Tattva-sandarbha, and continued in the Bhagavat-sandarbha and Paramatmasandarbha, is now concluded in this Krsna-sandarbha. In the next book (Srimad-bhakti-sandarbha), I shall describe abhideheya (devotional service, or the activities of the relationship between the individual living entities and the Supreme Lord) and in the last book (Priti-sandarbha), I shall describe prayojana (pure love for Krsna, the result of engaging in the activities of devotional service).
In the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 1.42) of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, there is mention of the literature complied by Srila Jiva Gosvami: Sri Rupa Gosvami's nephew, Srila Jiva Gosvami, has compiled so many books on devotional service that there is no counting them.
In this purport, Srila Prabhupada was written: The Bhagavata-sandarbha is also known as the Sat-sandarbha. In the first part, called Tattva-sandarbha, it is proved that Srimad-Bhagavatam is the most authoritative evidence directly pointing to the Absolute Truth. The second Sandarbha, called Bhagavat-sandarbha, draws a distinction between impersonal Brahman and localized Paramatma and describes the spiritual world and the domination of the mode of goodness devoid of contamination by the other two material modes. In other words, there is a vivid description of the transcendental position known as suddha-sattva.
The third Sandarbha is called Paramatma-sandarbha, and in this book there is a description of Paramatma (the Supersoul) and an explanation of how the Supersoul exists in millions and millions of living entities. There are discussions of the difference between the qualitative incarnations, and discourses concerning the living entities, maya, the material world, the theory of transformation, the illusory energy, the sameness of this world and the Supersoul, and the truth about this material world. In this connection, the options of Sridhara Svami are given.
The fourth Sandarbha is called Krsna-sandarbha, and in this book Krsna is proved to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are discussions of Krsna's pastimes and qualities, His superintendence of the purusa-avataras, and so forth. The opinions of Sridhara Svami are corroborated. In each and every scripture, the supremacy of Krsna is stressed. Baladeva, Sankarsana and other expansions of Krsna are emanations of Maha-Sankarsana. All the incarnations and expansions exist simultaneously in the body of Krsna, who is described as two-handed. There are also description of the Goloka planet, Vrndavana (the eternal place of Krsna), the identity of Goloka and Vrndavana, the Yadavas nad the cowherd boys (both eternal associates of Krsna), the equality of the manifest and unmanifest pastimes, Sri Krsna's manifestation in Gokula, the queens of Dvaraka as expansions of the internal potency, and superior to them, the superexcellent gopis. There is also a list of the gopis names and a discussion of the topmost position of Srimati Radharani.
The fifth Sandarbha is called Bhakti-sandarbha, and in this book there is a discussion of how devotional service can be directly executed, and how such service can be adjusted, either directly or indirectly. There is a discussion of the knowledge of all kinds of scripture, the establishment of the Vedic institution of varnasrama, bhakti as superior to fruitive activity, and so forth.
The sixth Sandarbha is called Priti-sandarbha, a thesis on love of Godhead. Here it is stated that through love of Godhead, one becomes perfectly liberated and attains the highest goal of life. A distinction is made between the liberated condition of a personality is made between the liberated condition of a personality and that of an impersonality, and there is a discussion of liberation during one's lifetime as distinguished from liberation from material bondage.
In this first volume of Paramatma-sandarbha, Srila Jiva Gosvami first discusses the two kinds of ksetrajna, or knowers- the individual spirit souls, who are infinitesimal, and the Supersoul, who is unlimited. In the course of this discussion, it is described how the individual spirit souls are pure by nature but when in contact with the material nature, they become conditioned and bewildered. Thus, the two states of the living entities are described-the liberated state and the conditioned state.
In the description of the Supersoul, it is explained that the Supreme Lord expands Himself in three forms- Karnarnavsayi Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, Ksirodakasayi Visnu. Thereafter, Srila Jiva Gosvami goes to great lengths to prove once and for all that the living entities are different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as is the material creation. Of course, there are many statements in the scriptures stating that the living entities and the material creation are not different from the Lord, but the meaning is that these are potencies of the Lord, but the meaning is that these are potencies of the Lord. The Lord and His potencies cannot be absolutely identified with the all-powerful Supreme Lord, who is the master of all potencies. This of course, is the understanding of inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference.
Thus, in this volume, the author gives exhaustive evidence from the Vedic literature showing that the idea of the impersonality-that the living entities are identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead-is both absolutely illogical and not at all supported by Vedic evidence. Thereafter, it is painstakingly proven that Lord Visnu is the Supreme Lord, and not Lord Brahma, or Lord Siva. The Supreme Lord is the creator of the material world, consisting of three modes of nature-goodness, passion and ignorance-but He is nevertheless untouched or unaffected by these modes. Thus, the author carefully establishes the transcendental position of the Supreme Lord and while doing so, he soundly refutes the many arguments that may arise in this regard.
The latter part of this volume deals extensively with the conditioned state of the living entity. Although pure spirit by nature, the living entity becomes bewildered by contact with the modes of material nature when he is forgetful of his relationship with the Absolute Truth. The inauspicious condition of life that the soul in material existence experiences is described here.
This volume concludes with the explanation of how the Supreme Lord is absolutely different from the material creation and thus the conception of the Universal from of the Lord is simply an imagination for the benefit of neophytes on the path of self-realization.
Srila Prabhupada would sometimes mention the sandarbhas of Srila Jiva Gosvami in his lectures, as in the following expert from a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam given in London in 1971: Jiva Gosvami has got six sandarbhas, theses: Bhagavat-sandarbha, Krsna-sandarbha, Tattva-sandarbha, Priti-sandarbha, like that. So, I don't think that these books are published in English. These sandarbhas of Jiva Gosvami are so philosophically discussed that throughout the whole world, there is not a single philosopher who can defy them. We belong to the Gaudiya-sampradaya from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, coming in the disciplic succession of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We have got immense literature to understand God. One who wants to understand God through philosophy, science, argument and logic, to supply them reading material, we have got immense literature, Vedic literature.
From this we can understand what a great service Kusakratha dasa has done in translating these six sandarbhas. And, as would be expected, these translations are very pleasing to read due to being imbued with Kusakratha dasa's great and unalloyed devotion for the Lord and the literature of the great acaryas.
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