'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Meno-J-iggery, no Pokery

jIv
Jiiva …

...d'ya know, there are some twenty-six (yes - 26) entries for jiiva in the shabdkoshaH (dictionary)? I hadn't actually counted them before, despite knowing it was one of those (many) words in the Sanskrit tongue which has multiple meanings and nuance. It is such a contextual language. I am tempted, now, to leave this and wait till next year to explore all the twenty-six. I won't, though. With only a few exceptions, for purposes here and in the English connection, they all relate to one thing.

The soul.

Specifically, the individualised soul. The essence of 'beingness' that is not measurable by any scientific instrument. This is necessary to know because there is also the Aatman, the Universal Soul, from which the individual as splintered. This was mentioned in the first post (see sidebar for post links). The Biblical way of putting this is that we were made in God's image. There's a slight problem with that because the tendency is to consider it refers to our physical appearance. It makes of 'God' a physical being… Jiiva and Aatman are not physical - at least not grossly so. They are of the subtlest level of physical it is possible to be. Think Higgs' Boson and beyond. Beyond Higgs' Boson? - but that took forever to prove was not a fantasy!

That's the point exactly. It took great dedication, belief in the process of discovery, faith in the existence of what could not be seen. With all research of existing knowledge applied, with exposition and hypothesis based on proven formulae, it was possible for the Boson to be posited as a 'likely particle.'

The great minds of misted-aeons past, those mighty Rsis of the Sanskrit tradition, applied precisely the same rigourous intellectual and logical approach to assessing the nature of the human being and what might be the purpose of a life wherein we were given the gift to think at all. Their skill and standard of meditation, of union with That from which all emerges, has rarely been replicated. Some saints and sages have come close, though. They have done so by following the guidance of those Rsis - yes, including those of Christian, and other faiths.

Those who are prepared to sit in true communion with their jiiva cannot help but understand that it is a fraction of the Aatman - whether they use these names or not.

This is by no means an easy task. Most of us are far too busy engaging with the ego part of our antaH-karana**. We are 'getting on with life.' Many will say, that there is no requirement for philosophy, a spiritual anchor to live life. However, it is actually necessary to have a philosophy in order to live life, even if that philosophy is of the Charvaka ('food, drink, women') or the Atheism ('there is nothing') category. Make no mistake, these are philosophies, for they make statements about the nature of life and how it is to be lived by those who subscribe to them.

All philosophies are valid to their adherents. None of them, however, can negate the fact that the jiiva is present within us to drive us to consider the nature of existence. In the case of the Charvaka, spirit is seen as being the same as ego. No effort is made to enquire further, as the physical life has too much hold. The Atheist will state that 'there is no God' with the same fervour and vehemence as the fundamentalist Bible-thumper or the Qu'ran Crusader. By inference, it is considered that there is no 'spirit.' That same Atheist will walk in nature and talk of it with awe and respect, sit with a pet and feel the bond of love, and feel compassion for their fellow human-being and not understand that this very connection they are feeling is the jiiva within them. Their attachment to these things - as is the case for all of us - will come from the ego; how they view and talk about these things will come from manas; how they justify their feelings comes from buddhi; how they commit these things to long-term memory and relate to them in history comes from chitta.

Denying something does not mean it doesn't exist, it merely means that it does not exist for me at this time. This can be because we have not yet had the experience of it, or have no desire for that experience. Either way, we ALL have jiiva, from the rocks through the plants and animals, to we critters at the top of the evolutionary tree. The scientist will cry 'but there are checks and measures for everything, and all can be explained.' This is true… till the point where we cannot currently measure. 'There is no Great Creator!'… but I get ahead of myself... 

** The antaH-karana is the mental capacity, made up of four components.
Ahangkaara - the ego, individual sense of self
Manas - the mind, as in the flow of thoughts
Buddhi - the intellect, as in the assessor and adjudicator
Chitta - the container of the individual's history, for this life and other existences

Where does jiiva sit, then? Aatman is the Universal Consciousness and the Jiiva is the 'beam' - there are countless beams and they settle upon the material bodies. Only the human being can be conscious of this consciousness; that still, small voice which is the witness to all else which goes on in life. Not all humans are necessarily able to perceive this consciousness. (It is not, note, the same thing as physical consciousness, but an awareness beyond the purely material.)


17 comments:

  1. Beautiful Menorise YAM.....this post will pondering but that is ok it is good for TOGM's gray matter
    Hugs HiC

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  2. So much to think about and chew on and digest in this post. Even the quote on the photo is a challenge.

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  3. 'There are more things in this heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Exactly!

    Everything can't be measured or perceived with the instruments of our senses. I am limited by my perceptions and my experience. 'Denying something does not mean it doesn't exist.' It means my senses and perceptions are not keen enough to understand yet. Super thought provoking post today!

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  4. A beautiful post on the individualised soul. Very well explained :)

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  5. I LUFFS the picture...ooooohhhhh, its making my eyes go wobbly!!!!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  6. So much information to think through Yam - I always think that being made in the image of God is to have the potential to become more Christlike in our behaviour. It's not so much the physical as the spiritual and how that impacts us and how we interact with the world. If everyone was more Christlike the world would be a lot better place.

    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    J for Just Do It!

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    1. Hari OM
      To follow the example of one whose life was a beacon, for being the best human being we can be, is glorious indeed. That can be Yeshu, it can be the Buddha, it can be Shri Rama, it can be any of the sages or saints of history or for the secular it can be people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luthur King; looking to higher principles and seeking to live them is noble. However, the key point of this post is not the choice of philosophy which is made and our 'take' on it, but that which drives is to seek a purpose or explanation of life at all - that is the jiiva. The jiiva is a non-doctrinal existence-particle which manifests in the world of names and forms in order to gather the experiences it requires to burn out vaasanas - the burden of our karma... for which, return tomorrow! &*> Yxx

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  7. Any scientist who says there are checks and measures for everything isn't a very good scientist. The first thing anyone who studies science should realise is the more we know, the more we appreciate what we don't know.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters

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    1. Hari Om
      I agree, Tasha - however there is an underlying certainty which science has about itself that everything can be solved - even if we don't know it just now; and that is absolutely fine. The human critter, on the whole, requires certainty. Yxx

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    2. A favourite quote normally attributed to Isaac Asimov seems apposite here: The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” but “That's funny"

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    3. Hari OM
      &*> Thank you for reminding me of this quote - it fits perfectly! One must always have that sense of 'crikey, imagine that, now what else...???" wonderful. Yxx

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  8. That is very well said - and you are right that even denying the existence of things is a philosophy of life. In my development over my life, I've found that I cannot deny the existence of an individual soul, although I have difficulty explaining it. I am a scientist, and I am one of those who is bothered by an inability to explain or understand something...

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  9. i have to confess I sped read through this, because it hurt my brain to try and figure it out. i can say i do believe we all have a soul and always have. and i do believe that God made me in his image, not necessarily physical image, but his soul image and sent his Holy Spirit to visit us and his only son to die for us

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    1. Hari Om
      And that is most sustaining to the spirit, Sandra! Not everyone requires to enquire beyond that, and it matters not... that is the beauty of philosophy; like a favourite blanket, we can cover ourselves with it as much or as little as we require according to our need. Yxx

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  10. More thought provoking words from you. namaste, janice xx

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  11. I'm enjoying your words of wisdom and it is this nugget
    "Those who are prepared to sit in true communion with their jiiva cannot help but understand that it is a fraction of the Aatman - whether they use these names or not." that I enjoyed the most.

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  12. Very interesting, Yam. It is a lot to take in. Thank you for writing. xx

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