Author Topic: Eka Jiva and what is this concept all about?  (Read 4447 times)

ksksat27

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Eka Jiva and what is this concept all about?
« on: December 01, 2013, 08:05:48 AM »
Below is the Q & A that happened on David Godman forum. June 2, 2010 at 10:34 PM 


The question is simple and answer has ten points.  But I want the learned members to give some background on the ten scriptures pointed out here.


The Question

david do you know about any texts which propound the eka jiva doctrine in detail?kindly list the same if you can.

David Godman Replies

I consulted a friend who is an expert on this and he sent me the following reply:

Well, the Who’s Who of recent scholars (i.e. 1920’s and later) from Hiriyanna, Suryanarayana Shastri, V. Iyer (Swami Siddheswarananda’s mentor) onwards to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Warrier etc have certainly rubbished eka-jiva as solipsistic nonsense. Even T.M.P. Mahadevan seems to belong to this camp, though in his writings, perhaps due to Sri Bhagavan’s influence, he only expresses skepticism towards, rather than outright rejection of eka-jiva. In fact, the later Acharyas openly propounding eka-jiva have been somewhat derisively dubbed as ‘neo-Advaitins’ by this lot (now of course, the term has moved-on to new connotations). Personally, I have found it shocking that such learned men could close their minds so easily to a teaching obviously at the very core of Advaita. But to be fair to them, eka-jiva , undoubtedly, is the most difficult of concepts to really understand without considerable spiritual advancement as an accompaniment.

I believe some confusion may also have arisen because the technical term “eka-jiva” itself seems to have been formalized only in the 15th – 16th Century, tho’ the ideas it represents form the core of Advaita right from the beginning. And there is confusion also because doctrinal Advaita supports both eka-jiva & aneka-jiva at different levels; the former being the “higher” view, with aneka-jiva or multiple jivas being acceptable at the empirical level. And then there is some muddying of waters because of the term “eka-atma”, as used in the Mandukya.

But the indisputable, and largely unknown, fact is that virtually all the Great Acharyas of Advaita, ancient & medieval, staunchly support eka-jiva. I believe that the Upanisads (esp. Mandukya + Karika), the Brahma Sutras & Sri Sankara himself propound eka-jiva if studied properly. Sri Sarvajnatman in his great work Samsksepa-Sariraka, itself a seminal work of Advaita, says so in so many words. [And we know that the Yoga-Vasista propounds dristi-sristi (therefore implying eka-jiva) in many verses].

Here is a representative list of post-Sankara writers who propound eka-jiva (and dristi-sristi):

1. Samsksepa-Sariraka by Sri Sarvajnatman, disciple of Sri Suresvara, and said to have been initiated by Sri Sankara himself, and thus from Sri Sankara’s times. But scholars place him much later at around 1000 CE because he has commented on a particular doctrine said to be authored by Sri Vimuktatman below.

2. Ista-Siddhi by Sri Vimuktataman, (1000 CE by scholars).

3. Advaita-Siddhi by Sri Madhusudana Saraswati (1500’s CE). Sri Madhusudana Saraswati was an acknowledged genius the likes of whom have been rare even amongst the Great Acharyas. He proves that dristi-sristi necessarily has to imply eka-jiva also, and the 2 cannot be separated.

4. Siddhanta-Bindu by Sri Madhusudan Saraswati

5. Vedanta-Siddhanta-Muktavali by Sri Prakasananda (1500’s CE)

6. Vedanta-Tattva-Viveka by Sri Narasimhasrama (1500’s CE)

7. Siddhantalesasangraha by Sri Appaya Diksitar (late 1500’s CE)

Also

8. Pancapadika with Vivarana by Sri Prakakastman, again said to be a disciple of Sri Sankara, but scholars place him at around 1000 CE.

9. Khandanakhandakhadya by Sriharsa (1100’s CE)

10. Citsukhi by Sri Citsukha (1200’s CE)

Can personally vouch that the first 6 propound eka-jiva & dristi-sristi; the 7th is sort of an encyclopedia of all the extant Advaita ideas. The last 3 also apparently support eka-jiva, but I haven’t studied them yet and thus cannot confirm the same from personal knowledge.


Subramanian.R

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Re: Eka Jiva and what is this concept all about?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 10:05:05 AM »
Dear Krishnan,

Eka Jiva means that there is only Atma.  There is no Paramatma and Jivatma business here.  The life in Jiva is only a reflection
of Ekatma, as the sunlight falling in each water filled pot.  Each pot shows the surya bhimba and the real Sun which is one
is elsewhere.  See Sri Bhagavan's Ekatma Panchakam.  A Brahma Jnani sees all the living beings as one Jiva (Eka Jiva) shining
within the Ekatama (the only Atma)


Arunachala Siva. 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 10:18:10 AM by Subramanian.R »

Hari

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Re: Eka Jiva and what is this concept all about?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 02:10:28 AM »
Dear Krishna, eka-jiva vada and drishti-srishti vada are the Indian equivalent of the Western solipsism. It suggests that even in the phenomenal level there is only one jiva which imagines that there are other jivas, world and God. I can only say that I don't agree that all Advaita Sages are proponent of eka-jiva vada. This is just David Godman's presumption. If I (the jiva) imagine Ishvara (meaning that He is just imagination in my mind) then I am ruling my and other jivas karma which is absurd. Sri Shankara would never accept such theory. Bhagavan has accepted eka-jiva vada for advanced sadhakas as good working theory, to make them more dispassionate towards goal but He clearly declared that drishti-srishti vada is also wrong and He taught only ajata-vada (nothing is created). But we can generally say that Bhagavan is proponent of eka-jiva vada. This is what He has said in Guru Vachaka Kovai:
Quote
Let highly mature and courageous aspirants who have a bright and sharp intellect, firmly accept that soul [jiva] is only one [eka] and thereby be established deep in the heart [by enquiring 'Who am I, that one jiva?']. It is only to suit immature minds that scriptures generally say that souls [jivas] are many [nana].
I can only disagree that Sri Shankara has taught eka-jiva vada. This is just not true in my view. What Subramanian has said is ekatma-jiva vada which is different theory from eka-jiva vada. Eka-jiva vada is total denial of everything outside jiva's mind. It says that there are not other minds or souls and everything is creation of the jiva's mind.
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Subramanian.R

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Re: Eka Jiva and what is this concept all about?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 08:37:19 AM »
Dear Hari,

Only Ekatma Bhavam can bring about Eka Jiva experience.  See Sri Arunachala Pancharatnam, Verse 5 of Sri Bhagavan.

Arunachala Siva.

Hari

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Re: Eka Jiva and what is this concept all about?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 01:27:56 AM »
Dear Subramanian, I was talking about the general understanding of eka-jiva vada, not just Bhagavan's view. And eka-jiva vada is definitely = drishti-srishti vada = western solipsism.
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