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Explanation Óon the "Sat-sandarbhas" of Srila Jiva Goswami Ógiven ═ by Satyanarayana dasa in February of 1992.
In Indian philosophical system there are atheistic and Ótheis═ tic philosophies.
The Óphilosophy of Carvaka Muni, the Buddhist Óphilosophy Óand ═ the Jain philosophy come under the category of atheistic philoso═ phies. ÓAnd then there are the philosophies which Óare Ódefeating ═ them and they are considered as theistic philosophies in which we ═ have Ósix systems mainly. These six systems are divided in Óthree ═ pairs: Ósankhya Óand Óyoga, nyaya and vaisasika, Óand Ópurva Óand ═ uttara-mimamsas. Most Óof Óthe Ótheistic philosophies Ófall Óin Óthese Óclasses ═ athough each one of them have many subdivisions. But predominant═ ly Óall the theistic philosophies can be classified unto the Ósix ═ systems. - Sankhya the philosophy of Kapila. There are two Kapilas. ÓOne ═ is Óconsidered also as an atheist in the sense that he Ódoes Ónot ═ accept Óthe existence of God as the Cause behind creation. He Óis ═ not denying Him but he is not worried about Him. He explains Óhis ═ philosophy Ówithout considering the existence of God. ÓIn ÓIndian ═ philosophy a person is called theist if he does accept the ÓVedas ═ even Óif Óhe Ódoes not accept God. In that Ósense Óthe Óso-called ═ atheist ÓKapila is counted among the theist philosophers Óbecause ═ he Óaccepts the Vedas even if he does not prove that God Óis Óthe ═ ultimate Cause behind creation. This is why we refer to him as an ═ atheist.
Then there is Kapila that we know from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Óthe ═ son of Devahuti.
- Yoga the philosophy of Patanjali who is considered its Ómain ═
propounder although the Yoga system was existing before him. ÓBut ═ the Ópresent philosophy of Yoga is coming from Patanjali Ówho Óis ═ also Óconsidered Óas an incarnation of Sesa Naga. He has Ódone Óa ═ work Óon Sanskrit grammar and wrote commentaries known as Ó"Maha-═ bhasya". ÓHe Óalso wrote books on Ayur-veda (--?-samhita Óis Óat═ tributed Óto ÓPatanjali). ÓHe Óalso Ówrote Óthe Ó"Patanjali ÓYoga ═ sutras".
- ÓNyaya, logic, the philosophical system of Gautama who was Óa ═
great Ósage. ÓHis wife was cursed by himself to Óbecome Óa Óstone ═ piece Ówho later on came back to life by the touch of Lord ÓRama═ candra's lotus foot.
- Vaisasika started by a sage name Kannada. This philosophy Óis ═ similar to logic. They are considered as twins.
The new system of logic which was mainly started at ÓNavadvipa ═ around 500 years ago, at the time of Lord Caitanya's, advent is a ═ mixture Óof both Nyaya and Vaisisika. Now it is called Óas Ó"Nava ═ Nyaya" or the Newer Logic System.
Purva-mimamsa was propounded by the sage Jaimini one of ÓSrila ═ Vyasadeva's Ódisciples Ówho put him in charge of Óthe ÓSoma-veda. ═ This philosophy is generally called as Karma-kanda system or Óthe ═ system Ówhich explains the various rituals since birth until Óthe ═ sraddha ceremony after death. In his philosophy, Jaimini more Óor ═ less Óspeaks Óabout Ókarma. He has given lots Óof Óimportance Óto ═ karma, means performing activity. He also does not give very much ═ importance Óto the Lord. He believes that basically if Óone Óper the knowledge of the Vedas, what is the Óulti═ mate reality.
The Ófirst Ósutra Óis:"atatho brahma-jijnasa", Ó"now Ówe Ówill ═ enquire into Brahman or the Supreme Reality". "Now" means Ó"after ═ going through the other philosophies and not being satisfied with ═ them, we propound this".
Because Ómost of the sutras in the Vedanta-sutra are not Óvery ═ explicit Óin their meaning different people have Ówriten Ócommen═ taries Óon Óthem. These commentaries are mainly Ódivided Óin Ótwo ═ divisions: personalists and impersonalists.
The impersonalists are mainly headed by Sankaracarya. He wrote ═ "Sariraka-bhasya" Óor "Sankara-bhasya", commentaries on ÓVedanta-═ sutra and from that there are also further branches.
The Ópersonalists Óare mainly the Vaisnavas and we Óhave Ófour ═ main schools: school of Ramanujacarya who wrote "Sri-bhasya";
school of Madvacarya who wrote ...?-bhasya";
school of Nimbarka;
school of Visnusvami.
There Óare Óno commentaries available of these last Ótwo, Óbut ═ later Óthere Óare commentaries writen by Vallabhacarya Ófrom Óthe ═ Visnusvami Ósampradaya and some acarya from Nimbarka Óschool Óhas ═ writen Óa commentary which is attributed to Nimbarka Óhimself Óby ═ some people.
These commentaries on the Vedanta-sutra give different Óexpla═ nations about the ultimate reality.
As ÓGaudiya-vaisnavas Ówe follow Sri Caitanya ÓMahaprabhu Ówho ═ proposed the natural commentary of Vedanta-sutra writen by ÓSrila ═ Vyasadeva himself which is called Srimad-Bhagavatam. Therefore if ═ we Ówant to understand the highest Absolute Truth we Ómust Óstudy ═ this Srimad-Bhagavatam. If an author writes a book we should know ═ what Óis his opinion, what he wants to say, not that we take Óhis ═ words and write commentary and say something which may not Óagree ═ with the author. When we make a statement it may have many Ómean═ ings Óbut Ówhat is the meaning which the author wants Óto Óconvey ═ that is best understood if we can read his own commentary.
But Ówhen we come to Srimad-Bhagavatam we find that also Ómany ═ people Óhave writen commentaries and again they Óhave Ópropounded ═ various philosophies. Even the impersonalist have writen commen═ taries Óon the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Although ÓSankaracarya Óhimself ═ did Ónot comment on Srimad-Bhagavatam, later on some Óacaryas Óon ═ his line have commented on it and they gave impersonal conclusion ═ from Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Again Óthe same problem comes. The ultimate purpose for Ówhich ═ Srila ÓVyasadeva has writen all this huge ammount of Óliterature, ═ the ÓVedas, the Puranas, the Itihasas, the Sutras, the ÓSamhitas, ═ the ÓUpanisads, and finally the Vedanta-Sutra and its Ócommentary ═ the ÓSrimad-Bhagavatam has been covered again. What does he Ówant So, Óour ÓGoswamis being ordered by Sri ÓMahaprabhu, Óanalized ═ Srimad-Bhagavatam Óto put forward the opinion of the author Óhim═ self.
These Ó'sat-sandarbhas' (sat means six) are also known Óorigi═ nally as 'Bhagavat-sandarbha'. They are the books writen by Srila ═ Jiva Goswami to give an analysis of Srimad-Bhagavatam. If we want ═ to Óunderstand the hidden meaning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Óreal ═ fundamental message conveyed by Sri Vyasa, then we have to Óstudy ═ the "sat-sandharbas'.
These Óprevious explanations were meant to show how the Ósat-═ sandarbhas Ófit Óon the all scene of literature and what Óis Óthe ═ purpose in writing them.
The Ómessage Óthat ÓSrila Jiva Goswami conveys Óin Óhis Ó'sat-═ sandarbhas' is actually the heart of Srila Vyasadeva. He Óhimself ═ said "now I am going to analyze the heart of Vyasadeva, now I Óam ═ going Óto analyze the heart of Sukadeva Goswami and the heart Óof ═ Suta Goswami", because these three are the main personalities who ═ have Ócomposed and taught Srimad-Bhagavatam. Then he proves Óthat ═ whatever Óhe Ósays is what they have said and all Óthree Óare Óin ═ harmony. He explains how all of them have said the same thing.
Sandarbha Ómeans Óa book which explains Óthe Óhidden Ómeanings ═ which Ógives Óthe Óessence and the various Óexplanations Óof Óthe ═ subject Ómatter. ÓSrimad-Bhagavatam Óis not a book Óthat Ócan Óbe ═ understood Óvery Óesily. In sanskrit community Óthere Óis Ófamous ═ saying: Ó"the Ótest of one's scholarship Óis ÓSrimad-Bhagavatam". ═ This Ómeans that if one can understand Srimad-Bhagavatam Óand Óhe ═ can Óexplain Óit, he must be a scholar. All Ógreat ÓVaisnavas Óin ═ India wrote commentaries on Srimad-Bhagavatam because this is one ═ of the means to show or test their scholarship which unables them ═ to give the message to others.
Although Ówe worship Krsna as the Supreme Personality of ÓGod═ head Óand Ówe Óquote Óthe verse from ÓS.B. Ó"krsnas Ótu Óbhagavan ═ svayam", but in SB itself there are so many statements which Ósay ═ that ÓKrsna Óis an incarnation of hair of Lord Visnu, ÓHe Óis Óan ═ incarnation Óof ÓGarbhodakasayi Visnu, He is Óan Óincarnation Óof ═ Anirudha, ÓHe Óis an incarnation of Lord Ramacandra..., Óso Ómany ═ statements. ÓSo, how to understand the real meaning behind Óthat? ═ All this analizis is done in the Sandarbhas.
Jiva ÓGoswami was the son of Anupama and the nephew Óof ÓSrila ═ Rupa ÓGoswami and Srila Sanatana Goswami. He was born in 1518 Óin ═ the Óvillage Óof Ramakeli. He saw Lord Caitanya when He Ócame Óto ═ Ramakeli to meet Rupa and Sanatana. It is said that he was a very ═ young boy at that time maybe 4 or 5 years old. His father, Anupa═ ma was a great devotee of Ramachandra died when Jiva Goswami Ówas ═ very young. Later on when Srila Rupa and Srila Sanatana they came ═ to Vrndavana he also left home and went to Navadvipa where he met ═ Sri ÓNityananda Prabhu who had already predicted his Óarrival Óin ═ Navadvipa. ÓThen Nityananda Prabhu took him around, in Óparikrama ═ to ÓNavadvipa ( the first Navadvipa Parikrama of our Óparampara). ═ Then ÓNityananda ÓPrabhu ordered him "I have blessed Óyou, ÓI've ═ given you enough mercy, but Lord Caitanya has fixed the place Óof ═ your Ófamily in Vrndavana. You go and join your uncles ÓRupa Óand ═ Sanatana." He was by that time about 16 years old.
ÓWhile Ógoing to Vrndavana he stayed for few years in ÓBenares ople say, was the brother Óof ÓSarvabhauma ═ Battacharya. ÓThen Óhe went to Vrndavana to join Srila ÓRupa Óand ═ Sanatana. He became initiated by Srila Rupa Goswami.
Because he was a great scholar he was helping Rupa and Sanata═ na. All the editing work was done by him. Srila Rupa Goswami used ═ to give anything he wrote, to Jiva Goswami, to edit. Jiva Goswami ═ wrote Ócommentaries Óon "Ujjvala-nilamani' and Óother Óworks Óof ═ Srila Rupa Goswami. Besides writing his own books, he wrote Ómany ═ commentaries. Of all the Goswamis he was the most prolific Ówrit═ er. ÓIt is said that all his works are equal, in ammount, to Óthe ═ 18 ÓPuranas Ó(without using the help of Ganesa). There Óa Ósaying ═ about him that when he would write a page he would not wait until ═ the ink get dried to write on the other side. He would go to Óthe ═ next Ópaper and write and then would come to the previous Ópaper. ═ He Ócomposed everything in his mind like a computer. And once Óhe ═ wrote no editing was necessary - that was the final print.
The Ó'sat-sandarbhas' Ówere composed in Gokula. ÓIn Óthe Óbook ═ itself Óhe says that some work was done by Gopala Bhatta ÓGoswami ═ but Óit Ówas neither complete nor in the proper order Ónor Ófully ═ available. ÓTherefore he writes himself for the pleasure of ÓRupa ═ and Sanatana.
The six sandarbhas are known as "Tattva-sandarbha", Ó"Bhagava═ ta-sandarbha" Ó(this Bhagavata refers to the Supreme ÓPersonality ═ of ÓGodhead Ónot to the book ÓBhagavata), Ó"Paramatma-sandarbha", ═ "Krsna-sandarbha", "Bhakti-sandarbha" and "Prtti-sandarbha".
Tattva-sandarbha which is the smallest has two sections:
- the first can be called pramana or the epistomology;
- the second is called prameya or the object of knowledge.
Whenever Ówe discuss a philosophy we have to explain what Óare ═ the valid means of knowledge. Different philosophers they Óaccept ═ different Ómeans Óof Óknowledge as valid. There Óis Óalways Ósome ═ arguments Óand counter-arguments about which one is bona-fide Óor ═ not.
In Óthe first section or first half of the book, more or Óless ═ it Ódiscusses these things. Then in the second half it Ódiscusses ═ what is the object of knowledge, what is knowable, what is to Óbe ═ known.
There Óare 63 sections or divisions which are called Óanuched═ das.
The first 29 are dealing with the epistomologic part; and then ═ the next sections are the premeya or the knowable.
In Óthe first section, first he begins with the Invocation Óor ═ Mangalacaram. ÓAnd Óby performing this Invocation, Óhe Óquotes Óa ═ verse ÓÓfrom ÓSB: Ó"krsna-varnam ÓÓtvisakrsnam\ ÓÓsangopangastra-═ parsadam\ yajnaih sankirtana-prayair\ yajanti hi su-medhasah. ÓBy ═ this verse he opens the book, that means he indirectly Óindicates ═ that Óour worshipable book is Srimad-Bhagavatam, we are going Óto o this verse and there he explains "antah krsnam Óbahir ═ gauram", Óinside is Krsna and outside is Gaura. Then he Óexplains ═ the Ómeaning. After that in the remaining of the verses he Ógives ═ the Ómeaning or the reason why he is writing this book. He Óprays ═ to Rupa and Sanatana Goswami and he says that "they have Óengaged ═ me to write this book" so people do not think that he is Ówriting ═ as a show of scholarship. He says that he is just expanding what═ ever ÓSri Rupa wrote that was not arranged properly or Óavailable ═ completely.
Then Óhe Óexplains for whom is he writing, because if Óone Óis ═ writing Óa book is has to know who are the people Óqualified Óto ═ read it. So he says "yah sri-krsna-padambhoja.... " "I am writing ═ this Óbook only for those people whose only desire is to Órender ═ service unto the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna or Krsna ÓCaitanya. ═ Please Ódon't show my book to anyone else. My book should not Óbe ═ shown to anyone who don't desire to render service to Krsna."
After Óthat he prays to his teachers from whom he studied Óthe ═ Srimad-Bhagavatam Óand his initiating spiritual master, Óthen Óhe ═ begins writing.
Finally he composes one verse which is also found in CC Ówhere ═ he Óexplains that there is one Personality of Godhead, ÓLord ÓSri ═ Krsna Ówho is also called Brahma. That Brahma is not Óother Óthan ═ Lord Sri Krsna, without variety. And His one potency is Óglorious ═ and controls Maya - His Paramatma feature. In another form He Óis ═ existing in Vaikuntha as Narayana. May this Lord Krsna grant ÓHis ═ prema to those people who are serving His lotus feet.
Then he begins explaining.
On Ósection number 9 onwards, he first explains directly Ówhat ═ is Ósambandha, Óabhideya and prayojana.
The question then, is to know what are the means, the Óprocess ═ to Óunderstand Óthis. Is it based on direct perception or Óis Óit ═ based Óon the scriptures, or inference or similarity? On what Óis ═ it based?
Then Óhe Óexplains that although there are Óvarious Ómeans Óof ═ acquiring Óknowledge Óand different Óphilosophers Óhave Óaccepted ═ different means. The Carvakas beleive only in direct Óperception. ═ They Óthat Óthe only pramana is pratyaksa-pramana Óand Óno Óother ═ processe Óis valid. They say that there are only Ófour Óelements: ═ earth, Ówater, fire and air. They don't accept ether or sky. ÓFor ═ them Óconsciousness does not exist separately from Ómatter. ÓWhen ═ the four elements come together to form the body then Óconscious inference (anumana). There are four divisions on their ═ philosophy: Ó1) Nirvana- as the Carvakas, they that one Óhas Óto ═ become free from material desires, renounce everything, only then ═ can Óone be peaceful and happy. But they don't accept the Óexist═ ence of the soul.
The Óother philosophy is the Jainism. They only Óaccept Óthese ═ two Óprocess: direct perception and inference. They are a Ólittle ═ more Óadvanced then the Buddhists because they accept the Óexist═ ence Óof the soul, but for them soul is not atomic in size. ÓThey ═ say that the soul has the same size as the body. If there is Óone ═ elephant then the soul is the size of an elephant. If there is an ═ ant, the soul is the size of an ant. They say that is Óimpossible ═ that the soul is localized in one place of the body and feels Óin ═ another place.
Then Ówe have Yoga and Sankhya. They accept Ósabda-pramana Óas ═ the Óvalid means besides anumana and pratyaksa. They Óaccept Óthe ═ word of the scriptures. This is also what we accept. Most Vaisna═ vas accept these three pramanas and we, Gaudiya-Vaisnavas, accept ═ that. But we consider sabda-pramana as the topmost.
Even though there are other processes, Srila Jiva Goswami only ═ accepts Óthese Óthree on the grounds that Srila ÓMadvacarya Óonly ═ accepted Óthese Óthree as the valid means of knowledge. ÓThen Óhe ═ says that a human being cannot convey proper knowledge because he ═ is endowed with four defects, brahma, pramada, vipraliksa and Ó?, ═ that is: delusion (taking one thing for another e.g. Óconsidering ═ the Órope as snake or the human being as a tree), then Óinadvert═ ence Ó(it means that even when the conditions are alright, Óstill ═ one will not be able to get proper knowledge. One may be Ósitting ═ in the class, the eyes and ears may be opened, but one may not be ═ listening), Óthen the desire to cheat (I know something Óproperly ═ but ÓI will convey it as improper so he will not get Óthe Óproper ═ knowledge), then there is limitation of the senses (all our sense ═ perception is very limited). Some of these defects are innate Óin ═ us, some depend on the circumstances, some depend on the Óperson═ ality, Óon the character of the person.
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