Shri Datta Swami

Jnana Saraswati – Parabrahma Sutras


210. The Jiva (doer-enjoyer) is different from the soul

कर्तृभोक्तृजीवभिन्न आत्मा विश्वजडशक्तिब्रह्म।२१०।
kartṛbhoktṛjīvabhinna ātmā viśvajaḍaśaktibrahma|210|

The Jiva, who is the doer and enjoyer of works and fruits respectively, is different from his basic form of inert energy or soul. The soul is qualitatively the same cosmic energy or Brahman.


For the first time, it is the Shankara, who isolated Jiva from Atman. The word Jiva means life or awareness. The word Atman means the material that pervades all over the qualities like water pervading all the waves. When Jiva disappears in deep sleep, the awareness also disappears since awareness itself is called as Jiva. The work disappears, which is the awareness. The working element is left over, which is the inert energy. The inert energy is not at all involved in the qualities that initiate the work.

Hence, the inert energy or soul is not bound by the work and its fruits. Though inert energy is the basic essence of awareness and is responsible for all the activities directly, yet, it is not at all responsible for any activity and will not receive the fruit. It is the Jiva who initiates the work (Karma) and becomes the doer (Karta). Hence, the same Jiva becomes the enjoyer (Bhokta) of the fruits of the work. The inert energy is the basic working element but it is not involved in any way in the work. When you kill some body, you are responsible for the murder and you have to enjoy the punishment. The inert knife with which the murder is done is not at all responsible. All these points like not doer, not enjoyer, not initiator of work etc., clearly prove that the soul is inert energy only and isolate the inert energy from its specific work or awareness. All these points are common to the cosmic energy (Brahman) also, since the soul is a drop of cosmic energy. A drop of ocean is qualitatively one and the same ocean. The difference is only quantitative due to limited human body of the soul and unlimited cosmos of the cosmic energy. The difference between the soul and Brahman is only by virtue of difference between human body and cosmos, which are the corresponding media (Upadhi bheda). The cosmic energy is the creator, maintainer and destroyer of this creation and thus satisfies the Vedic definition of Brahman. Since all the items of the creation are just modifications (apparent modifications as per Shankara and real modifications as per Ramanuja) of cosmic energy, you can say that the entire creation is essentially Brahman or cosmic energy as said in Veda (Sarvamkhalvidam…). The apparent modification is in the view of God and real modification is in the view of human being and thus there is no contradiction between Shankara and Ramanuja. The conclusions of science, today, were already discovered by Shankara in this way. The word Brahman here is the inert cosmic energy and not God.

God being the source of all qualities and works can wish, where as the cosmic energy can never wish. By this point, the cosmic energy is not God. However, by this point you should not conclude that God is awareness. God wishes, being the omnipotent and not because that He is awareness. He can also burn anything and this does not mean that He is fire.

Awareness cannot burn anything in the creation. If you say that that awareness, for which, this creation is imagination can burn anything in the world, in such case you have to differentiate that awareness from this awareness of human being by this point. Then, you cannot say that this awareness or soul of human being is that awareness or God. Since, you do not have the perception of that awareness in any human being, your assumption of that awareness is not correct. In the absence of authority of available perception, it is better to call that awareness as unimaginable item, which can wish due to its unimaginable nature itself. In such case, assumption of that as awareness is meaningless. You cannot also argue that the word Brahman always stands for God only, since, Veda is also called as Brahman, in the sense of greatest item in Gita.

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