Search & Read
Jiva 1 and Jiva 2
Pete: So there are two types of jivas:
1. One is ignorant.
2. One who has knowledge.
Ignorant jivas are individuals who identify with their senses, mind, intellect and everything in the apparent reality. And jivanmuktas, through knowledge of Vedanta, have knowledge of their self as Brahman through the mahavakyas.
Daniel: Yes. The ignorant jiva takes itself to be a limited entity crawling around on a divided island, limitation and separation being a very threatening feeling, whilst the jiva in whom self-knowledge has destroyed the sense of doership does not take itself to be the limited person it once thought it was, but rather the limitless self it has always been.
Pete: For example, “I am Brahman,” is a great saying. When the jiva is ignorant and hears this, it believes it has to do something to realize this mahavakya. The jivanmukta, however, understands it is just knowledge to say, “I am Brahman,” (because it comes from Vedanta).
Daniel: Yes, a jiva whose mind is not qualified for self-inquiry and who’s still hardwired in dualistic thinking will get very confused by a statement like that. A jnani, on the other hand, understands that statement to be a direct pointing to his appropriate identity. It is knowledge because it can’t be negated. You, awareness, can’t be negated. Vedanta is knowledge.
Pete: The free jiva takes the whole teaching on board and doesn’t leave anything to imagination.
Daniel: Exactly! It’s only by taking the whole teaching on board that the jiva attains freedom. We jnanis are lazy and don’t want to think too much; that’s why we let the teachings make our choices. ☺
Pete: It has realized “I am Brahman” and “this world is unreal,” therefore for these individuals suffering ends. Sound about right?
Daniel: Sounds 100% right. Firm identification as limitless awareness (Brahman) dissolves all existential weight.
Pete: I guess what I am trying to point at is that there are only two factors in existence:
1. me (awareness)
2. objects (apparently real).
Pete: There is not some conscious jiva in the apparent reality, which is why I find James’ chart pretty misleading. The jiva is indicated with “Om,” but in the apparent reality (the world) nothing is conscious.
Daniel: James uses different charts for different stages of the teaching. But even if the jiva is indicated with an Om, it’s still correct. Om = non-dual awareness. Therefore the jiva is Om. Actually, there is nothing but Om.
But if it helps your inquiry, just see the jiva as the apparent “little Om,” and the “main Om” (you, the subject) as that which is always free from the apparent.
Pete: And Vedanta is not an either/or, but a both/and, which is all there is to be known.
Pete: Vedanta gives both knowledge of me, the subject, awareness, and about the apparent reality (objects).
Pete: I know the jiva is not conscious, but it can apparently get rid of ignorance.
Daniel: Yup, under the right conditions, Isvara decides to wake itself up.
Pete: Don’t ya love this dance?
Daniel: Totally! And the dance becomes so much more hearty when you know your freedom from it!