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Eternal and Non-Eternal Jiva
Nick: I hope all is well with your experience at the moment. Just a quick question of no real import: Are all births in truth only one birth?
Sundari: Actually, it’s not a question of no import at all. Understanding the answer is understanding the Isvara/jiva/jagat aikyam. Yes, there is only one eternal Jiva appearing as many apparently unique individuals, or non-eternal (personal) jivas. Although it seems like the personal jiva lives but for a moment in time, in truth it is indestructible because the non-eternal jiva is awareness too and is always present, just not always as a subtle body, or person. And as a subtle body, it is an eternal principle in awareness, either unmanifest or manifest whenever Maya manifests.
Here is one of the greatest of all great sayings in Vedanta because it captures the essence of the teachings: Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya Jivo Bramaiva Na Parah. Memorize it. It means:
“I, the self, am limitless consciousness, and the jiva is non-different from me.”
Unfolded: Isvara in the role of Creator + Maya (causal body) + subtle body, or eternal Jiva, is pure awareness (satya), either unmanifest or manifest (mithya/duality/world of objects/non-eternal jiva), but pure awareness is free of Isvara + Maya/eternal Jiva and non-eternal jiva. All is eternal, except for mithya, the effects of ignorance (personal jiva, personal vasanas, or avidya, gross body), which is not eternal, because it ends with self-knowledge, moksa. The problems and suffering come in with the deluding power of Maya, the hypnosis of duality, which has everyone duped into believing mithya (the objects) is real, meaning always present and unchanging.
Isvara and the universal eternal Jiva are never annihilated; they are both eternal principles (or concepts) in awareness which manifest whenever Maya manifests, which is also an eternal principle or power in awareness. There is essentially no difference between Jiva and Isvara except in their capacity to create. Isvara creates the objective world, and Jiva creates its subjective world, its world of thoughts and feelings – which also come from Isvara, the gunas. Isvara is omniscient, creates all objects, subtle and gross, and the jiva only knows the objects it has contact with. It cannot create a flower, the sun, the moon and the stars.
~ Love, Sundari