Jiva Goswami was a Hindu philosopher and saint from the Gaudiya Vaishnava school of Vedanta tradition, producing a great number of philosophical works on the theology and practice of Bhakti yoga, Vaishnava Vedanta and associated disciplines. He was a member of Six Goswamis of Vrindavan, being the nephew of the two leading figures, Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami. There seems to be some controversy amongst biographers about Jiva Goswami's birth; some opine that he lived from 1511–1596 CE, while others claim that he lived from 1533 to 1618 CE. Not much is known about Jiva Goswami's childhood, he was born in Ramakeli in the district of Maldah, West Bengal as the son of Srivallabha Mallika, the younger brother of Rupa and Sanatana. He had a strong affinity to the worship of Krishna from his childhood and excelled in his education completing his studies in Sanskrit Vyakarana and Kavya within a short period; when Jiva was three or four years old, his uncles resigned from their ministerial posts at the court of Alauddin Hussein Shah after their initial meeting with Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and they decided to join his ranks as mendicants.
Jiva's father, Anupama met with Chaitanya at this time and followed in the footsteps of his elder brothers and proceeded to travel with Rupa to Vrindavana. Hearing that his father and uncles had made their decision to work in the service of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the young Jiva desired to join them also. According to the biographical work Bhakti Ratnakara of Narahari Chakravarti, Jiva had a dream of Chaitanya at this time; this gave him the impetus to join Rupa and Sanatana. It is unclear from his biographies whether or not Jiva ever met Chaitanya personally. Jiva travelled to Navadvipa in West Bengal and met with Nityananda Rama, one of the foremost followers of Chaitanya mahaprabhu. Nityananda took Jiva to all the holy places in Navadvipa and they circumambulated the entire area together; this marked the beginning of the Gaudiya tradition of Navadvipa parikrama. After the pilgrimage, Nityananda gave his blessings for the young Jiva to proceed towards Vrindavana. Jiva went on to Benares where he studied for some time under the tutelage of Madhusudana Vachaspati, the disciple of the famous logician and Vedantist, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya.
Under Vachaspati, Jiva mastered the six systems of Indian philosophy known as Sad Darsana. In 1535 Jiva arrived in Vrindavana where he remained under the tutelage of his uncles and Sanatana, he accepted initiation from Rupa Goswami and was taught the esoteric principles of devotion to Krishna. Jiva helped to edit the writings of Rupa and Sanatana and assisted them in their work in propagating Gaudiya Vaishnavism and excavating the lost holy places of Vrindavana. After the passing of Rupa and Sanatana, Jiva Goswami became the foremost authority in the Gaudiya Vaishnava line. In 1542 Jiva established one of the prominent and important temples in the Vrindavana area, the Radha Damodara mandir, installing deities of Radha and Krishna, carved by Rupa Goswami. At that time he established the Vishva Vaishnava Raja Sabha and the Rupanuga Vidyapitha, an educational facility for Gaudiya Vaishnavas to study the works of Rupa and Sanatana, his erudition and spirituality were so famous that the Moghul emperor Akbar became his ardent admirer and donated paper for his writing.
In 1558, Jiva instructed his students, Narottama Dasa, Srinivasa Acarya and Shyamananda, to go to Bengal and propagate the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy and to take with them the original manuscripts, written by Rupa and Sanatana. It was in his Sarva-samvadini commentary to the Sat Sandarbhas of Hindu philosophy that Jiva Goswami first wrote of Achintya Bheda Abheda, the philosophy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In essence, the philosophy of Achintya bheda abheda, or "inconceivable oneness and difference", avoids the extremes of Shankara's monistic Advaita vedanta and Madhva's pure dualism by interpreting the material and spiritual potencies of the Supreme Person as being one and different with Him. There are about 25 literary works attributed to Jiva Goswami: Hari-namamrta-vyakarana: This work is a book on Sanskrit grammar wherein each and every word and grammatical rule is explained in relation to Krishna and his pastimes. Sutra-malika: A grammatical work dealing with the derivation of Sanskrit words.
Dhatu-sangraha: A work on the verb roots of Sanskrit words Radha-Krishna Archana Chandrika Rasamrita-sesa: A work dealing with Sanskrit composition. Jiva has based this work on the Sahitya Darpana of Viswanatha Kaviraja, but has used many examples of his own as well as examples from other Goswamis. Madhava-mahotsava: A work describing the coronation ceremony of Radha when she is given the position of Queen of Vrindavana. Sankalpa-kalpadruma:An explanation of the eightfold daily pastimes of Radha and Krishna in the form of a prayer. Gopala Virudavali: A short poem by Jiva extolling the glories of Gopala in 38 verses. Bhavartha-suchaka-champu Sukha-Bodhini:A commentary on the Gopala Tapani Upanishad, which has importance in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, as it provides Upanishadic backing for the notion that Krishna is the supreme deity. Dig-Darshini Tika on Brahma Samhita: This is Sri Jiva Gosvami's commentary on the text Brahma Samhita, discovered by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at the Adi Kesava Temple at Tiruvattaru.
Commentary on Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu: Jiva Goswami wrote his Durgama-sangamani commentary on Rupa Goswami's Bhakti-rasamrita
RadhaKrishn are collectively known within Hinduism as the combined forms of feminine as well as the masculine realities of God. Radha and Krishna are the primeval forms of God and His pleasure potency in the Vaishnava school of thought in Vedic culture. Krishna is referred to as svayam bhagavan in Vaishnavism theology and Radha is illustrated as the primeval potency of the three main potencies of God, Hladini and Samvit of which Radha is an embodiment of the feeling of love towards the almighty God Shree Krishna. With Krishna, Radha is acknowledged as the Supreme Goddess, for it is said that Krishna or God is only satiated by devotional service in loving servitude and Radha is the personification of devotional service to the supreme, she is considered in Vaishnavism as the total feminine energy and as the Supreme Lakshmi. Various devotees worship her with the understanding of her merciful nature as the only way to attain Krishna. Radha is depicted to be Krishna himself, split into two, for the purpose of His enjoyment.
It is believed that Krishna enchants the world, but Radha "enchants Him. Therefore She is the supreme goddess of all. RadhaKrishn". While there are much earlier references to the worship of this form of God, it is since Jayadeva Goswami wrote a famous poem Gita Govinda in the twelfth century of the Common Era, that the topic of the spiritual love between the divine Krishna and his devotee Radha, became a theme celebrated throughout India, it is believed that Radha is not just one cowherd maiden, but is the origin of all the gopis, or divine personalities that participate in the rasa dance. Vigneshwara cannot be broken into two – Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, his shakti Radha such was the love of Radha towards Krishna that they became one. Krishna in Vrindavana is depicted with Radha standing on his left; the common derivation of shakti and shaktiman, i.e. Female and male principle in a god implies that shakti and shaktiman are the same; each and every god has its partner,'betterhalf' or Shakti and without this Shakti, is sometimes viewed being without essential power.
It is a not uncommon feature of Hinduism when worship of a pair rather than one personality constitutes worship of God, such is worship of Radha Krishna. Traditions worshiping Krishna, as svayam bhagavan, male, include reference and veneration to his Radha, worshiped as supreme. A view that exists of orthodox Vaishnavism or Krishnaism is that Radha is shakti and Krishna is shaktiman and are always found without any tinge of materialistic attributes or cause. From the Vaishnava point of view the divine feminine energy implies a divine source of energy, God or shaktiman. "Sita relates to Rama. As Krishna is believed to be the source of all manifestations of God, "Shri Radha, His consort, is the original source of all shaktis" or feminine manifestation of divine energy. A number of interpretations according to traditions possess a common root of personalism in the understanding of worship. Caitanyaite Gaudiya Vaishnava doctrine and mission is fiercely "personalistic," proclaiming the supremacy of Krishna, the identification of Caitanya as Radha-Krishna, the reality and eternality of individual selves, a method for approaching the absolute reality and the Deity as a person first and foremost.
Jiva Goswami in his Priti Sandarbha states that each of the Gopis exhibits a different level of intensity of passion, among which Radha's is the greatest. In his famous dialogs Ramananda Raya describes Radha to Caitanya and quotes, among other texts, a verse from Chaitanya Charitamrta 2.8.100, before he goes on to describe her role in the pastimes of Vrindavana. The central pivot point of the theology is related to the word rasa; the theological use of the word can be found early, about two thousand years before the Nimbarka or Caitanya school, in a phrase that the tradition quotes: "Truly, the Lord is rasa" of Brahma sutras. This statement expresses the view that God is the one who enjoys the ultimate rasa or spiritual rapture, emotions. Radha Krishna are worshiped in the following traditions of Hinduism: King Gareeb Nivaz ruled from 1710 to 1734 and was initiated into Vaishnavism of the Chaitanya tradition, which worships Krishna as the supreme deity, Svayam bhagavan, he practiced this religion for nearly twenty years.
Preachers and pilgrims used to arrive in large numbers and cultural contact with Assam was maintained. The Manipuri Vaishnavas Radha-Krishna. With the spread of Vaishnavism the worship of Krishna and Radha became the dominant form in the Manipur region; every village there has a temple. Rasa and other dances are a feature of the regional folk and religious tradition and for example, a female dancer will portray both Krishna and his consort, Radha, in the same piece. In Vedic and Puranic literature and other forms of the root >rAdh have meaning of ‘perfection’, ‘success’ and ‘wealth’. Lord of Success, Indra was referred to as Radhaspati. In references to Mahavishnu as the Lord of Fortune and used by Jayadeva as Jaya Jayadeva Hare – the victorious Hari, ‘Radhaspati’ all found in many places; the word Radha occurs in Taittiriya BrAhmana and Taittiriya Samhita. Charlotte Vaudeville, in the article Evolution of Love Symbolism in Bhagavatism draws some parallel to Nappinnai, appearing in Godha's magnum opus Thiruppavai and in Nammalwar’s references to Nappinnani, the daughter-in-law of Nandagopa.
Nappinnai is believed to be the source of Radha’s conception in
Radha Raman is a famous image of Radha Krishna worshiped in Hinduism. There is a famous temple of this deity in Vrindavana; this name of Krishna should be understood as a lover of his Radha. The appearance of the Radha Ramana is described by Gopala Bhatta Goswami biographer Narahari in a mere four verses. Narahari Chakravarti puzzles over Krsnadasa's near-silence over Gopala Bhatta, concluding that Gopala Bhatta requested his junior, Krishnadasa Kaviraja to be omitted from the book out of humility. Unlike other biographies of Caitanya, Chaitanya Charitamrta describes Caitanya's south India tour, including his visit to Srirangam and residing with the temple priest Venkata Bhatta The quaint historic temple of Radha Raman has celebrated its 500th anniversary, it has a steady flow of local worshippers as well as pilgrims from around the world. It is notable for housing the image, the oldest remaining in Vrindavan for the longest continuous period, as Radha Raman remained in Vrindavan during the iconoclastic raids by Mughal King of India Aurangzeb during the seventeenth century, when other images were removed to be hidden in safer places outside the city.
Performances of classical Indian devotional music are offered in Radha Raman temple nightly. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stayed at Venkata's home. Venkata Bhatta had Tirumalla Bhatta and Prabodhananda Sarasvati, they all belonged to the Ramanuja sampradaya and Prabodhananda Sarasvati was a tridandi sannyasi of that order. Vyenkata Bhatta had a son named Gopal, just a child. Gopala Bhatta was a son of a priest of Srirangam. Venkata and his two brothers, Gopala's uncles Trimalla and Prabodhananda Sarasvati "were converted from their Sri Vaishnava faith in Lakshmi-Narayana as supreme to one in Radha Krishna" as Svayam bhagavan; the dialog of this conversion is recorded in 16 c. Chaitanya Charitamrita biography by Krishnadasa Kaviraja. In the second volume of the Chaitanya charitamrita a presentation is given, with a reference to the particular verse of the tenth canto of Bhagavata Purana as to the reason why Lakshmi known as Sri is burning with desire and still not capable of entering to the realm of Vrindavana.
Prabodhananda Sarasvati a Sri Sampradaya sannyasi, was converted to supreme position of Radha-Krishna being Svayam bhagavan instead of Lakshmi-Narayana. He as well came to appreciate the supremacy of Radha worship from Chaitanya. Being pleased with Gopala Bhatta Goswami's sincere service and devotion, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu initiated him, ordered him to move to Vrindavana after the death of his parents and perform bhajan and write, he instructed him to serve his father and always engage in chanting Krishna's glories. At the age of thirty Gopala Bhatta Gosvami came to Vrindavana. After Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's disappearance Gopala Bhatta Gosvami felt intense separation from the Lord. To relieve his devotee, the Lord instructed Gopala Bhatta in a dream: "If you want my darshan make a trip to Nepal". In Nepal, Gopala Bhatta bathed in the famous Kali-Gandaki River. Upon dipping his waterpot in the river, he was surprised to see several Shaligrama Silas enter his pot, he dropped the silas back into the river.
Gopala Bhatta Gosvami found twelve Shaligrama shilas. It is believed once a wealthy man came to Vrindavana and offered Gopala Bhatta a variety of clothing and ornaments for his Shaligrams in charity. However, Gopala Bhatta couldn't use these for his round-shaped Shaligrams, so he advised the donor to give the Deity decorations to someone else. It's believed that donor refused to take them back and Gopala Bhatta kept the cloths and ornaments with his Shaligramas. On the Purnima day of in the evening after offering to his Shalagram shilas, Gopala Bhatta put them to rest, covering them with a wicker basket. Late in the night, Gopala Bhatta took a little rest and in the early morning went to take bath in the Yamuna river. Returning from his bath, he uncovered the Shaligramas in order to render the puja for them, saw amongst them a Deity of Krishna playing a flute. There were now this Deity; the "Damodara shila" had manifested as the beautiful three-fold bending form of tri-bhangananda-krishna. In this way Radha Raman emerged in a shaped deity form from a sacred fossilized shaligrama stone.
Devotees consider this image to be alive and that he grants a chosen family the privilege of assisting him in his daily schedule. In this way "the Lord has granted his wish and the stone was turned into a deity murti of Sri Krishna"; as a narrative account of actualized Krishna-bhakti, Radharamana's appearance story highlights the divine-human relationship of love as the ontologically central category of ultimate reality. The deity is wearing the following: feather, yellow dress, shining vaijayanti-mala on his chest. Shark shaped ornaments in his ears and a beautiful shining tilaka on his forehead. Vrindavana ISKCON Svayam bhagavan Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Junagadh - Another temple with images of Radha Ramana "Gopal Bhatta Gos & Radha Raman". Www.salagram.net. Retrieved 2008-05-19."YouTube - Radha Raman Darshan". Www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19
Asceticism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or continue to be part of their society, but adopt a frugal lifestyle, characterised by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, time spent fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters. Asceticism has been observed in many religious traditions, including Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Contemporary mainstream Islam practices asceticism in the form of fasting during Ramadan by abstaining from all sensual pleasures, including food and water from sunrise until sunset; the observation of fasting during Ramadan is purely done for God and to increase one's spiritual connection with God. Sufi tradition has included strict asceticism throughout history; the practitioners of these religions abandoned sensual pleasures and led an abstinent lifestyle, in the pursuit of redemption, salvation or spirituality.
Asceticism is seen in the ancient theologies as a journey towards spiritual transformation, where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the frugal is plenty. Inversely, several ancient religious traditions, such as Zoroastrianism, Ancient Egyptian Religion and the Dionysian Mysteries, as well as more modern Left Hand traditions reject ascetic practises and focus on various types of hedonism; the adjective "ascetic" derives from the ancient Greek term askēsis, which means "training" or "exercise". The original usage did not refer to self-denial, but to the physical training required for athletic events, its usage extended to rigorous practices used in many major religious traditions, in varying degrees, to attain redemption and higher spirituality. Dom Cuthbert Butler classified asceticism into natural and unnatural forms: "Natural asceticism" involves a lifestyle which reduces material aspects of life to the utmost simplicity and to a minimum; this may include minimal, simple clothing, sleeping on a floor or in caves, eating a simple minimal amount of food.
Natural asceticism, state Wimbush and Valantasis, does not include maiming the body or harsher austerities that make the body suffer. "Unnatural asceticism", in contrast, covers practices that go further, involves body mortification, punishing one's own flesh, habitual self-infliction of pain, such as by sleeping on a bed of nails. Self-discipline and abstinence in some form and degree are parts of religious practice within many religious and spiritual traditions. Ascetic lifestyle is associated with monks, fakirs in Abrahamic religions, bhikkhus, sannyasis, yogis in Indian religions. Christian authors of late antiquity such as Origen, St. Jerome, St. Ignatius, John Chrysostom, Augustine interpreted meanings of Biblical texts within a asceticized religious environment. Scriptural examples of asceticism could be found in the lives of John the Baptist, the twelve apostles and the Apostle Paul; the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed ascetic practices of the ancient Jewish sect of Essenes who took vows of abstinence to prepare for a holy war.
An emphasis on an ascetic religious life was evident in both early Christian practices. Other Christian practitioners of asceticism include individuals such as Simeon Stylites, Saint David of Wales and Francis of Assisi. According to Richard Finn, much of early Christian asceticism has been traced to Judaism, but not to traditions within Greek asceticism; some of the ascetic thoughts in Christianity Finn states, have roots in Greek moral thought. Virtuous living is not possible when an individual is craving bodily pleasures with desire and passion. Morality is not seen in the ancient theology as a balancing act between right and wrong, but a form of spiritual transformation, where the simple is sufficient, the bliss is within, the frugal is plenty; the deserts of the Middle East were at one time inhabited by thousands of Christian hermits including St. Anthony the Great, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Simeon Stylites. In 963 CE, an association of monasteries called Lavra was formed on Mount Athos, in Eastern Orthodox tradition.
This became the most important center of orthodox Christian ascetic groups in the centuries that followed. In the modern era, Mount Athos and Meteora have remained a significant center. Sexual abstinence such as those of the Encratites sect of Christians was only one aspect of ascetic renunciation, both natural and unnatural asceticism have been part of Christian asceticism; the natural ascetic practices have included simple living, begging and ethical practices such as humility, compassion and prayer. Evidence of extreme unnatural asceticism in Christianity appear in 2nd-century texts and thereafter, in both the Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Western sister tradition, such as the practice of chaining the body to rocks, eating only grass, praying seated on a pillar in the elements for decades such as by the monk Simeon Stylites, solitary confinement inside a cell, abandoning personal hygiene and adopting lifestyle of a beast, self-inflicted pain and voluntary suffering; such ascetic practices were linked to the Christian concepts of redemption.
Evagrius Ponticus called Evagrius the Solitary was a educated monastic teacher who produced a large theological body of work ascetic, including the Gnostikos known as The Gnostic: To t
Gaudiya Vaishnavism is a Vaishnava religious movement inspired by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in India. "Gauḍīya" refers to the Gauḍa region with Vaishnavism meaning "the worship of Vishnu or Krishna". Its theological basis is that of the Bhagavad Gītā and Bhāgavata Purāṇa as interpreted by early disciples of Chaitanya such as Sanātana Gosvāmin, Rūpa Gosvāmin, Jīva Gosvāmin, Gopala Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmin, others; the focus of Gaudiya Vaishnavism is the devotional worship of Radha and Krishna, their many divine incarnations as the supreme forms of God, Svayam Bhagavan. Most popularly, this worship takes the form of singing Radha and Krishna's holy names, such as "Hare", "Krishna" and "Rama", most in the form of the Hare Krishna known as kirtan; the movement is sometimes referred to as the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya, referring to its traditional origins in the succession of spiritual masters believed to originate from Brahma. It classifies itself as a monotheistic tradition, seeing the many forms of Vishnu or Krishna as expansions or incarnations of the one Supreme God, adipurusha.
According to Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy, consciousness is not a product of matter, but is instead a symptom of the soul. All living beings, are distinct from their current body - the nature of the soul being eternal and indestructible without any particular beginning or end. Souls which are captivated by the illusory nature of the world are reborn among the various species of life on this planet and on other worlds in accordance to the laws of karma and individual desire; this is consistent with the concept of samsara found throughout Hindu belief. Release from the process of samsara is believed to be achievable through a variety of spiritual practices. However, within Gaudiya Vaishnavism it is bhakti in its purest state, given as the ultimate aim, rather than liberation from the cycle of rebirth. One of the defining aspects of Gaudiya Vaishnavism is that Krishna is worshiped as the source of all Avataric incarnations of God; this is based on quotations from the Bhagavata Purana, such as "krsnāstu bhagavan svayam" "Krishna is God Himself".
A distinct part of the Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy espoused by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the concept of Achintya Bheda Abheda, which translates to "inconceivable oneness and difference" in the context of the soul's relationship with Krishna, Krishna's relationship with his other energies. In quality, the soul is described as being identical to God, but in terms of quantity individual jivas are said to be infinitesimal in comparison to the unlimited Supreme Being; the exact nature of this relationship is inconceivable to the human mind, but can be experienced through the process of Bhakti yoga. This philosophy serves as a meeting of two opposing schools of Hindu philosophy, pure monism and pure dualism; this philosophy recapitulates the concepts of qualified nondualism practiced by the older Vedantic school Vishishtadvaita, but emphasizes the figure of Krishna over Narayana and holy sites in and around Bengal over sites in Tamil Nadu. In practice Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy has much more in common with the dualistic schools closely following theological traditions established by Madhvacharya's Dvaita Vedanta.
The practical process of devotional life is described as bhakti-yoga. The two main elements of the bhakti-yoga process are vaidhi bhakti, devotional service through practice of rules and regulations and raganuga bhakti, taken as a higher stage of more spontaneous devotional service based on a selfless desire to please one's chosen Ishta-deva of Krishna or his associated expansions and avatars. Practicing vaidhi-bhakti with a view to cultivate prema creates eligibility for raganuga-sadhana. Both vaidhi and raganuga bhakti are based on the singing of Krishna's names. Attainment of the raganuga stage means that rules of lifestyle are no longer important and that emotions or any material activities for Krishna should not be repressed. Vaidhi-bhakti's purpose is to elevate the devotee to raganuga. Within his Siksastaka prayers, Chaitanya compares the process of bhakti-yoga to that of cleansing a dirty place of dust, wherein our consciousness is the object in need of purification; this purification takes place through the chanting and singing of Radha and Krishna's names.
The Hare Krishna is chanted and sung by practitioners on a daily basis, sometimes for many hours each day. Famously within the tradition, one of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's close associates, Haridasa Thakur, is reported to have chanted 300,000 holy names of God each day. Gaudiya Vaishnavas follow a Lacto vegetarian diet, abstaining from all types of animal flesh, including fish and eggs. Onions and garlic are avoided as they are believed to promote a more tamasic form of consciousness in the eater when taken in large quantities. Gaudiya Vaishnavas avoid the intake of caffeine, as they believe it is addictive and an intoxicant. Many Gaudiya Vaishnavas will live for at least some time in their life as monks. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a Bengali spiritual teacher, he is believed by his devotees to be Krishna himself who appeared in the form o
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
This article is about a Hindu theological concept: the original or absolute manifestation of God. For other meanings, see Krishna and Bhagavan. Svayam Bhagavān is a Sanskrit theological term for the concept of absolute representation of God as Bhagavan - The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation. According to the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is termed Svayam Bhagavan; as stated in Bhagavata Purana, Hindu Vedic Supreme God Para Brahman appeared before Vasudeva and Devaki in his divine original form before taking birth as Krishna. Vasudeva and Devaki after praising Vishnu, requested him to hide his divine form, which Vishnu agreed to do, transforming himself into a small baby Krishna. According to this account, Krishna never took birth from the womb of His mother like a common baby. Svayam Bhagavan It is most used in Gaudiya Vaishnava Krishna-centered theology referencing Krishna and that title is used there to designate Him, there being conflicting semantics or other usages in the Bhagavata Purana.
Traditions of Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the Nimbarka Sampradaya and followers of Vallabha consider Him to be the source of all Avatars, the source of Vishnu and Narayana. As such, He is therefore regarded as Svayam Bhagavan. Though Krishna is recognized as Svayam Bhagavan by many, He is perceived and understood from an eclectic assortment of perspectives and viewpoints; when Krishna is recognized to be Svayam Bhagavan, it can be understood that this is the belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the Vallabha Sampradaya, the Nimbarka Sampradaya, where Krishna is accepted to be the source of all other Avatars, the source of Vishnu himself. This belief is drawn from the "famous statement" of the Bhagavatam. A different viewpoint differing from this theological concept is the concept of Krishna as an avatar of Narayana or Vishnu, it should be however noted that although it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the Avataras, this is only one of the names of the God of Vaishnavism, known as Narayana, Vasudeva Krishna and behind each of those names there is a divine figure with attributed Supremacy in Vaishnavism.
The theological interpretation of svayam bhagavān differs with each tradition and the literal translation of the term has been understood in several distinct ways. Translated from the Sanskrit language, the term means "Bhagavan Himself" or "directly Bhagavan". Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition translates it within its perspective as primeval Lord or original Personality of Godhead, but considers the terms such as Supreme Personality of Godhead and Supreme God as an equivalent to the term Svayam Bhagavan, may choose to apply these terms to Vishnu and many of their associated avatars. Early commentators of Bhagavata Purana such as Madhvacharya translated the term Svayam Bhagavan as "he who has bhagavata". Others have translated it as "the Lord Himself". Followers of Vishnu-centered sampradayas of Vaishnavism address this term, but believe that it refers to their belief that Krishna is among the highest and fullest of all Avatars and is considered to be the "paripurna avatara", complete in all respects and the same as the original.
According to them Krishna is described in the Bhagavata Purana as the purnavatara of Bhagavan, while other incarnations are called partial. "Krishna being Bhagavan. There is a universal acceptance of the uniqueness of Krishna incarnation throughout Hinduism, as well as the principles involved in His life and personality for which He has been described as Svayam Bhagavan. There is an element of countenance in many Krishna centered traditions to the subordination of Krishna to Vishnu; the reasons for that are given that it was the easiest way to accommodate Krishna's human story within the composite Vaishnava theological perspective. These "core texts assert and defend the ultimacy of Krishna's identity"; however inclusion of Krishna in the list of avataras does not subordinate him to Vishnu as one of the latter's expansions. Early authors, such as 12th century Jayadeva considered dasavatara to be principal incarnations of Krishna, rather than Vishnu; the prime supporters of the Krishna-centered theology, Gaudiya Vaishnavas and followers of the Vallabha Sampradaya and Nimbarka Sampradaya, use the Gopala Tapani Upanishad, Vedanta Sutras and other Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavata Purana as in verse 1.3.28 and the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, among others, to support their view that Krishna is indeed the Svayam Bhagavan.
This belief was summarized by the 16th century author Jiva Goswami in some of his works, such as Krishna-sandarbha. While Krishna himself is mentioned in one of the earliest texts of Vedic literature - the Rig-Veda. In the sixth book of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata, the Bhishma Parva, Krishna offers numerous quotations that reaffirm the belief that he himself is the Svayam Bhagavan. Verse 7.7 of the Bhagavad Gita, is used to support the opinion that Krishna himself is the Svayam Bhagavan, that no impersonal form of Brahman supersedes his existence, as it is a common view that Bhagavad Gita was propounding Krishna-theism before first major proponents of monism. Other pervading understandings of the position of Svayam Bhagavan asserted in the Gita are connected to, non-Krishna-centered, traditions. One tradition follows predominately the views of Sankaracharya commentary on Brahma Sutras and is referred as maya-vad which j