Jaiva Dharma book (JaivaDharma – The Constitutional Religion of the Soul)

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

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Jaiva Dharma (“The Constitutional Religion of the Soul”) is a philosophical novel by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Most of the book is presented as a dialogue of questions and answers between the various characters. The main character is Sri Premadasa Babaji, who is known as a paramahamsa, or a topmost swan-like devotee of the Lord.

One day Babaji is approached by a sannyasi who is himself very well-versed in the revealed scriptures but has thus far subscribed to advaita-vada. The sannyasi asks many questions, and Babaji gives the conclusive answers thereby convincing the sannyasi of the superexcellence of the personal theism of the Vaishnavas. Other characters are gradually introduced into the novel, and various philosophical discussions take place.

This is a very thorough work, touching on practically every major topic of devotional discussion, and Thakura has quoted profusely from Sastras to support his conclusions. Complete in 40 chapters, JaivaDharma has been composed in the vernacular so that even persons without Sanskrit training can glean the essence of the revealed scriptures.

You can read Jaiva Dharma in online libraries.

Some topics covered extensively are: the eternal nature of the soul, the truth of bodily castes, proper conduct in domestic life, historical perspective of eternal religion, methods of the soul’s release from material bondage, spontaneous devotional service, the truth of the Holy Name of the Lord, avoiding offenses unto the Name, true Name vs. semblance of Name, etc.

The last 15 chapters of JaivaDharma treat the subject of transcendental rasa very elaborately. Two sincere devotees named Vijaya Kumara and Vrajanatha approach Premadasa Babaji with many questions, and together they discuss the nature of ecstatic symptoms, divine emotions, affection for the Lord in shanta-rasa, dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, vatsalya-rasa, madhurya-rasa. Vijaya-kumara, who wishes to be further instructed in the madhurya-rasa, is directed by Premadasa Babaji to Jagannatha Puri and the lotus feet of Guru Gosvami, a disciple of Svarupa Damodara Goswami. From him he learns the highest Truth.

The book ends with a description of how the two devotees Vrajanatha and Vijaya Kumara attain the ultimate goal of life – they take the teachings of their preceptors to heart, give up all worldly attachments and simply worship the Lord within their heart of hearts all throughout their days and nights – Vrajanatha on the banks of the Ganges in Sridhama Mayapura and Vijaya-kumara in a secluded cottage near the Jagannatha Puri seashore. Following along the Lord’s daily pastimes, they remain absorbed in ecstatic love for Him until they drop their mortal frames and happily return back to Godhead.

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Harih Om Tat Sat.

Natural Brotherhood (Bhaktivinoda Thakura):

BhaktiVinoda Thakura

"Gradually, when the offensive portions of the established religions are destroyed, there will be no more differences in the bhajana performed by the various Sampradayas nor any quarrel between them.

Then as brothers, the people of all castes and countries will spontaneously chant the Holy Names of the Supreme Lord together.

At that time, no one will hate anyone or consider others dogeaters; nor will anyone be overwhelmed by the pride of high birth.

The living entities will not forget the principle of natural brotherhood."

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3 Responses to “Jaiva Dharma book (JaivaDharma – The Constitutional Religion of the Soul)”
  1. tushar says:

    Where can I download this book jaiv dharma

  2. Dasa says:

    Tushar, see the link in the middle of this post.

  3. Jay Sri Radhe says:

    Thank you very much for the info. Is important to add that in the heart of Bhaktivinod Thakur and his Guru, no conditioned soul goes BACK TO GODHEAD; we have haven´t been there yet. Only Nitya Muktas as Jaiva Dharma explain.
    Quote from chapter 15
    CHAPTER 15
    “All Vaiñëavas say that the jéva is an eternal servant of Kåñëa,
    that his eternal nature is to serve Kåñëa, and that he is now bound
    by mäyä, because he has forgotten that eternal nature. However,
    everyone knows that the jéva is an eternal entity, of which there
    are two types: nitya-mukta and nitya-baddha. The subject has been
    explained in this way only because the conditioned human intellect being controlled by pramäda (inattentiveness), is unable to comprehend a subject matter. ”