Showing posts with label Achintyabheda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Achintyabheda. Show all posts

Hinduism And Hindu Theology - What Is Achintyabheda?

The Gaudiya Vaishnava school, which was established by the Bengali saint Chaitanya (d. 1533) and is dedicated to the worship of Krishna as the Supreme Being, has a key philosophical idea. 

Jiva Goswami, Chaitanya's student, originally articulated the idea of Achintyabheda in the late 16th century, and it describes the connection between God (Krishna) and the human soul, as well as between God and his supernatural forces. 

These connections are characterized as involving both sameness and difference in both instances. 

  • On the one hand, human souls are obviously distinct from God, as shown by their flaws and vulnerability to karma, both of which contrast with God's complete transcendence and perfection. 
  • However, because human souls may achieve ultimate freedom (moksha) via karma, they must share some aspect of God's essence, since liberation would be impossible if human souls were entirely distinct. 
  • Even while human souls share in the divine essence, their individuality is preserved even after freedom, when the human soul does not unite with Krishna but remains unique. 

The second connection, between God and his divine forces, is described in the same way. 

  • The divine powers are often imagined as real living deities, especially in the form of goddesses, rather than as characteristics (e.g., the capacity to create, maintain, and destroy the world). 
  • These forces are similar to God in that they are derived from Him, but they are also distinct in that each of the embodied powers does not possess the splendor of the whole. 
  • The exact nature of this simultaneous identity and difference is "inconceivable" in both instances, which has a mystical connotation. Sushil Kumar De, Early History of the Vaishnava Faith and Movement in Bengal, from Sanskrit and Bengali Sources, 1961, is a good source of knowledge.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.