Chapter

Jīva

Arvind Sharma

in Modern Hindu Thought

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195676389
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195676389.003.0010
Jīva

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In classical Hinduism, a jīva can become a human being in the course of his existence. However, the process is far from simple. According to some expositors of Hinduism, a jīva is granted a human body only after going through more than eight million previous incarnations. In contrast, modern Hinduism espouses the theosophical belief that one does not slide back from human birth. A re-evaluation of the doctrines of karma and samsāra in modern Hinduism provides a new perspective about the jīva. Karma can be interpreted in terms of phala and samsāra, the latter of which holds the key to samsāra. According to classical Hinduism, the jīva possesses three bodies: the gross body, the subtle body, and the causal body. When it comes to the operation of karma, modern Hinduism might link phala with the subtle body and samsāra with the causal body.

Keywords: Hinduism; jīva; human; karma; samsāra; phala; samsāra; gross body; subtle body; causal body

Chapter.  614 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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