In the Vishnu Sahastranaam, there is a name 'jiva' assigned to Lord Shriman Narayana.

jivo vinayita sahskhi mukundomita vikramahaa

According to Vishistaadvaita Philosophy jiva and Bramhan are different entities and Bramhan pervades everything, Bramhan resides inside the jiva as Antaryami. Bramhan is Shriman Narayana, but if jiva is a name for Bramhan (as in the Vishnusahastranaam) does it mean that Jiva is Bramhan , if so it inclines towards Abheda or Advaita Philosophy instead of Ghataka or Vishistaadvaita philosophy.

  • hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/12381/5746 see if this can help you to understand vishistaadvaita philosophy.. Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 19:06
  • @ShreeKrishna you mean to say that my concept of Vishistadvaita is wrong that Bramhan and jiva are two different entities?
    – Yogi
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 19:07
  • It's not mean your concept is wrong, But it is solution of Advaita and Dvaita, Because many of us can't understand the actual meaning of Vishistadavita Philishopy , I am personally belongs to Sri-Vaishnav , So, I also did so many research of it Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 19:12
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    @Yogi You're slightly misstating the principle of Visistadvaita. It's not just that Brahman resides within the body of the Jiva. Visistadvaita certainly does say that Brahman resides within the gross and subtle bodies of the Jiva, but it says more than that, namely that Brahman resides within the Jiva itself. Brahman is the soul of the Jivatma, just as the Jivatma is the soul of its gross and subtle bodies. Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 19:14
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    @ShreeKrishna I think by different Yogi didn't mean "completely seperate", he just just meant "not identical". In Visistadvaita the Jiva is an essential attribute of Brahman, and Brahman is its Antaryami, but the Jiva is not Brahman itself. Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 20:46

2 Answers 2


Here is what the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Parashara Bhattar says in his commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranamam:

Individual souls are called Jivas. The Lord redeems Jivas and makes them live in Him. He makes them satvatas (devotees) and infuses spiritual life into them.

Satvata is another term for Bhagavata or follower of Pancharatra. (See my answer here for more information on Pancharatra.) In any case, I'm reminded of two verses from chapter 10 of the Bhagavad Gita:

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

For a more general explanation for why Vishnu would be referred to with a term that denotes the individual soul, see this section of Ramanujacharya's Sri Bhashya:

[T]he highest Self has the indiviual souls for its body, and ... hence words such as 'I' and 'thou,' which denote individual beings, extend in their connotation up to the highest Self... As the Rishi Vâmadeva perceiving that Brahman is the inner Self of all, that all things constitute its body, and that the meaning of words denoting a body extends up to the principle embodied, denotes with the word 'I' the highest Brahman to which he himself stands in the relation of a body, and then predicates of this 'I' Manu Sûrya and other beings--'Seeing this the Rishi. Vâmadeva understood, I am Manu, I am Sûrya' (Bri. Up. I, 4, 10). Similarly Prahlâda says, 'As the Infinite one abides within all, he constitutes my "I" also; all is from me, I am all, within me is all.' (Vi. Pu. I, 19, 85.)

  • If you could explain the relationships between Bramhan and Jiva mentioned in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishishtadvaita#Brahman , I would mark it as answer
    – Yogi
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 4:30
  • @Yogi You mean those relationships like prakara and sharira and all that? You should post a separate question about that, rather than combining it with a question about a Sahasranamam name. Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 5:06
  • Why do I have to post another question, my question is relevant I asked for the jiva name in sahastranaam with the question on the relationship between jiva and bramhan according to Vishishtadvaita philosophy, and if I have found out the relationships I need the exact relationship here since there are many types of relationships between jiva and bramhan.
    – Yogi
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 5:32
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    @Yogi Well, "How does Visistadvaita explain the presence of the name Jiva in the Vishnu Sahasranamam" is a very different question than "What is the relationship between the Jiva and Brahman in Visistadvaita?" The first is about an interpretation of a scriptural verse, the second is about understanding a fundamental tenet of Visistadvaita philosophy. So it's not a good idea to ask both of those in the same question. Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 5:36
  • @Yogi: as keshav said, he is right you have to ask different question, because you combine the both question, like you confuse the name of jiva (Lord Sriman-narayan ), and the other question is relation between jiva and brahman. Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 7:01

Here I am trying to figure out answer of your question from Vishnu-Sastranam Strotram, Bhagvad Gita & Sri Ramanujacharaya (Vishitaadvaita) Phiosophy.

So, Let's first we look-out the Sloka Translation of particualr Sloka of Visnu-Sajasrnam Strotram: jīvō vinayitāsākṣī mukundōmitavikramaḥ |

meaning: Jivo:One who as the Kshetragya or knower of the field or the body, is associated with the Pranas Vinayitā-sākṣī: One who witnesses the Vinayita or worshipful attitude of all devotees. Mukundaḥ: One who bestows Mukti or Liberation. Amitavikramaḥ: One whose three strides were limitless

Now, we under-stand it from Gita Chapter 13 Sloka 1,2,3:

śrī arjuna uvāca prakṛtiṃ puruṣaṃ caiva kṣetraṃ kṣetrajñam eva ca | etad veditum icchāmi jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ ca keśava || 1 ||

Arjuna Asked O Kesava, I desire to learn about the spirit and about matter, about the Field and its Knower, about knowledge and the knower.

Śrī Bhagavān uvāca idaṃ śarīraṃ kaunteya kṣetram ityabhidhīyate | etad yo vetti taṃ prāhuḥ kṣetrajñā iti tad vidaḥ || 2 ||

The Lord said: This body, O Arjuna, is called the Field (Kṣetra). One who knows it is called the ‘Knower of the Field’ (Kṣetrajña), by the enlightened ones.

kṣetrajñaṃ cāpi māṃ viddhi sarva kṣetreṣu bhārata | kṣetra kṣetrajñayor-jñānaṃ yat tajjñānam mataṃ param || 3 ||

  1. And know Me also as the Kṣetrajña in all Fields, O Arjuna. The knowledge of both the Field and its Knower is, in My view, the highest knowledge.

Now, Understand throgh the philosophy of Sri Ramanujacharaya

In reference to the body one says; ‘I am a god’, ‘I am a human’, ‘I am fat’, ‘I am thin’ etc. according to the principle of co-ordinate predication (samānādhikaraṇya) the ‘I’ referred to is the experiencing Self (jivātman), and that which is experienced [as fat, thin etc] refers to something other than the Self i.e. the body. The enlightened ones understand that the body is only the Field where the fruits of past deeds are reaped by the Self, which is different from the body. It is obvious that when one sees an object like a pot which is different from one's body, one thinks — 'I, a god, see this pot' or 'I, a human see it' etc., in this case one is identifying with one’s body by the principle of samānādhikaraṇya. In the same way one also experiences the body as an object of knowledge when one says:— ‘I know this body.’ Thus, if the body is a knowable object, it must be different from the knowing subject. Therefore, the Self as Field-knower (Kṣetrajña), is different from the body which is an object of knowledge like a pot and other things. But in practical terms one's body is inseparable from oneself; for it constitutes a fundamental attribute of the Self like the 'cow-ness' of the cow. The knowing Self is however unique in being an eternal and subtle form of consciousness and can only perceive itself through a mind refined by Yoga and not by mundane awareness. The ignorant regard the Self as being a physical phenomena because of its intimate involvement with material nature. Sri Krishna thus declares later on:— ‘When, being associated with the Guṇas, the Self departs or stays or experiences the deluded perceive it not, only those who are enlightened see’. (15.10).

As the Overself, Krishna is the ‘Field-Knower’ in all the bodies such as those of gods, humans, animals and antigods. By the expression 'also' (api) it can be inferred that the body itself is also a manifestation of Krishna. Just as the body cannot exist separately from the ātman on account of its being an attribute [eg. like the mango and its taste] and consequently when referring to the body one actually refers to the ātman according to the principle of co-ordinate predication, in the same manner, both the body (Field) and the Self (Field-Knower), on account of both of their being inseparable attributes of Krishna’s can thus be denoted as ‘one with Krishna’. The Veda teaches that the Supreme Being is the Overself both the Kṣetra (Field) and the Kṣetrajña (Jīva), because of their being like His ‘body’ [corporeality]. For example see the passages from the Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad beginning with 3.7.3).

From this Sloka which I mentioned 13.3 kṣetrajñaṃ cāpi māṃ viddhi sarva kṣetreṣu bhārata | kṣetra kṣetrajñayor-jñānaṃ yat tajjñānam mataṃ param || 3 || 3. And know Me also as the Kṣetrajña in all Fields, O Arjuna. The knowledge of both the Field and its Knower is, in My view, the highest knowledge.

The Advaitin claims that this passage teaches absolute identity between the Jīva and Iśvara.

Let's understand it as per the Sri Ramanujacharaya

Rāmānuja’s position is that the relationship is not one of absolute ontological identity but only one of identity of reference of several inseparable entities to a common substratum — known technically as Samānādhikaraṇya or co-ordinate predication. The literal meaning of the expression is 'the relation of abiding in a common substratum'. The relation of the Jīva and Prakrti to Iśvara is as of body and self or as a mode (Prakara) and its substratum. The relation between the body and Self of an ordinary being is, only separable at death. But it is inseparable in the case of Iśvara and this Jīva-cum-Prakrti ‘body’. In this sense Iśvara is the Field-knower (Kṣetrajña) of the Field (Kṣetra) constituted of all individual entities sentient and insentient, just as in each individual 152 personality the Jīva and the body are the field-knower and the field respectively. Being in co-ordinate predication (Samānādhikaraṇya), Brahman is an inseparable but mutually distinct complex of the Prakrti, Jīva and Iśvara. the cosmic mode of body constituted of Prakrti and Puruṣa is at intervals in alternate states of latency and patency (Pralaya and Sṛṣṭi or dissolution and manifestation). As the Essence-self of a complex whole, He can be denoted by any of the terms entering into it—Iśvara, Prakrti or Jīva. Brahman is sometimes mentioned in the Vedas as Asat (non-existent) when everything is in latency in Pralaya, and as Sat (existent) when all entities are in manifestations (Sṛṣṭi). All these expressions denote Him only. He is described in some texts as attributeless. It means only that He is without any undesirable negative qualities. He is on the other hand endowed with countless auspicious attributes.

Now we are moving to that particualr sloka of Vishnu Sahastrnam jīvō vinayitāsākṣī mukundōmitavikramaḥ |

here Jivo as I mentioned One who as the Kshetragya or Knower Of the Field

So, It's like Super-Soul(Jiva) & sub-soul(Jiva), Super-soul jiva is only one but sub-soul can be many likes Living-entites,demigods etc etc, So in that particular Sloka the Jiva belongs to Super-Soul which is the knower of the Field.

Now, In your mind this doubt will come if the sub-soul can also knower of the Field So why not he is same level of Bramhan, But here is your dobut clear in this particular sloka of bhagvat Gita which I mentioned before

kṣetrajñaṃ cāpi māṃ viddhi sarva kṣetreṣu bhārata | kṣetra kṣetrajñayor-jñānaṃ yat tajjñānam mataṃ param || 3 || 3. And know Me also as the Kṣetrajña in all Fields, O Arjuna. The knowledge of both the Field and its Knower is, in My view, the highest knowledge.

Sub-souls(jiva) are "Field-Knower" of his own body, But the Lord Vishnu(Kirshna) is the ‘Field-Knower’ in all the bodies such as those of gods,humans, animals and antigods.

So, Hope your Doubt clear of your particular sloka that's Jiva refers to the Lord Shriman-narayan who is super-soul, that's jiva is not address to the sub-soul (jiva)

And as In Vishitaadvaita Philosophy The Visishtadvaita principle is tell us like as we can't discriminate the white color from the white clothes. even though they both are different from each other like same as Davita and Advaita can't be discriminate from each other. even thogh they both are different from each other and same as we and Suprme Lord Visnu are different from each other but also not differentiate from each other.

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    Good to see you back. Please stay active. Jai Sreemannarayana. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 1:50
  • @Nog Shine : Nah sorry bro too busy now days. Actually I was on stack overflow and I saw some notifications so I visited. Don't get a time to active maybe in future hope so jai shreeman narayana ! Commented Oct 30, 2017 at 7:39

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