As discussed here, the Upanishads describe the state of Kaivalya as the detachment/seperation of the Self from Prakriti.

According to Advaitins, Kaivalya is said to be the ultimate state/moksha where a Jiva attains non-duality with Brahman. The Samkhyans and the Jains, who don't believe in Brahman, as well as followers of the Yoga School of Patanjali, who do believe in Brahman, consider Kaivalya to be the ultimate state for liberation as well.

On the other hand, there are two opinions regarding Kaivalya in the Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya. The Thenkalai Sri Vaishnavas or followers of Pillai Lokacharya, regard Kaivalya as eternal and Jivas who reach this state to attain the outermost realms of Vaikuntha. The Vadakalai Sri Vaishnavas or the followers of Vedanta Desikan, on the other hand, believe Kaivalya is not eternal and Jivas who reach this state are not free from the cycle of rebirth.

However, I want to know what Gaudiya Vaishnavas say about this. I know Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe in an impersonal Brahman which unlike Advaita, is simply effulgence of Krishna's body. So do Yogis who attain Kaivalya merge into the impersonal Brahman too according to Gaudiya Vaishnavism? Or do they simply attain Goloka or Vaikuntha or some other inferior Loka? What have Gaudiya Vaishnava acharyas said regarding this? Basically, what is "Kaivalya" to them?

EDIT: It seems from this site and this site that Srila Prabhupada and Satyanarayan Das Babaji that Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe Advaitins attain Sayujya, the state by which one merges into Hari attaining bliss. So does that mean Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe Sayujya and Kaivalya are different terms used for the same type of liberation. Or is Kaivalya something different which Advaitins don't attain? Also, according to Satyanarayan Das Babaji, it does seem Sayujya, the state which Advaitins attain, according to Gaudiya Vaishnavas, is eternal.


It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.13.12):


"And that one thing is the only goal of this literature"

The "one thing" referred to here is pure love for the Lord.

The preceding three quarters of this stanza describe the Lord. Therefore this last quarter should also be understood to refer to Him.

In the preceding stanza it is said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 12.13.11):



"Shrimad-Bhagavatam is filled with nectarean descriptions of Lord Krishna's transcendental pastimes, descriptions that delight the saintly devotees."

These words affirm that pure love for the Lord is the primary topic of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The words "hari-lila-kathamrita" mean "The descriptions of Lord Krishna's pastimes are nectar", and the words "sat-suram" mean "The self satisfied (atmarama) devotees.

The glory of pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.12.11):

ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya

"Lord Krishna, who awards the impersonal brahman realization by His bodily effulgence, also gives pleasure to the devotees as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are under the spell of external energy, maya, take Him only as a beautiful child. Yet He gave full transcendental pleasure to the cowherd boys who played with Him. Only after accumulating heaps of pious activities, those boys were promoted to personally associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

It is also described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.9):

parinishthito 'pi nairgunye

"O saintly king, I was certainly situated perfectly in trascendence, yet I was still attracted by the delineation of the pastimes of the Lord, who is described by enlightened verses."

Therefore the word "kaivalya" in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 12.13.12 should be interpreted according to these explanations of the true purpose of Shrimad-Bhagavatam.

The true meaning of “kaivalya", then, is "pure love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead".

However, even if the word “kaivalya" is interpreted to mean "purity", it still refers to love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for that love is the purest thing that exists (it is established in the Bhakti-sandarbha)

Any materially motivated thing is criticized in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.2):

dharma-projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramah

"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth."

Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: pra-çabdena mokñäbhisandhir api nirastaù "In this verse the preposition pra' in the word projjhita' indicates that the desire for liberation is also rejected in this book."

Therefore this verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam declares that the desire for liberation is actually materially motivated (kaitava). Although the word "kaivalya" may be used to describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the spiritual nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the devotees who love the Supreme Lord still say (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.15.49):

kamam bhavah sva-vrijinair nirayeshu nah stac ceto 'livad yadi nu te padayo rameta

"O Lord, we pray that You let us be born in any hellish condition of live, just as long as our hearts and minds are always engaged in the service of Your lotus feet, our words are made beautiful (by speaking of Your activities) just as tulasi leaves are beautified when offered to Your lotus feet, and as long as our ears are always filled with the chanting of Your transcendental qualities."

Here it is seen that the devotees give their love to the Supreme Personality of Godhead alone. If the word “kaivalya" may be interpreted to mean "liberation". Still, the best meaning of that word is "pure love for the Lord". That is the interpretation that should be accepted.

In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.12) it is said:

kaivalya-sammata-pathas tv atha bhakti-yogah

Shrila Shridhara Svami comments: "This verse means: `Devotional service is the true path of liberation."

The word "pathah" (path) here means "the way to attain association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

In truth the word "kaivalya" and other like words primarily refer to pure devotional service/love for God.

The above answer is based on Priti Sandarbha by Jiva Goswami.

Sayjuya is same as ekatvam and is not desired.

In ŚB 3.29.13 it is said,

A pure devotee does not accept any kind of liberation — sālokya, sārṣṭi, sāmīpya, sārūpya, ekatva — even though they are offered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead if devoid of My devotional service.

Thus, the essence of Bhagavatam as presented by Gaudiya Vaishnavism is summarised by Srinatha Chakravarti in Chaitanya Mata Manusha commentary to 10th Canto of Bhagavatam as follows:

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam

ramya kacid-upasana vrajavadhu-vargena ya kalpita

srimad-bhagavatam pramanam-amalam prema pumartho mahan

sri caitanya mahaprabhur-matam-idam tatradaro nah parah

It is the conclusive opinion of Sri Chaitanya Maaprabhu that the most worshipable form of the Lord is that of Sri Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja. Vrindavan-dhäma is the topmost worshipable abode. The highest and most pleasing type of worship of Krishna is done by the Vraja gopis. Srimad-bhagavatam is the spotless authority and krsna-prema is the fifth and highest goal of life.

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