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New Article Published: Chapter 1 of Ishvara Gita Translation

For a while, we talked about publishing an article series on the Ishvara Gita contained in the Kurma Purana (See previous posts: [1][2][3][4][5]). Today, we have published the first chapter. Subsequent chapters will follow.
As we stated in the earlier articles forming the intro to Ishvara Gita, this section is all about Jivatma Upasana. Vishnu haters have tried to take the Ishvara Gita to show Shiva’s supremacy, and hence their claims are also dismantled.
Note that the Ishvara Gita has been quoted by Vishveshvara Tirtha (VT) in “yati dharma saMgraha” who interpreted the whole of it as pertaining to the worship of Shri Krishna only. A sample is the statement “tato bhasmasnānaṃ kṛtvā vāsudevaṃ vicintayet” (thereupon, the sannyAsin should perform ablution using ashes, and then meditate on Vasudeva), in support of which VT quotes a shloka from the Ishvara Gita: “cintayet svātmāni īśānaṃ paraṃ jyotiḥ svarūpiṇam । eṣa pāśupato yogaḥ paśupāśavimuktaye ॥” (see here). However, the Ishvara Gita’s subject is not Vasudeva, but entirely Jivatmopasana if correctly interpreted as per Vishishtadvaita.
In the first chapter of the Ishvara Gita, the Rishis ask Suta Pauranika about the Jivatman and the knowledge of the Jivatman leading to liberation from samsAra. This end is known as “kaivalya mukti” in vishiShTAdvaita. Both kaivalya mukti and vaikuNTha prApti lead to liberation from karma and the cycle of birth and death, the former is much more inferior and therefore discouraged by the AzhvArs. Nevertheless, the sages enquire about Kaivalya Mukti since it is much more superior to the attainment of goals that lead to karma-bandha and samsAra, such as aishvarya and svargaloka prApti.
The distinction from the attainment of Sriman Narayana as the goal is elucidated by the words of the Rishis:
tatreśvareśvaro devo varṇibhirdharmatatparaiḥ jñānayogaratairnityamārādhyaḥ kathitastvayā
“You have described the God (Narayana), who is the Supreme among Ishvaras, who is ever worshipped by those who are exclusively devoted to their varNAshrama dharma (karma yoga), who are conversant with the knowledge of the self (jnana) and meditation on the auspicious qualities of the Supreme (yoga)”.
This line is immediately followed by:
tadvadāśeṣasaṃsāraduḥkhanāśamanuttamam jñānaṃ brahmaikaviṣayaṃ yena paśyema tatparam
You have also expounded about the knowledge that has the “brahman” alone as the subject matter which destroys the misery of samsAra, by which we can directly perceive that “highest”
Thus, the Rishis imply a difference in the subject matter between the first and the second lines (“tadvat”).
The Rishis then request Suta to clarify and elaborate this other subject matter, followed by Suta’s reply forming the bulk of the Ishvara Gita.
Read our full explanation of the first chapter here.

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