In Hinduism and Jainism, a jiva ( _sa. जीव, IAST|jīva alternate spelling, "jiwa") is a living being [ [http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/7/5/en1 Bhagavad Gita 7.5] "Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities [jiva] who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature." ] , or more specifically the immortal essence of a living being (human, animal, fish or plant etc...) which survives physical death [ [http://brahmasamhita.com/5/21/en1 Brahma Samhita 5.21] "The same jiva is eternal and is for eternity and without a beginning" ] . It has a very similar usage to 'atma', but whereas atma refers to 'the self', 'jiva' is used to denote a 'living entity' or 'living being' specifically. The concept of the jiva is similar, but not necessarily identical to, the concept of the "soul" as presented in Abrahamic religions. The word itself originates from the Sanskrit "Jivás", with the root "jīv-" 'to breathe'. It has the same Indo-European root as the Latin word "Vivus": "Alive".


In the Bhagavad Gita of Hinduism the jiva is described as immutable, eternal, and indestructible. It is said not to be a product of the material world (Prakrti), but of a higher 'spiritual' nature [ [http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/7/5/en1 Bhagavad Gita 7.5] ] . At the point of physical death the jiva takes a new physical body depending on karma and the individual desires and necessities of the particular jiva in question.

"For further explanations see reincarnation and transmigration."


Jain and Hindu scriptures describe the ultimate goal of the jiva as being either of the following (depending on the particular philosophical tradition):

*'liberation' from material existence (moksha)
*obtaining pure love of God (bhakti)
*or becoming liberated from the happiness and distress of the world, while still being existent within it (jivanmukta).

"For further information see Dharmic Religions."

In Fiction

"Jiva" is the name of one of the main characters in Karmatrón, the Mexican comic book.

Certain characters in author Jennifer Roberson's "Sword-Dancer" series wield magical swords called "jivatmas" which contain the essences of vanquished opponents.

Jivas play a recurring role in the comics of Jim Woodring.


ee also


External links

* [http://www.vedabase.net/j/jiva 'Jiva' - usage in Puranic scripture]

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  • Jiva — (Sanskrit, jiva, wörtl. Leben) oder Jivatman ist in der indischen Philosophie das individuelle Selbst oder die Seele. Es bezeichnet den Atman, der dem physischen und feinstofflichen Körper Leben verleiht. Der Jiva ist nicht das mentale Ich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jiva — est, dans la mythologie slave, la déesse de la vie, du printemps et de la naissance. C est la personnalisation de la force vitale. Dans la main droite elle tient une pomme, et dans la main gauche une grappe de raisin. Parfois elle se transforme… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jiva — désigne en Inde l âme individuelle. Reste à savoir si c est bien le sens du nom de famille …   Noms de famille

  • jiva — ● jiva nom masculin (mot sanskrit signifiant vivant) Dans le jaïnisme et le bouddhisme, l âme en tant que substance vivante, par opposition à ajiva, la substance non vivante …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jiva —   [dʒ ; von Sanskrit jiv »leben«] die, / s, Hinduismus: die in einem Körper lebende Seele, d. h. der sterbliche Mensch, der sich mit seinem Körper identifiziert und somit an den Kreislauf von Geburt und Tod gebunden ist …   Universal-Lexikon

  • jiva — ž DEFINICIJA v. dživa …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Jiva — Хива Jiva Puerta de entrada de la ciu …   Wikipedia Español

  • jiva — /jee veuh/, n. 1. Hinduism. the individual soul, regarded as a particular manifestation of Atman. 2. Jainism. a. the individual soul or life monad, compared to a transparent crystal stained by karmic matter with colors, or lesyas, of varying hues …   Universalium

  • jiva — ˈjēvə noun ( s) Usage: sometimes capitalized Etymology: Sanskrit jīva, from jīva living, alive more at quick 1. Hinduism a …   Useful english dictionary

  • JIVA — Joint Intelligence Virtual Architecture …   Military dictionary

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