What is a BMI chart? What is the relationship between Jiva and Isvara?
Did you know that Hinduism had a different BMI chart altogether? Can you imagine the use of BMI in Hinduism? Swami Chinmayananda developed the BMI chart to explain the concepts of Advaita Vedanta. He used the chart to describe the relationship between the absolute reality, individual Self, and the relative world.
The absolute Reality (Om) expresses as the individual Self (Jiva or PFT) because of the force of amassed vasanas (V). By using body, mind, and intellect (BMI), the Self takes on the roles of perceiver, feeler, and thinker (PFT). In this way, it engages with the world of objects, emotions, and thoughts (OET). When the individual beats beyond all vasanas, he realizes his true Self.
Avidyā-upādhiḥ san ātmā jīva iti ucyate. The quote mentioned above defines Jiva as the Atman as if conditioned by the limitation known as ignorance. Moreover, it is this Jiva that goes in search of happiness with its vasanas from life to life, body to body. It is not a part of the physical body. Jiva is limited in knowledge, power, and pervasiveness. Besides, the Maya ties Jiva to itself and controls it.
Māyā-upādhiḥ san Īśvara iti ucyate. As you all already know, Isvara is another term for God. The above quote states the same. It defines Isvara as the awareness conditioned by Maya. He includes everything that exists. Scriptures use the word Isvara in relation to the creation, sustenance, and destruction of the universe.
In contrast to Jiva, Isvara is infinite and unlimited in knowledge. Moreover, it is also limitless in power and pervasiveness. Therefore, it is the wielder and controller of Maya. When looking into the relationship between Jiva and Isvara, it is vital to note that both of them are, in essence, Brahaman. The difference in conditioning is what makes them different from each other.