JIVA or living being is not merely physical or material body (deha). It is not even biological or vital breath (prdna). Nor is it just a cluster of senseimpressions {manas), nor intellect {buddhi), nor ego {ahankdrd). The essence of jiva is something beyond all these. It is the Transcendent Self or dtman, which is the knowcr {sdksi), the seer {drishid) and pure consciousness {chit).

The composite whole of chit and achil, drishta and d.rishya, karid and karana is the total personality called jiva, the embodied self. The constituents of jiva, according to Vcdant, arc (i) Atmanor Self, (ii) Avidyd or ignorance enveloping the self, (iii) Chiddhhdsa or reflection of the Self in the Ego, (iv) karama sanra, the causal body, (v) linga sanra constituting prdna (vital airs), man, ahankdra and buddhi, and (vi) gross physical body. In gurbdni, jiva (also jia) essentially stands for living being, an organism. Jelejiajivahi lai sdhd, all living beings live by breath (GG, 144), exemplifies this connotation.

The same is also reflected in this line from A kdl Usiati, jivajilejal men thai men, as many living beings as abide in water or on land. The term jiva also stands for dimd or jivdtmd since that is presumed to be the source of life in any living being. Such lines as ishvar jiva ek im jdnai : thus reckon Ishvar (God) and jiva as one (Sri Gur Praia? Suraj Granth) or jiu eku aru sagal sanra: consider it the same one dimd in all different bodies (GG, 330) .The term has also been employed to connote man or chit, i.e. mind or consciousness, as in jia sangi prabhu apund dhartd: He fixes his mind on his Lord (GG, 384). In brief, Jiva in gurbdni stands for a living being or for any of the features life, consciousness, mind or soul (Jivdtma) that are deemed to characteri/x a living being in general, more specifically man.

References :

1. Aviar Singh, Ethics of the Sikhs. Patiala. 1970
2. Slier Singh, The Philosophy of Sikhism. Lahore, 1944