Jiva — the Soul Living in a Body

Thus My lower nature (Apara-Prakriti). But understand, O Mighty-armed (Arjuna)! that My different and higher nature (Para-Prakriti) is the jiva, the self-consciousness and life-principle, that sustains the cosmos. VII:5

The jiva is the consciousness of the soul identified with its manifested or incarnate state, the self-consciousness or individualized existence of the soul.

On the macrocosmic scale, Kutastha Chaitanya (the Krishna or Christ Consciousness) is the intelligence of God immanent in all creation as the unchanged and unchanging pure reflection of God—the "Soul" of the universe; and Para-Prakriti is that same consciousness, but containing within it and expressing itself through the creative elements of individuality and diversity—the "jiva" of the cosmos.

On the microcosmic scale, the soul in man is the ever unchanged and unchanging image of God; the jiva is that same divine consciousness which recognizes its essential oneness with God, but operates as an individualized entity—the discriminative ego that is identified with
the soul.

The "jiva"—as Para-Prakriti attuned to the Kutastha Krishna-Christ Intelligence in the universe, and as the discriminative ego attuned to the soul in man—is the creative intelligence and life principle in all individualized forms, the active divine intelligence of God the Creator and of His individualized image, the soul. Without this superior nature behind the gross manifestation, the physical universe and body of man would not exist.