What is The Eternal & Constitutional Function of The Jiva/Soul?
Extracted From Jaiva-dharma By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Chapter “8”
Nitya-dharma & Vaisnava Behavior

Chapter Eight is a series of questions & inquiries, that Bhaktivinoda Thakura answers.  The specific questions & inquires, are numbered and listed after each Segment Number.   

Segment 069:

  1. Question: “I understand that vaisnava-dharma is eternal religion, and I would like to know in detail how one who has taken shelter of vaisnava-dharma should behave with others?”     

Segment 070:

  1. Question: “What is a Vaisnava and what are the symptoms by which he can be recognized?”
  2. Question: “The philosophical outlook lodged in the heart of Mayavadis and proponents of other similar doctrines is that Bhagavan has no form and that the Deity which is worshiped is simply an imaginary icon.  Under such circumstances, how can there be any faith in the Deity?
  3. Question: “How should suddha-bhaktas behave towards such inimical people?”
  4. Question: “Some members of one’s own family may acquire a malicious nature as a result of their sinful activities from a previous life.  Should one abandon such people?”

Segment 071:

  1. Question: “What is the behavior of uttama-bhaktas?”
  2. Question: “What are the Vedas, or sruti?”                                       
  3. Question: “To which category of Vaisnavas do you think I belong? Am I a kanistha or a madhyama Vaisnava? I am certainly not an uttama Vaisnava. I sincerely want to know my actual position.
  4. Question: “To which class of Vaisnava do I belong, and how should I behave?”

Segment 072:

  1. Question: “What are the primary and secondary characteristics of a kanistha-bhakta in regard to bhakti?”
  2. Question: “How can the kanistha Vaisnava be called a bhakta when he is contaminated with the faults of karma and jnana, and his heart is filled with desires for things other than bhakti?”
  3. Question: “When will he obtain bhakti?”    20
  4. Question: “Suddha-bhakti appears along with sambandha-jnana.  When is that knowledge awakened by which one becomes eligible for suddha-bhakti?”
  5. Question: “How long does that take?”
  6. Question: “What is the first result attained by past sukrti?”
  7. Question: “What is the progression that evolves from sadhu-sanga?”
  8. Question: “How does one attain sadhu-sanga”
  9. Question: “What are the stages of progress for a kanisthabhakta?”
  10. Question: “Why is it that many kanistha-bhaktas do not progress?”       
  11. Question: “When does that happen?”       
  12. Question: “Under what circumstances can his advancement be assured?”
  13. Question: “What is the nature of the kanistha-adhikari’s inclination towards sinful and pious activities?”
  14. Question: I have understood the situation of kanistha-adhikaris.  Now kindly describe the primary symptoms of the madhyama-adhikari bhaktas


Segment 073:

  1. Question: “What are the secondary symptoms of the madhyama-bhakta?”
  2. Question “Can he still commit sins or offenses?”
  3. Question: “Does the madhyama-bhakta have any trace of karma, jnana, or extraneous desires?”
  4. Question: “Do such bhaktas even desire to live, and if so, why?”
  5. Question: “However, why don’t they long for death?”       24
  6. Question: “What happiness can come from remaining in this gross material body?”
  7. Question: “When they die, will they not obtain their spiritual forms and identities by Krishna’s mercy?”
  8. Question: “I have understood the symptoms of the madhyama-adhikari.  Now, please tell me about the secondary symptoms of the uttama-adhikari.”          
  9. Question: “Is it possible that some uttama-adhikaris will live as householders?”
  10. Question: “If an uttama-adhikari bhakta is a grhastha, and a madhyama-adhikari bhakta is in the renounced order, how should they behave towards each other?
  11. Question:  “Should one bring many Vaisnavas together and hold festivals for distributing bhagavat-prasada?”
  12. Question: “A new caste has emerged in Baragachi consisting of people who refer to themselves as descendants of Vaisnavas.  Kanistha-adhikari householders invite them and feed them in the name of Vaisnava seva.  How is this to be viewed?”  
  13. Question: “Babaji: Have these descendants of Vaisnavas taken up suddhabhakti?”      

Segment 074:

  1. Question: “Do the descendants of Vaisnavas deserve any special regard?”
  2. Question: “What if the descendant of a Vaisnava is only a worldly man?”
  3. Question: “How can one be free from pride?”
  4. Question: “It seems from this that one cannot be a Vaisnava without humility and compassion.”
  5. Question: “Then does Bhakti-devi depend on humility and compassion?”
  6. Question: “When I am so wretched and insignificant myself, how can I inflict punishment upon others?”
  7. Question: “How should a Vaisnava behave towards the followers of other religions?”
  8. Question: “Is it our duty to preach Vaisnava dharma or not?”
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