In Vaikuntha Not Even The Leaves Fall     First    Second   Third   Fourth   Fifth   Previous   Next

The Origin of the Jiva, Controversy

First Wave: Siddhanta 

Chapter 1

“The Origin of the Jiva According to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura”

Part 3

The essence is that there are three types of jivas.  Those that originate in Vraja manifest from Lord Baladeva.  Those in the Vaikuntha planets manifest from Sankarsana.  Those in the material world manifest from Maha-Visnu.  The first two types of jivas are nitya-mukta and the third type are nitya-baddha.  The third type, by the mercy of the Lord, can also become muktas if they take to devotional service.  This explanation is very much in line with what the Six Gosvamis have written, which is cited elsewhere in this book.

If there is any doubt about this explanation, Bhaktivinoda Thakura further writes (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter Sixteen):

“There are unlimited jivas who are eternal associates of the Lord. In Goloka Vrindavana they are manifested by Lord Baladeva for the service of Lord Krishna. 

In Vaikuntha they are manifested by Sri Sankarsana for the service of Lord Narayana, the Lord of Vaikuntha.  They are eternally and blissfully engaged in the service of their worshipable Lord, always situated in their svarupa, always striving to make the Lord happy, always favorable to the service of the Lord, and always powerful with the energy of the cit-sakti.  They have absolutely no relation or contact with the inert maya.  Indeed, they do not even know that there is an energy called maya.  Because they live in the spiritual region, maya remains very far from them.  They are always absorbed in the bliss of service to their worshipable Lord.  They are transcendental to mundane misery and happiness and are always liberated.  Their very life is love, and they have no conception of lamentation, fear, and death.

The atomic conscious jivas, who come out like rays from Maha-Visnu’s glance at maya, are also uncountable.  Being in proximity to maya, these jivas see the variegatedness of maya.  They have all the characteristics of the ordinary jivas as described before, yet because of their atomic nature they sometimes glance marginally towards the spiritual creation and sometimes towards the material creation.  In this marginal state the jiva is weak, because he has not yet attained spiritual power by the mercy of the worshipable Lord.  Out of these unlimited jivas, the ones who desire to enjoy maya remain eternally bound by maya, because of being attached to sense enjoyment.  Those who engage in devotional service to the Lord go to the spiritual world getting the strength of the cit-sakti by the mercy of the Lord.”

Besides the fact that this passage confirms the previous one, we also learn that the nitya-mukta devotees don’t even know there is an energy called maya.  Later on, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes that the reason why some jivas become liberated and some become bound is the proper use or misuse of their natural independence.  This does not include the nitya-mukta jivas, who have no contact with maya and thus have no scope to misuse their natural independence.  Also, from these statements it is explicit that no one falls from Vaikuntha, because these jivas originating from Maha-Visnu have never been in the nitya-lila in the spiritual sky, because Maha-Visnu is situated in the Viraja River, which is the demarcation between the spiritual energy and the material energy. 

Being tatastha sakti, the jivas that come from Maha-Visnu may come to the   material world or go to the spiritual world according to how they choose to use their minute independence, but no one falls into the material world from the Vaikuntha planets or from Vrajaloka.  The jivas in Vaikuntha are nitya-mukta and always have the power of the cit potency.  Thus, they can never be influenced by maya.  This verdict is confirmed in the Krishna-sandarbha where Srila Jiva Gosvami explains at length the infallible nature of the Lord’s internal potency, which we discuss later in this book. 

Srila Bhaktivinoda explains that the jivas in the tatastha region are weak because they have not yet acquired the power of the cit potency.  If they engage in devotional service, they can also become strong by the cit-sakti; then they will become liberated eternally.  Moreover, he said that nitya-muktas have no contact with maya, indeed they do not even know of maya.  They cannot be attracted to something they are not even aware of.  One has to know an object, properly or improperly, before desiring it or becoming attracted to it.  This cuts to pieces the theory of the fall from the nitya-lila.

After this Bhaktivinoda Thakura answers the question:  Why did Lord Krishna make some jivas weak so that they come under the influence of maya?  This question would not arise if the fall down theory was in his mind, because he already said that nitya-muktas are strong because of the cit potency:


“{Lord Krishna is the embodiment of mercy.  Why did He make the jiva weak and thereby cause his bondage by maya?” (Note: Jiva here refers only to the conditioned souls).


“It is right that Krishna is merciful, but He is also lilamaya, or one who performs only lila.  Considering that various types of lilas will be performed under various situations, the Lord made the jiva competent for unlimited gradations of positions from the marginal state up to the topmost platform of mahabhava.  To facilitate the jivas and make them firm in their competence for these various positions, He created many low levels associated with maya which present unlimited obstacles in the attainment of the supreme bliss.  These range from the lowest inert matter up to false ego.  The living entities bound by maya are in ignorance of their svarupa, engaged in acquiring pleasure for themselves, and not devoted to Krishna.  In this state, as much as the jiva goes down, that much more the merciful Lord—becoming manifest before him along with His associates and abode—gives him the facility to attain the ultimate destination.  Those jivas who accept that facility try to achieve this highest destination.  Gradually they reach the transcendental abode of the Lord and attain the exact same status as His eternal associates.”     First    Second   Third   Fourth   Fifth   Previous   Next

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