What is The Eternal & Constitutional Function of The Jiva/Soul?
Extracted From Jaiva-dharma, By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Chapter “Eight”
Nitya-dharma & Vaisnava Behavior
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Chapters 9 – 25 are Work In Progress

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Question: “What are the secondary symptoms of the madhyama-bhakta?”

The secondary symptom of the madhyama-bhakta is the way in which he lives his life.  His life is completely surrendered to the will of Krishna, and is favorable to bhakti.

Question: “Can he still commit sins or offenses?”

Some tendency to commit sins or offenses may remain in the beginning stage, but gradually these will disappear.  Whatever sins or offenses are still present at the beginning of the madhyama stage are like chick-peas that are just about to be ground to a pulp; they are still seen as small lumps, but within a few moments they will be crushed and will cease to exist.  Yukta-vairagya (appropriate renunciation) is the life and soul of the madhyama-bhakta.

Question: “Does the madhyama-bhakta have any trace of karma, jnana, or extraneous desires?”

In the initial stages a faint trace of these things may remain, but finally they are uprooted.  Whatever vestiges of karma and jnana remain in the beginning of the madhyama stage occasionally make themselves visible, yet these gradually fade into oblivion.

Question: “Do such bhaktas even desire to live, and if so, why?”

Actually, they have no desire to live or die, or to attain liberation.  They desire to live only to attain consummation of their bhajana.

Question: “However, why don’t they long for death?”

Question: “What happiness can come from remaining in this gross material body?”
Question: “When they die, will they not obtain their spiritual forms and identities by Krishna’s mercy?”

They have no independent desires.  All their desires are solely dependent on Krishna’s will, because they are firmly convinced that everything is happening by His will and that whatever happens is only because of His desire.  They have, therefore, no need to aspire for anything independently.

Question: I have understood the symptoms of the madhyama-adhikari.  Now, please tell me about the secondary symptoms of the uttama-adhikari.?

Their secondary symptoms are their bodily activities, but even these cannot actually be viewed separately as secondary symptoms, because they are so much under the control of prema, which is beyond all influence of the material modes. There is no provision in sastra for the kanistha-adhikaris to renounce household life, and madhyama adhikaris may live as either householders or renunciants. 

Question: “Is it possible that some uttama-adhikaris will live as householders?”

One’s level of eligibility cannot be determined by whether one is a householder or a renunciant; the only criterion is one’s advancement in bhakti.  There is certainly no harm if an uttama adhikari bhakta remains a householder.  All the grhastha-bhaktas of Vraja were uttama-adhikaris.  Many grhastha-bhaktas of our Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu were uttama-adhikaris; Raya Ramananda is the foremost example of this.

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?

The person who is less qualified should offer dandavatpranama to the person who is more qualified.  This stipulation is only for the benefit of the madhyama-adhikari, because the uttama adhikari bhakta does not expect respect from anyone.  In all living beings, he sees the presence of Bhagavan.

Question: “Should one bring many Vaisnavas together and hold festivals for distributing bhagavat-prasada?”

From the spiritual point of view, there is no objection if many Vaisnavas gather together for some particular occasion and a madhyama-adhikari grhastha-bhakta wants to honor them by distributing the bhagavat-prasada.  However, it is not good to make a pompous display of serving the Vaisnavas, for then this activity will become adulterated with the mode of passion.  One should distribute prasada to the assembled Vaisnavas with great care and attention.  This is one’s duty.  If one wishes to serve the Vaisnavas in this way, he should only invite pure Vaisnavas.

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?”
Question: “Babaji: Have these descendants of Vaisnavas taken up suddhabhakti?”

Nityananda dasa:

I do not see suddha-bhakti in any of them.  They only call themselves Vaisnavas.  Some of them wear kaupinas (loincloths).


I cannot say why is this type of practice is in vogue.  It should not be done.  I can only surmise that it is going on because kanistha Vaisnavas have no ability to recognize who is a true.

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“Click” : Here for “Links” to Other “What is the Eternal & Constitutional Function of the Jiva/Soul : Chapter Menus & Audio Playlists

Chapters 9 – 25 are Work In Progress

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