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What is The Eternal & Constitutional Function of The Jiva/Soul?
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The Eternal & Temporary Natures of the Jiva/Soul

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Segment 6
“How and When Did the Jiva Makes a Choice to be in This Material World”
Part 3

 When the writings of Bhaktivinoda Thakura are studied, it is found that whereas other acaryas previously explained anadi in philosophical terms, he explained it in a novel way.  Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s explanation is more for the common man.  His explanation is misunderstood by some as support of the fall from the Lord’s nitya-lila in Vaikuntha theory, but a close scrutiny of his writings show that nowhere does he write explicitly that the jiva falls from Vaikuntha.  If our conclusion was merely a matter of our interpretation, then we may have grounds for a protracted debate with the fall-vadis (devotee who believe in the “fall from Krishna-lila[1]” theory).  We find that Bhaktivinoda himself tenders an explanation for the conditioned soul’s existence, that clearly does not include any fall from Krishna-lila or Vaikuntha.  This makes it clear that citing his writings as evidence for the fall position, is a misuse of the Thakura’s teachings, in that it contradicts his own explanation.  

About the word anadi he writes, (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter One):

“Service to Lord Krishna is the eternal duty, nitya dharma, of the jiva.  Forgetting that the jiva is possessed by maya.  From then on, the soul turns his face away from Krishna.  Because this non-devotion to Krishna is manifest only at the time, he enters the material world, there is no history of the jiva’s fall within the time of the material world.  For this reason the words anadi bahirmukha (the living entity’s non devotion to Krishna is beginningless) are used.  From the time of non-devotion to Krishna, and entry into maya, the eternal duty of the jiva becomes perverted.”

From this, one understands that the jiva enters the material world from somewhere else.  This is not the true view however, because something that is beginningless cannot have a prior state of existence, as will be explained further along. 

In Sri Caitanya Siksamrta (First shower, fourth flow) Thakura Bhaktivinoda writes:

Because the jiva is bound before entering the material world his bondage is called anadi, or beginningless.  Therefore he is called nitya-baddha.  Those who are not bound in this way are called nitya-mukta.  And those who are bound are called nitya-baddha.”

And in Jaiva Dharma (Chapter 16) he writes,  

“Therefore karma[2] has no beginning in material time.  Thus it is called anadi, beginningless.”

 “This is pretty conclusive for the fall down theory,” fall-vadis say, thinking that prior to having karma, the jiva was somewhere else, and that somewhere else was Vaikuntha, but this is only because of a deep bias, and a lack of proper deliberation.  First of all, even if we accept this as proof of some sort of fall down, he never mentions that the jiva falls from Vaikuntha.  That is conjecture on the part of the fall-vadis to accommodate their belief in the fall theory. 

On the contrary, in Jaiva Dharma, Chapter Fifteen, Srila Bhaktivinoda writes:


“In the svarupa[3]  of the jiva, there is no product of maya.  This has to be accepted.  The nature of the jiva can be influenced by maya.  This I have also understood.  Now I want to know if the cit-sakti[4] , has created the jiva by giving it the marginal nature?  (Vrajanatha is asking about the conditioned jivas).”


“No, cit-sakti is the complete potency of Krishna.  Whatever it manifests are all nitya-siddha objects.  The jiva is not nitya-siddha; he becomes sadhana-siddha, through sadhana[5], and enjoys bliss like the nitya-siddha.  The four types of sakhis[6] of Sri Radha[7] are nitya-siddhas; they are manifestations of Sri Radha, who is the personification of the cit-sakti.”


[1] Krishna-lila—the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krishna.

[2] Karma—1.  material action performed according to scriptural regulations; 2. action pertaining to the development of the material body; 3. any material action which will incur a subsequent reaction; 4. the material reaction one incurs due to fruitive activities; This Sanskrit word means ‘action’ or, more specifically, any material action that brings a reaction binding us to the material world.  According to the law of karma, if we cause pain and suffering to other living beings, we must endure pain and suffering in return; One of the five tattvas, or Vedic ontological truths: the activity or work which the embodied living entity performs with the karmendriya, as well as the resultant reaction.  The soul receives the due reaction to work by taking his next birth in a subhuman species, or the human species, or a superhuman species.  Or the soul may be liberated from birth and death altogether.  All this depends upon whether the karma performed within this lifetime is ignorant, passionate, good or transcendental.  Karma dedicated in sacrifice as directed by Vedic injunctions raises the quality of a human being’s work.  Sacrifice culminates in activity dedicated only to Lord Krishna’s service.  Such transcendental karma is called niskama.

[3] Svarupa—the living entity’s original eternal relationship of service to the Lord, the real form of the soul.

[4] Cit-sakti—(cit-knowledge + sakti-potency) internal or enlightening knowledge potency of the Supreme Lord.

[5]. Sadhana – the method one adopts in order to obtain a specific goal is called sadhana. Without sadhana one cannot obtain sadhya, the goal of one’s practice. There are many different types of sadhana corresponding to various goals. Those who desire material enjoyment adopt the path of karma as their sadhana. Those who desire liberation adopt the path of jnana as their sadhana. Those who aspire for the eternal loving service of Sri Krsna adopt the path of bhakti as their sadhana. The sadhana of bhakti refers to spiritual practices such as hearing, chanting, and so on.

[6] Sakhi—gopis who are close associates of Srimati Radharani’s, and who expand the conjugal love of Krishna and His enjoyment among the gopis.

[7] Radharani—Lord Krishna’s most intimate consort, who the personification of the internal, pleasure potency of Lord Krishna.  She appeared in this world as the daughter of King Vasabhanu and Kirti-devi and is the Queen of Vrindavana.  The most favorite consort of Krishna in Vrindavana, situated on Lord Krishna’s left on altars and pictures; The feminine counterpart of Lord Krishna.  She directs the ananda potency (hladini-Sakti) for the transcendental pleasure of the Lord.

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