Saragrahi.Org's Featured Presentation “3”
What is The Eternal & Constitutional Function of The Jiva/Soul?
Chapter "One"
The Eternal & Temporary Natures of the Jiva/Soul

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Segment 7
“How and When Did the Jiva Makes a Choice to be in This Material World.”
Part 4

All the jivas have appeared from the jiva-sakti of Lord Krishna.  Just as cit-sakti is Krishna’s complete potency, similarly jiva-sakti is His incomplete potency.  All complete objects have appeared from the complete potency, similarly from the incomplete potency come the unlimited atomic jivas.  Lord Krishna presiding over each of His potencies, manifest His various expansions correspondingly.  Presiding over the cit potency, He manifests His Krishna form, and that of Lord Narayana, the Lord of Vaikuntha.  Presiding over His jiva-sakti, He manifests His vilasa[1] form of Baladeva[2] in Vraja[3].  Becoming situated in His maya-sakti, He manifests the three Visnu forms–Karanodakasayi[4], Ksirodakasayi[5], and Garobhodakasayi[6].

From His Krishna form, He manifests all the cit entities.  

From His Baladeva form, as Sesa[7] tattva, He manifests the nitya-muktas, associate jivas, to render service in eight ways to Lord Krishna, the Sesi tattva.  

Again, becoming Sankarsana[8] as Sesa rupa, He manifests eight types of eternal associates, to render service in eight ways to Sesi, Narayana[9].  

Maha Visnu[10], an incarnation of Sankarsana, becoming situated in the jiva-sakti as Supersoul[11], manifests the living entities of the material world.  All these jivas (coming from Maha Visnu), are disposed to maya.  Until they attain the shelter of hladini-sakti of the cit world, by the mercy of the Lord, they are prone to be defeated by maya.  The unlimited conditioned jivas, being defeated by maya, remain under the influence of her “Three Modes[i]”.  Therefore the principle is that only jiva-sakti manifests jivas and not cit-sakti.

The essence is that there are three types of jivas.  

  1. Those that originate in Vraja manifest from Lord Baladeva.
  2. Those in the Vaikuntha planets manifest from Sankarsana.
  3. Those in the material world manifest from Maha-Visnu.

The first two types of the jivas are nitya-mukta and third type are nitya-baddha.  

The third type, by the mercy of the Lord can also become muktas if they take to devotional service (bhakti).  This explanation is very much in line with what the Six Gosvamis have written, which is cited in IVNETLF.

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[1] Vilasa—symptoms manifested in a woman’s body, when she meets her lover.

[2] Balarama (Baladeva)—the first plenary expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna.  He appeared as the son of Rohini and elder brother of Lord Krishna.  Also known as Balabhadra or Baladeva, present as one of the three Jagannatha deities.

[3] Vraja—the 168-square-mile (84 krosa) area in the district of Mathura where five thousand years ago Lord Krishna displayed His pastimes.  It is the principal holy place of pilgrimage for all Vaisnavas.  It is said in the sastras that Vraja is the essence, and sum total of all holy places.

[4] Karanodakasayi Visnu—Maha-Visnu, the expansion of the Supreme Lord from whom all material universes emanate.  He lies within the Causal Ocean and breathes out innumerable universes.

[5] Ksirodakasayi Visnu—the Visnu expansion of the Supreme Lord who enters within each atom and between each atom of the universe and enters the heart of every living entity.  He is also called the Supersoul.

[6] Garbhodakasayi Visnu—the second Visnu expansion, who enters each universe and from whose navel grows a lotus upon which Lord Brahma appears.  Brahma then creates the diverse material manifestations.

[7] Sesa Naga—an expansion of Lord Balarama or Sankarsana who takes the form of a many-hooded serpent, and serves as Lord Visnu’s couch, and other paraphernalia.  He also holds the millions of universes on His hoods.

[8] Sankarsana—one of the four original expansions of Lord Krishna in the spiritual world; also, another name of Balaräma, given by Garga Muni

[9] Narayana—a name for the majestic four-armed form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead meaning “He who is the source and goal of all living entities.” The resting place of all living entities, who presides over the Vaikuntha planets; Lord Visnu, He is an expansion of Krishna.

[10] Maha-Visnu—the expansion of the Supreme Lord Visnu reclining on Adi-Sesa, from whom all material universes emanate

[11] Supersoul—Paramatma-the Supersoul, the localized aspect Visnu expansion of the Supreme Lord residing in the heart of each embodied living entity and pervading all of material nature; Known as Paramatma in Sanskrit, He is the third of Lord Krishna’s three purusa incarnations: 1) Maha-Visnu, from whom unlimited universes emanate; 2) Garbhodakasayi Visnu, who enters each universe and is the source of birth of Brahma; and 3) Ksirodakasayi Visnu, who expands into the heart of every living entity and every atom within the universe. The Supersoul dwells within the hearts of all living beings next to the soul.  His spiritual form is four-armed and the size of a thumb.  From him come the living entity’s knowledge, remembrance and forgetfulness.  The Supersoul is the witness and permitter of karma.  What He witnesses is punished or rewarded by prakåti (see Bg. 13.23).


[i] Modes of nature—There are three gunas, or modes of material nature: goodness (sattva-guna), passion (rajo-guna) and ignorance (tamo-guna).  They make possible our mental, emotional and physical experiences of the universe.  Without the influence of the modes, thought, value judgement and action are impossible for the conditioned soul.  The English word mode, as used by Srila Prabhupada in his translations of Vedic literature, best conveys the sense of the Sanskrit term guna (material quality).  Mode comes from the Latin modus, and it has a special application in European philosophy.  Modus means measure.  It is used to distinguish between two aspects of material nature: that which is immeasurable (called natura naturans, the creative nature) and that which seems measurable (called natura naturata, the created nature).  Creative nature is a single divine substance that manifests, through modes, the created nature, the material world of physical and mental variety.  Being immeasurable (in other words, without modes), creative nature cannot be humanly perceived.  Created nature (with modes) seems measurable, hence we do perceive it.  Modus also means a manner of activity.  When creative nature acts, it assumes characteristic modes of behavior: creation, maintainance and destruction.  Bhagavad-gita (14.3-5) presents a similar twofold description of material nature as mahat yoni, the source of birth, and as guna prakåti, that which acts wonderfully through modes.  Material nature as the source of birth is also termed mahad-brahman, the great or immeasurable Brahman.  Mahad-brahman is nature as the divine creative substance, which is the material cause of everything.  Material cause is a term common to both European philosophy (as causa materialis) and Vedanta philosophy (as upadana karana).  It means the source of ingredients that make up creation.  We get an example of a material cause from the Sanskrit word yoni, which literally means womb.  The mother’s womb provides the ingredients for the formation of the embryo.  Similarly, the immeasurable creative nature provides the ingredients for the formation of the material world in which we live, the seemingly measurable created nature.  The clarity of this example forces a question: what about the father, who must impregnate the womb first before it can act as the material cause?  This question is answered by Krishna, the speaker of the Bhagavad-gita, in verse 14.4: aham bija-pradaù pita, I am the seed-giving father.  In Vedanta philosophy, this factor of causation is termed nimitta-matram (the remote cause).  It is important to note that by presenting creation as the result of the union of two causes (the material and the remote), the Bhagavad-gita rejects the philosophy of Deus sive natura, the identity of God and nature.  In short, though creative nature may be accepted as the direct cause of creation, it is not the self-sufficient cause of creation.  The seed with which Krishna impregnates the womb of creative nature is comprised of sarva-bhutanam, all living entities (Bg. 14.3).  And Bg. 14.5 explains that when Krishna puts the souls into the womb of material nature, their consciousness is conditioned by three modes, or tri-guna.  The modes are three measures of interaction between conscious spirit and unconscious matter.  The modes may be compared to the three primary colors, yellow, red and blue, and consciousness may be compared to clear light.  The conditioning (nibhadnanti: they do condition) of consciousness upon its entry into the womb of material nature is comparable to the coloration of light upon its passing through a prism.  The color yellow symbolizes sattva-guna, the mode of goodness.  This mode is pure, illuminating, and sinless.  Goodness conditions the soul with the sense of happiness and knowledge.  The color red symbolizes the rajo-guna, the mode of passion, full of longings and desires.  By the influence of passion the soul engages in works of material accomplishment.  The color blue symbolizes tamo-guna, the mode of ignorance, which binds the soul to madness, indolence and sleep.  As the three primary colors combine to produce a vast spectrum of hues, so the three modes combine to produce the vast spectrum of states of conditioned consciousness that encompasses all living entities within the universe.

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