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 10
“How and When Did the Jiva Makes a Choice to be in This Material World”
Part 7

The unlimited and omnipotent Lord, would be limited and impotent if He did not perform all varieties of lila, and He would not be supremely independent.  The jivas are like the subjects, that are ruled by the king, the object.  Their independence is minute, not absolute.  They are under the will of the Lord, and being under another’s will, it is natural that one has misery.  However, because this misery leads to pleasure, it should not be taken as misery.  And in any event, the choice is always open to the living entity, to reject lording it over matter, and accept the pleasure part of the Lord.  Although the jiva has never being in the nitya-lila of the Lord,, even though in the Lord’s material lila since anadi; the choice to be in material consciousness, or spiritual consciousness, is made by the jiva.  Hence the jiva alone is responsible, for being in the bondage of karma in the material world.

After this Vrajanatha poses another question,

“What was the loss, if jiva was not given the free will?”  

Babaji explains that free will is the inherent quality of the jiva.  Without it, the jiva will become inert matter.  The cause of suffering is misuse of this free will, but the Lord out of mercy, comes to protect the jiva and manifest His wonderful pastimes in the material world, as He did 5,000 years ago.  Even then the jiva is unable to understand the Lord’s pastimes.  Then, just 500 year ago, the Lord descends in Navadvipa and personally explains His name, form, qualities, and pastimes.  He also teaches others by His own example.  Then how can such a merciful Lord be blamed?  It is the jiva’s stupidity that it does not pay heed to the Lord’s teachings.  Therefore to rectify his mistake maya punishes him.  To forget that “I am eternal servant of Krishna” is the mistake on the part of the jiva. 

Again, here readers should keep in mind, that this forgetfulness of jiva is beginningless, and thus the Lord is not to be blamed.  Although it is beginningless, the jiva is not inert.  It is conscious and it does not have to remain in its ignorant condition.  It can choose to get out of the miserable condition. 

The conclusion is this:  Krishna is supremely independent and the Supreme enjoyer.  He performs various types of lilas, and this is one among them.  If He did not have this lila, He could not be said to enjoy endless varieties, nor would He be complete.  The jiva alone is to be blamed for his miseries, because as the marginal potency, the choice is always there between Krishna and maya.  Krishna should not be blamed for this arrangement.  This is also in agreement with Srila Jiva Gosvami and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura; which are mentioned in ‘IVNETLF”.

  Srila Prabhupada confirms the same thing in the Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila in his purport to 7.116, which is quoteed in part:



“Someone may argue,

‘Why is there a need to create the spiritual sparks?’  

The answer can be given in this way.  Since the Absolute Personality of Godhead is omnipotent, He has both unlimited and limited potencies.  This is the meaning of omnipotent.  To be omnipotent, He must have not only unlimited potencies but limited potencies also.  Thus to exhibit His omnipotency, He displays both.  The living entities are endowed with limited potency although they are part of the Lord.  The Lord displays the spiritual world by His unlimited potencies, whereas by His limited potencies the material world is displayed. … ”

If the Personality of Godhead did not possess both limited and unlimited energies, He could not be called omnipotent.  He is greater than the greatest, and smaller than the smallest.  He is smaller than the smallest in the form of the living entities and greater than the greatest in His form of Krishna.  If there were no one to control, there would be no meaning to the conception of the supreme controller (Isvara), just as there is no meaning to a king without his subjects. 

 If all the subjects became king, there would be no distinction between the king and an ordinary citizen.  Thus for the Lord to be the supreme controller there must be a creation to control.  The basic principle for the existence of the living entities, is called cid-vilasa, or spiritual pleasure.  The omnipotent Lord displays His pleasure potency as the living entities. In other words,, we, the living entities, jivas, each one of us, are simply an little tiny bit of His pleasure potency. The Lord is described in Vedanta-sutra, as anandamayo ‘bhyasat.  He is by nature the reservoir of all pleasures, and because He wants to enjoy pleasure, there must be energies to give Him pleasure, or supply Him the impetus for pleasure.  This is the perfect philosophical understanding of the Absolute Truth.

A close scrutiny of this purport reveals that it echoes almost point for point, the words of Babaji in the passages already quoted.  Points worthy of note, is that here Srila Prabhupada ,explains the reasons for the jiva’s and the material world’s existence:  The Supreme Lord, who is lilamaya, the performer of a variety of lilas, displays both His limited potency (bahiranga sakti), unlimited potency (antaranga sakti) and marginal potency (jiva-sakti) ,as a basic feature of His nature.  If He did not do so, He could not be called omnipotent or complete or lilamaya.  Thus according to His sweet will, He engages some jivas in His limited potency.  After all, they are energies of the Lord, and meant for His pleasure, “cid-vilasa.”  Therefore some get to participate in His lila with His limited potency, and some get to be in His lila with His unlimited potency.  All is done according to His own sweet will.  Thus no stain or blame is to be attributed to the Lord, for this state of events, for it is His very nature.

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