“What Is The Eternal, Constitutional Function Of The Jiva?/Soul?” 

Making A “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”

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Segment 019: Chapter 3,

“Dharma Scriptures, state that the brahmana caste is the highest caste.  According to these Scriptures, religious rites such as the chanting of Vedic mantras, such as at dawn, noon, and sunset, are considered Nitya-karma (Eternal Duties) for the brahmanas.  If these activities are obligatory, why is Vaisnava behavior opposed to them?”

Bhakti is awakened, when one associates with devotees of Sri Bhagavan Krishna.  Association with pure devotees is attained, only by the accumulation of transcendental pious activities, performed over many lifetimes.

Sri Krishna Caitanya, is the source of all different types of expansions and avataras[i].  He is directly Bhagavan Himself, full of transcendental bliss.  The all-pervading, featureless nirvisesa-brahma, is the effulgence of His limbs.  The Paramatma[1], who resides in the hearts of all jivas, is His partial expansion.  May He be pleased to enlighten us from inside the core of our hearts.

Sruti scriptures[2] are those, which is heard; revelation, as distinguished from smrti.  It is infallible knowledge, which was received by Brahma, or by the great sages in the beginning of creation, and which descends, in disciplic succession from them.  Moreover, it is the body of literature, which was directly manifest from the Supreme Lord.  This applies to the original four Vedas, (also known as the nigamas), and the Upanisads[3].  

Human nature has two tendencies concerning religious pursuit; the first is called vaidhi, [4] the nature that impels one to follow the rules and regulations of scripture, and the second is raganuga[5], the nature that impels one to follow the soul’s spontaneous attraction towards Sri Krishna.  As long as the intelligence is under the control of maya, human nature must be regulated by rules and prohibitions.  Thus, in this condition, the vaidhi nature will certainly be in effect.  When the intelligence is liberated from the bondage of maya, however, human nature no longer needs to be governed by rules and prohibitions; rather, it is prompted by spontaneous love.  In this condition, the vaidhi tendency, no longer remains, and the raganuga tendency becomes manifest. 

This raganuga tendency is the unadulterated nature of the jiva.  It is the perfected state of the self, transcendental, and free from bondage to dull matter  

The pure spiritual jiva’s relationship with the material world, is completely terminated, when Sri Krishna wills.

 Until this time, the jiva’s relationship with the material world, can only tend toward its eventual cessation; at this stage, the jiva’s intelligence attains freedom from matter to the extent of svarupata-jada-mukti[6], but not to the extent of vastutah jadamukti[7].

When one attains the stage of vastutah jada-mukti, the ragatmika-vrtti or mood of the ragatmikas[8] is awakened in the pure jiva in terms of his both internal spiritual identity and constitutional state.

 This is the nature of the eternal residents of Vraja[9].  The jiva who in the ksayonmukha stage (the decline or diminution of any object or thing; the stage in which a jiva’s relationship with the material world gradually diminishes due to engagement in spiritual practice), follows in the wake of the ragatmika nature, is known as raganuga, one who follows the way of raga.  This condition of raganuga should be ardently sought after by the jivas.

As long as this condition is absent, human intelligence remains spontaneously attached to mundane objects.  Due to one’s false acquired nature, the bewildered jiva mistakenly considers attachment for mundane objects, to be his natural spiritual attachment.  At that time, one’s natural pure attachment for spiritual objects is not present.

The conceptions of “I” and “mine” are two types of egoism whose influence is very prominent in the mundane sphere, and which lead one to think,

“I am this body”, and

“All things relating to this body are mine”

Due to these conceptions, one naturally feels attracted to people and things that bring pleasure to the material body.

And one feels averse to people and things that impede material pleasure. 

When the bewildered jiva falls under the sway of such attachment and aversion, the jiva considers others, friends or enemies, and displays love or hatred for them in three ways:

  1. Saririka, in relation to the material body and its acquisitions.
  2. Samajika, in relation to society and social ideas.
  3. Naitika, in relation to morality and ethics; thus, he engages in the struggle for material existence.

 

The false attachment for money/gold, and the things that money can buy, and anyone who satisfies our perverted lusty desires, brings one under the control of temporary happiness and distress.  This is known as samsara, a state in which one wanders throughout the material universe, gaining only birth, death, the fruits of karma, and various conditions of life – some high and some low.

The jivas who are bound in this way, cannot easily comprehend spiritual attachment, nor can they have any realization or experience of such a thing.  In reality, this spiritual attachment is the jiva’s true function, and his eternal nature.  However, the jiva forgets this, and becomes engrossed in attachment to matter, although it is actually a particle of consciousness.  Thus, the jiva suffers degradation.  This is a miserable condition, although hardly any of the jivas who are thus entangled in samsara think so.

The jivas bound by maya, are wholly unacquainted with the raganuga nature, to say nothing of the ragatmika nature.  The raganuga nature may be awakened in the hearts of the jivas, but only occasionally by the mercy of sadhus (saintly personalities).  Consequently, this raganuga nature is rare, and difficult to obtain, and those who are entangled in samsara are cheated of it by maya.

Bhagavan, however, is all knowing and merciful.  He sees, that the jivas, who are bound by maya, have been cheated of their spiritual inclination.

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FOOT & END NOTES:

[1] Paramatma—the Supersoul, the localized aspect Viñëu expansion of the Supreme Lord residing in the heart of each embodied living entity and pervading all of material nature.

[2] Smrti scripture is the body of sacred literature that is remembered or tradition in contradistinction to sruti.  These include the six Vedangas, the dharma -scriptures such as Manu-samhita, the Puranas, and the Itihasas.  Manu-samhita and other dharma -scriptures are respected throughout the world, because they establish the codes and prohibitions that follow the line of thought of the Vedic sruti-scriptures

[3] Upaninads—one-hundred and eight Sanskrit treatises that embody the philosophy of the Vedas. Considered the most significant philosophical sections and crest jewels of the Vedas, the Upaniñads are found in the Äraëyaka and Brähmaëa portions of the Vedas. They are theistic and contain the realizations and teachings of great sages of antiquity; The term upanisad literally means that which is learned by sitting close to the teacher. The texts of the Upaniñads teach the philosophy of the Absolute Truth (Brahman) to those seeking liberation from birth and death, and the study of the Upaniñads is known as Vedänta, the conclusion of the Veda. The contents of the Upanisads are extremely difficult to fathom; they are to be understood only under the close guidance of a spiritual master (guru). Because the Upaniñads contain many apparently contradictory statements, the great sage Vyäsa systematized the Upanisadic teachings in the Vedanta-sütra. His natural commentary on the Vedänta-sütra is the Çrémad-Bhägavatam.

[4] Vidhi – rule, law, religious injunction or regulation.

[5] Raganuga-bhakti – bhakti which follows in the wake of the ragatmika nature present in the hearts of the Lord’s eternal associates in Vraja is known as raganuga-bhakti.

[6] Svarupata-jada-mukti – liberated from matter in terms of the revelation of one’s svarupa. This refers to svarupa-siddhi, the stage in which bhava manifests in the bhakta’s heart from the heart of one of the Lord’s eternal associates. At this stage one’s internal spiritual identity becomes manifest and the intelligence is freed from the influence of matter, yet one’s relationship with the material world remains intact due to the presence of the material body.

[7] Vastuta-jada-mukti – liberated in terms of one’s constitutional make-up as a vastu, or conscious living entity; permanent release from the encasement of the gross and subtle bodies which cover the atma and facilitate the jiva’s interaction with the material energy; complete freedom from all contact with matter and the material world. This refers to vastu-siddhi.

[8] Ragatmikas:   One in whose heart there naturally and eternally exist a deep spontaneous desire to love and serve Sri Krishna; one whose bhakti is permeated with raga; this specifically refers to the eternal residents of Vraja, who are attracted to Sri Krishna in a mood of intimate love, free from any conception of the Lord’s opulence or majesty

[9] Vraja:  Is a 168-square-mile 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 scriptures that Vraja is the essence and sum total of all holy places.  Krishna eternal abode, where He fully manifests His quality of sweetness, the village on this earth in which He enacted His childhood pastimes five thousand years ago, the topmost transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord.  I t is His personal spiritual abode descended to the earthly plane.  It is situated on the Western bank of the river Yamuna.  He was present on earth about 5,000 years ago

END NOTES:

[i] Avatara—literally means “one who descends.” A partially or fully empowered incarnation of the Lord who descends from the spiritual sky to the material universe with a particular mission described in scriptures; When Krishna descends from the world of spirit into the world of matter, His appearance here is called avatara.  The Sanskrit term avatara (one who descends) is often rendered into English as incarnation.  It is wrong, however, to think that Krishna incarnates in a body made of physical elements.  The Seventh and Eighth Chapters of Bhagavad-gita distinguish at length between the material nature (apara-prakrti), visible as the temporary substances of earth, water, fire, air and ethereal space, and God’s own spiritual nature (para-prakrti), which is invisible (avyakta), eternal (sanatana) and infallible (aksara).  When the Lord descends, by His mercy the invisible becomes visible.  As He Himself states in Bg. 4.6, I descend by My own nature, appearing in My form of spiritual energy (prakrtia svam adhisöhaya sambhavamy atma-mayaya).  In Bg. 4.9 He declares, janma karma ca me divyam, My appearance and activities are divine.  God has many avataras.  But of all of them, that form described in Bg. 11.50 as the most beautiful (saumya-vapu) is His own original form (svakaa rupam).  This is the eternal form of Sri Krishna, the all-charming lotus-eyed youth whose body is the shape of spiritual ecstasy.  SB 1.3.28 confirms that Krishna is the original form of Visnu: ete.  Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam, which means, All of the incarnations of Visnu listed in the scriptures are expansions of the Lord.  Lord Sri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead.  All avataras appear in the world whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists.  The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.  The Srimad-Bhagavatam also provides us with the authorized list of scheduled incarnations of Godhead, of whom the Daçavatara (ten avataras) are particularly celebrated.  The ten are 1) Matsya (the Lord’s form of a gigantic golden fish), 2) Kurma (the turtle), 3) Varaha (the boar), 4) Sri Nrsiaha (the half-man, half-lion form), 5) Paraçurama (the hermit who wields an axe), 6) Vamana (the small brahmana boy), 7) Sri Ramacandra (the Lord of Ayodhya), 8) Sri Baladeva (Lord Krishna’s brother), 9) Buddha (the sage who cheated the atheists), and 10) Kalki (who will depopulate the world of all degraded, sinful men at the end of the present age of Kali).  There are two broad categories of avataras.  Some, like Sri Krishna, Sri Rama and Sri Nrsimha, are Visnu-tattva, i.e. direct forms of God Himself, the source of all power.  Others are individual souls (jiva-tattva) who are empowered by the Lord in one or more of the following seven ways: with knowledge, devotion, creative ability, personal service to God, rulership over the material world, power to support planets, or power to destroy rogues and miscreants.  This second category of avatara is called çaktyaveça.  Included herein are Buddha, Christ and Muhammed.  The Mayavadis think that form necessarily means limitation.  God is omnipresent, unlimited and therefore formless, they argue.  When He reveals His avatara form within this world, that form, being limited in presence to a particular place and time, cannot be the real God.  It is only an indication of God.  But the fact is that it is not God’s form that is limited.  It is only the Mayavadis’ conception of form that is limited, because that conception is grossly physical.  God’s form is of the nature of supreme consciousness.  Being spiritual, it is called suksma, most subtle.  There is no contradiction between the omnipresence of something subtle and its having form.  The most subtle material phenomena we can perceive is sound.  Sound may be formless (as noise) or it may have form (as music).  Because sound is subtle, it having form does not affect its ability to pervade a huge building.  Similarly, God’s having form does not affect His ability to pervade the entire universe.  Since God’s form is finer than the finest material subtlety, it is completely inappropriate for Mayavadis to compare His form to gross hunks of matter.  Because they believe God’s form is grossly physical, Mayavadis often argue that any and all embodied creatures may be termed avataras.  Any number of living gods are being proclaimed within India and other parts of the world today.  Some of these gods are mystics, some are charismatics, some are politicians, and some are sexual athletes.  But none of them are authorized by the Vedic scriptures.  They represent only the mistaken Mayavadi idea that the one formless unlimited Truth appears in endless gross, physical human incarnations, and that you and me and I and he are therefore all together God.  And since each god has a different idea of what dharma is, the final truth, according to Mayavada philosophy, is that the paths of all gods lead to the same goal.  This idea is as unenlightened as it is impractical.  When ordinary people proclaim themselves to be God, and that whatever they are doing is Vedic dharma, that is called dharmasya glanih, a disturbance to eternal religious principles.  Therefore Krishna came again, 500 years ago, as the Golden Avatara, Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  He established the yuga-dharma, the correct form of sanatana-dharma for our time (saìkirtana).  Lord Caitanya’s appearance was predicted in SB 11.5.32: In this Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by congregational chanting of the holy names of God.

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