What is The Eternal & Constitutional Function of The Jiva/Soul?
Extracted From Jaiva-dharma, By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur
Chapter “Three”
The Circumstantial Function, Duty, Religion of a Conscious Being is to be Relinquished
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Chapters 9 – 25 are Work In Progress

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Segment 24

“Accepting Vows”

Brahmanas endowed with these qualities are certainly worthy of honor in this world.  However, if a candala, (a dog eater), becomes a devotee of Lord Sri Krishna;, he is superior to brahmanas, who possess these qualities, but do not have devotional service to Krishna. 

The implication is that a person who was born a candala, and has the following attributes.

Those who are spiritually unconscious are obliged to remain confined to a particular portion of the harsh and rudimentary injunctions of scripture, whereas those who are spiritually awake, receive the underlying essence of scripture as an intimate friend.  These two groups of people perform different activities, but their aim is the same.  Ineligible people may think that the behavior of those who are spiritually awake is opposed to the behavior of people in general, but in reality, the fundamental aim of these different patterns of behavior is the same.

  • Who has been purified by a sacred or sanctifying ceremony?
  • Who has been through a process of training and/or reformation of the impression on the mind, of any previous experience or acts done in a former state of existence, which are achieved through the association of advanced saintly devotees?
  • Who is now engaged in the jiva’s nitya-dharma of pure spiritual cultivation?

He is superior to a brahmana who is established in naimittika-dharma, but who abstains from the nitya-dharma of unalloyed spiritual practice.

There are two kinds of human beings in this world:

  1. Those who are spiritually awake.
  2. Those who are spiritually unconscious.

Most people in this world are spiritually unconscious; those who are spiritually awake are rare.  Of all those who are spiritually conscious, the brahmanas are the best, and the brahmanas” daily obligatory religious duties are the best of all the duties that are prescribed for the different varnas.

Another name for those who are spiritually awake is “Vaisnava”; their behavior will necessarily be different from the behavior of those who are spiritually unconscious.  Even so, the behavior of the Vaisnavas is not opposed to the aim of the smrti rules, which are established in order to regulate people who are spiritually unconscious.  The ultimate aim of all the scriptures is always one.

From the point of view of those who are spiritually awake, people in general are eligible for instructions regarding naimittika-dharma.  However, naimittika-dharma is in essence incomplete, adulterated, impermanent, and fit to be rejected.  Naimittika-dharma is not direct spiritual practice; 

rather, it consists of temporary, material activities, that are taken up to attain pure spiritual practices.  

Hence, it is merely the means to an end.  The means is never complete, because its function,ddddddddddd ceases when it has produced the end.  Therefore, it is simply a phase in the achievement of the final goal.  Consequently, naimittika-dharma is never complete.

For example, a brahmana’s chanting of sandhya-vandana, like his various other duties, is temporary and subject to specific rules.  These activities do not stem from his natural, spiritual proclivity.  If after performing these prescribed duties for a long time, one obtains the association of pure devotees, one develops a taste for chanting the holy names, hari-nama.  At that time, sandhya-vandana no longer remains a temporary prescribed duty, which is directed toward material rewards (karma).  Hari-nama is complete spiritual practice, whereas sandhya-vandana and other such practices are only the means to obtain this principal goal, and can never be the complete reality.

Naimittika-dharma is commendable, because it aims at the truth, but it is eventually meant to be abandoned, and it is mixed with undesirable results.  Although the jiva should relinquish matter and its association, materialism is prominent in naimittika-dharma.  Moreover, naimittika-dharma produces such an abundance of irrelevant results that the jiva cannot but become entangled in them.

For instance, a brahmana’s worship of the Supreme Lord is beneficial, but he is apt to think, “I am a brahmana and others are inferior to me.”  The result of such false egoism is that his worship yields detrimental results.  Another example is that an insignificant result of practicing the eightfold yoga system is the attainment of mystic powers, which are most inauspicious for the jivas.  The two unavoidable companions of naimittika-dharma are mukti (liberation) and bhukti (material enjoyment), but the jiva must save himself from the clutches of mukti and bhukti, if he is to obtain his real objective, which is the culture of pure spiritual reality.  Consequently, naimittika-dharma entails much that is contemptible for the jivas.

Naimittika-dharma is impermanent, for it does not apply at all times or in all conditions.  For instance, a brahmana’s priestly duties, a ksatriyas administrative or military duties, and other such circumstantial occupations are brought about by a particular cause; and they cease when the cause ceases.  If a brahmana takes birth as a candala in his next life, the brahminical occupational duties is no longer his own duty, [own duty is being use here in a figurative sense].  The circumstantial dharma of the jiva changes in every birth, but his nitya-dharma never changes.  The jiva’s true “own duty”; the true eternal spiritual function of the self is nitya-dharma, whereas naimittika-dharma is impermanent.

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Chapters 9 – 25 are Work In Progress

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