“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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Introduction Part 3.

I have been using the term God, which is no more than a label specifying a position or status.  I now will start to personalize this term by using a personal name.  As I have hinted in this book so far, the “Absolute Truth”, is a different way of saying God.  God is an individual, and Unique Person.  He is simultaneously infinite, and finite.  To the human intellect, this is inconceivable.  Yet under the right condition, a human being can understand this inconceivability by the mercy of the Supreme Lord (another label).  I will be using   personal names, that have been revealed by God.  And since He is an Individual Person, He has a favorite Name.  You can say it is the Supreme Lord’s, Allah’s, Yahweh’s favorite name.  As persons, we have things, which we consider as “favorite”.  So how can us insignificant human beings deny God having a “favorite” name?  Many scriptures have statements that God has no name.  Yahweh means “God who has no name”.  The Vedic Scriptures are written in Sanskrit, and specific God with many personal names.  These scriptures also reveal that God has not just one name, but He has infinite names.  All of God’s names are simply a word or term that describes Him in some way, like His Fame, Qualities, Pastimes, and Paraphernalia. 

The Sanskrit word “Krishna[1]” means “all attractive”.  Who can deny that God is not “all attractive”?  Hence, Krishna is the embodiment of the totality of all energy and He has three categories of energy, which comprise all of His being and creation.

The subject matter that will be primarily be discussed, is the “Marginal Energy”, which is the totality of infinite jivas, or as most commonly known, the “infinite souls”.  This section of the book will explore and reveal the individual jivas constitutional nature and purpose.

This presentation is taken from a vaisnava literature Jaiva-dharma, written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura[2] and completed in the year 1896.  Jaiva-dharma was written in the form of a novel consisting of one main story, which contained with several other individual sub-stories.  The setting of this novel is around 400 years ago in West Bengal India.  Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote this novel for an Indian audience, that existed at that time in India.  India was over whelmed by Buddhist, Hindu Impersonalisum, and Islamic philosophies. 

Today is in the year is 2022, and it would be a difficult read for the majority of people in modern developed nations on Earth.  The setting of the novel, its characters, were those of at old society, and culture; and modern readers would not be so attracted to these characters, and story plots and sub-plots. 

I consider the knowledge contained in this book, to be the most valuable, and a true treasure that exists.  It reveals the goal of human life, and step by step on how it can be practically achieved.  Thus, my desire is to somehow or another, present this knowledge to everyone in the hope that they would become informed of the eternal nature of their soul, and how it can be realized by the practice of bhakti[3], pure devotional service to God, and especially, by the chanting of His Holy Names. 

The knowledge written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in the late-1800’s is contained in the Vedic Scriptures of India.  The knowledge itself is eternal, and truly timeless.  Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur chooses to present this knowledge to the masses in India around 126 years ago.  The vehicle was a novel.  People, like stories, and novels.  As time progresses into the future, the vehicle of the novel can reflect the time, place, and circumstances of the world that is existing at that time, place, and circumstance.  Therefore, the novel (the vehicle) can change in time, but the passenger in the vehicle is the same.  In this way, the novel would attract a wider reading audience beside vaisnavas of that particular time, places, and circumstances.  A modern reader would connect, and find it more appealing if the novel’s setting, character, plot, and subplots, are familiar to the reader. 

At this time, this presentation is without the novel, and stories.  It therefore contains only the knowledge taught by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.  The majority is questions and answers by the characters.  Some portions at the end, I left the original character’s name just to make sure that you know that there are several characters speaking in a discussion, and not a question-and-answer dialog between two persons.  Will I write a novel, reflecting human civilization that exists in the 21st Century; only time will tell.  That project will follow, once I finish this one.

In the coming years I will novelize this presentation with a modern setting of circumstances, which exist in today’s world.  There will be the addition of many other characters, to reflect the diverse religious societies, which exist in modern time of, 2022.

This presentation is especially written in order to facilitate those who are already on the path of bhakti, and for anyone who desires to know what the Absolute Truth is, in regards to the jiva, or as some know it to be, the Soul. 

This is a work in progress presentation, so do not expect it all to be perfect in all regards.  Many of the philosophical truths have to be reviewed, so that they are presented in a way that will be understood by even the common person.  I also plan to add to the knowledge written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.  Many of the philosophical truths present can be expanded on for further clarity and understanding. 

According to Vedic[4] knowledge.  spiritual truth is revealed through three harmonious sources: the scriptures, [sastras[5]], the disciplic succession of previous saints and teachers, [sadhus[6]], and one’s own spiritual master, [guru].  When these 3 authorized sources agree, the information presented, is “conclusive”, and “incontrovertible”.

Srila Prabhupada Wrote in Purport to Srimad-bhagavatam[7] 1.4.1:

“Personal realization does not mean that one should, out of vanity, attempt to show one’s own learning by trying to surpass the previous acharyas.  He must have full confidence in the previous acharyas[8], and at the same time he must realize the subject matter so nicely that he can present, the matter for the particular circumstances in a suitable manner.  The original purpose of the text must be maintained.  No obscure meaning should be screwed out of it, yet it should be presented in an interesting manner for the understanding of the audience.  This is called realization”.

In the Narada-bhakti-sutra 7.5 Purport: Srila Prabhupada Wrote:

“The bhakti method of receiving truth is by parampara[9], or disciplic succession.  It is confirmed by a checks-and-balances system of hearing from guru, sastra, and sadhu.  On the other hand, one who rejects the parampara system and persists in hearing argumentation will never understand the Absolute Truth”.

Lecture at Tittenhurst England, December 1969, Srila Prabhupada Said,

“These three, guru, sastra, and sadhu, should corroborate one another.  If the spiritual master says something that is not in the sastra, that is not good.  Similarly, a saintly person, a sadhu, also does not disregard the regulative principles of sastra”.

As instructed by Srila Prabhupada in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.4.1 Purport.  The writer of this book, has full confidence in the instructions and orders of the previous acharyas, and at the same time, has inderstood the subject matter nicely enough, so that the subject matter of this book will be presented in a suitable manner.  The original purpose of the all text by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, will be maintained.  No obscure meaning will be screwed out of it, yet it will be presented in an interesting manner for your understanding.

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[1] Krishna—the original, two-armed form of the Supreme Lord, who is the origin of all expansions.
[2] Bhaktivinoda Thakura— (1838-1915) the great-grandfather of the present-day Krishna consciousness movement, the spiritual master of Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji, the father of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and the grand-spiritual master of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.  Srila Bhaktivinoda Öhakura was a responsible officer and a householder, yet his service to the cause of expanding the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is unique.  He has written many books on the philosophy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu; Appearing in this world in 1838 and departing it in 1914, Srila Bhaktivinoda Öhakura is one of the great teachers of Krishna consciousness in the disciplic succession of spiritual masters.  He is famous in Bengal for having located the exact site of the birthplace of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  This site at Sridhama Mayapur, near the city of Navadvipa about 90 miles north of Calcutta, had been lost for centuries due to the shifting course of the Ganges river.  The Öhakura’s discovery rapidly transformed Mayapur into an important place of pilgrimage for Krishna devotees.  The Gaura-Visnupriya temple he founded in 1891 was the first of many holy places of worship now visible at Mayapur.  In 1896, Srila Bhaktivinoda Öhakura announced the sankirtana mission to the Western world by sending a copy of one of his small books Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts to McGill University in Canada.  Many of his Bengali songs are available in Songs of the Vaisnava acaryas, published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.  Srila Bhaktivinoda Öhakura predicted that the sankirtana movement would spread from India to the great cities of the Western world.
[3] Bhakti—devotional service to the Supreme Lord; purified service of the senses of the Lord by one’s own senses; Love and devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna. The formal systematization of devotion is called bhakti-yoga.
[4] Vedic—pertaining to a culture in which all aspects of human life are under the guidance of the Vedas.
[5] Sastra—the revealed scriptures, obeyed by all those who follow the Vedic teachings.  Sas means “to regulate and direct” and tra means “an instrument”; Vedic literature; The Vedic scriptures; one of the three authorities for a Vaisnava.  In his purport to Cc., Adi-lila 17.157, Srila Prabhupada writes: The word sastra is derived from the dhatu, or verbal root, sas.  Sas-dhatu pertains to controlling or ruling.  A government’s ruling through force or weapons is called sastra.  Thus whenever there is ruling, either by weapons or by injunctions, the sas-dhatu is the basic principle.  Between sastra (ruling through weapons) and sastra (ruling through the injunctions of the scriptures), the better is sastra.  Our Vedic scriptures are not ordinary law books of human common sense; they are the statements of factually liberated persons unaffected by the imperfectness of the senses.  Sastra must be correct always, not sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect.  In the Vedic scriptures, the cow is described as a mother.  Therefore she is a mother for all time; it is not, as some rascals say, that in the Vedic age she was a mother but she is not in this age.  If sastra is an authority, the cow is a mother always; she was a mother in the Vedic age, and she is a mother in this age also.  If one acts according to the injunctions of sastra, he is freed from the reactions of sinful activity.  For example, the propensities for eating flesh, drinking wine and enjoying sex life are all natural to the conditioned soul.  The path of such enjoyment is called pravrtti-marga.  The sastra says, pravrttir esaà bhutanaà nivrttis tu maha-phala: one should not be carried away by the propensities of defective conditioned life; one should be guided by the principles of the sastras.  A child’s propensity is to play all day long, but it is the injunction of the sastras that the parents should take care to educate him.  The sastras are there just to guide the activities of human society.  But because people do not refer to the instructions of sastras, which are free from defects and imperfections, they are therefore misguided by so-called educated teachers and leaders who are full of the deficiencies of conditioned life.
[6]  Sadhu—a saint or Krishna conscious devotee, or Vaisnava. A wandering holy man; A saintly person, a devotee of the Lord; one of the three authorities for a Vaisnava.
[7] Srimad-Bhagavatam—the foremost of the eighteen Puranas, the complete science of God that establishes the supreme position of Lord Krsna. It was glorified by SrI Caitanya Mahaprabhu as the amalam puranam, “the purest Purana.” It was written by Srila Vyasadeva as his commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, and it deals exclusively with topics concerning the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Lord Krsna) and His devotees. Srila Prabhupada has given Bhaktivedanta purports in English and wonderfully presented it to the modern world, specifically to give a deep understanding of Lord Krsna; Also known as the Bhagavata Purana, this is a work of eighteen thousand verses compiled by sage Vyasa as his natural commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. It takes up where the Bhagavad-gita leaves off. In Bg. 4.9, Lord Krsna says that by knowing His transcendental appearance and activities in this world, one becomes free of the cycle of repeated birth and death. Srimad-Bhagavatam recounts with great relish the details of the Lord’s appearance and activities, beginning with His purusa incarnations and their lila of cosmic manifestation, and culminating with Krsna’s own appearance in Vrndavana 5000 years ago, and His most sweet rasa-lila with the His cowherd girlfriends, the gopIs headed by Radharani.
[8] Acarya—a spiritual master who teaches by his own example, and who sets the proper religious example for all human beings.
[9]  Parampara—the disciplic succession through which spiritual knowledge is transmitted by bona-fide spiritual masters; Literally, one after the other.  It refers to the disciplic succession of spiritual masters and their disciples who became spiritual masters, beginning with Krishna and Brah-ma, His disciple at the dawn of creation.

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