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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Origin of the siddha deha


This is the gist of a discussion I had with Kṛṣṇa Dās (Robert Gafrik PhD Slovakia) on the siddha deha:

Advaitadās: In connection with the origin of the siddha deha the following text is quoted from Prīti Sandarbha (10):

vaikuṇṭhasya bhagavato jyotir-aṁśa-bhūtā vaikuṇṭha-loka-śobha-rūpā yā anantā mūrtayas tatra vartante tāsām ekayā saha muktasyaikasya mūrtir bhagavatā kriyata iti vaikuṇṭasya mūrtir iva mūrtir yeṣām ity uktam

"In the spiritual world, the Supreme Lord has unlimited spiritual forms; they all are expansions of Himself illuminating that world. Of these mūrtis Bhagavān gives one mūrti to each liberated soul. Their mūrti is like the one of Lord Vaikuṇṭha."

The translation is mine, but I am getting my doubts about the word kriyata here. Some people say that this word means that Kṛṣṇa is creating a spiritual body for the soul here."

Kṛṣṇa Das: "The root kṛ  in Sanskrit can actually have any meaning, it does not mean just "create". It is akin to the English "do". One can express every activity with it. Kriyate in the passage does not mean that the spiritual body is created. The text itself says that mūrtayas tatra vartante, they are there eternally, tāsām (out of them) ekayā saha (with one) muktasya (of the liberated) ekasya (of the one) mūrtir (body) bhagavatā (by the Lord) kriyate (assign), i.e. the Lord awards one of the bodies that eternally reside in Vaikuṇṭha (in an inactive state) to the liberated one. vaikuṇṭasya mūrtir iva mūrtir yeṣām, the body that one is given is similar (iva) to that of Lord Vaikuṇṭha. Jīva Goswāmī wants to explain that one achieves bhagavat-tulyatvam at the stage of utkrānta-mukti (gone forth or out, gone over or beyond , passed , surpassed, trespassing , exceeding – Monier Williams) by quoting the Bhāgavata verse (3.15.14 vasanti yatra puruṣāḥ) there (utkrānta-mukti-daśāyāṁ tu teṣāṁ bhagavat-tulyatvam evāha). There is nothing like that that the spiritual body is created at some time. It is eternal. It is aprākṛta. The fact itself should make it clear that it can't be created. "

Advaitadās: "Thank you for that. The word kriyata is the key to the whole issue and as you said it can have any meaning. That makes it extra hard and intriguing. The word vartante means 'they stay there eternally' because it is in present tense and Jīva Gosvāmī said that present tense indicates eternity? And also your addition 'in an inactive state' is not clear to me from the mūla text. If we cannot come to a definite conclusion about the Prīti Sandarbha text, is there any other text in śāstra you could provide to prove your point that the siddha deha is not created?"

Kṛṣṇa Das: "As far as I know there is only the discussion in Prīti Sandarbha and the prayujyamāna-verse (SB 1.6.28 or 29, according to edition. See my blog of Febr. 21) with commentaries that deal with the siddha deha. Apart from that there is a discussion about this issue in the 4th chapter of Vedanta-sūtras, where it is said that the liberated soul can exist with or without a body. It would be good to see commentaries of the ācāryas on the sūtras. I don't have them here now. If both meanings are possible one has to see the context. And I would say that the context rules out the interpretation that the body is created because in the previous sentence Jīva Gosvāmī says that mūrtayas tatra vartante. They are there and the Lord gives (kriyate) one such form to the devotee. This is a natural sequence. Otherwise one will have difficulty to explain why he says that the mūrtis are already there. Yes, vartante is in present tense; more precisely, it is something we would call present simple in English, and the tense mostly indicates that something happens or is always, ie. eternally. The verb vartante itself denotes existence. In addition, siddha-deha or spiritual body cannot be created because it is transcendental. We can say only about material things that they are created. The logic behind my phrase "in inactive state" is that we are limited by our language and our experience when we talk about transcendental things. These things are actually acintya but we need some explanation so we say that it is in an inactive state before one is awarded such a body. The verse from Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu (1.2.294-5) about siddha-deha does not mean that the body is created. My Guruji once told me that it descends into the mind of the devotee in a "shadow" form. It is eternal but makes itself manifest in the mind. The body has a beginning only from our material perspective."

62 comments:

  1. Wow-
    what an amazing discussion! You are so kind to post such nice things.
    Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

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  2. Probably the first shastra text to be considered in the siddha-deha discussion is Chhandogya Up.7.12.3: svena rupena abhinispadyate - "appears in his true form" by 'reaching the Highest Light'.
    This text is quoted by Sri Ramanuja and Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana in their commentary on Vedanta Sutra 4.4.1 - "sampadya avirbhavah svena shabdat - "the phrase 'manifestation of one's own form', means manifesting one's real form because the word svena - in its own- indicates that."
    Both Acharya's take that text to mean that by approaching the Highest Light (jyoti) the soul passes into that special condition which is a manifestation of its own true nature, NOT an origination of a new character.
    The soul which was enfolded or dormant (or Krishnadas-ji's "in inactive state") becomes radiant by the vision of the Lord.

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  3. Very nice blog.

    Can I ask who is Krishna das?

    Regarding his 1st para: This sounds very much akin to the opinion of Sri Kunjabihari das Babaji in his Manjari-svarupa-nirupana. I don't fully understand the logic myself (about "inactive" spiritual bodies being present in the spiritual world") but at least they concur.

    Re 2nd para: Yes, I was reading today this passage about how the mukta-jiva can exist with or without a body. It's very complicated and I wasn't able to fully understand the flow (I really need to study it right from the beginning instead of jumping in at Part 4! lol) but it goes like this:

    'The opinion of Badari is that mukta-jivas do not have a body. The opinion of Jaimini is that mukta-jivas do have a body. My (Badarayana's) opinion is that both are possible, the mukta-jova can have a body or not.'

    This corresponds to VS 4.4.10-12, abhAvam bAdarir Aha hy evam - bhAvam jaiminir vikalpAmananAt - dvAdazAha-vad ubhaya-vidham bAdarAyaNo 'taH, and the commentary of Baladeva confirms that mukta-jivas will have a body or not according to their will.

    The 'AtaH' in VS 4.4.12 means "for this reason". Baladeva's commentary excerpt: "'For this reason,' because the Mukta is one whose wish becomes spontaneously realized; therefore the lord Badarayana opines that the Mukta has both these natures: because the Scripture describes him in both these ways. In other words he maintains that the Mukta is both bodiless as well as has a body."

    I will type all this out and more when I get a chance. Let me know what you want. At the end of the above commentary, Baladeva confirms that the Mukta realises that which he thought of in his sadhana. ;-)

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  4. Gaurasundara: Krishna Das is a young promising devotee from Slovakia. He has a sound knowledge of Sanskrit and I often consult him on difficult matters.
    Thanks for the quotes, especially the Sanskrit ones, because if we want to get to the bottom of this we need source-references.

    "I will type all this out and more when I get a chance."

    That is great. I hope you will get that chance soon!

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  5. Gaursundar: "I don't fully understand the logic myself (about "inactive" spiritual bodies being present in the spiritual world")"

    The logic is that unless they have always been there (in the spiritual sky) they cannot be eternal, and since they are as of yet still conditioned in the material world they must be mute and dormant still in the spiritual sky until they become fully realised.

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  6. Gaursundar: "the Mukta is both bodiless as well as has a body."

    One wonders if a distinction's made here between brahma-lIna mukti of the adwaitins and pArSada-deha mukti of the bhaktas. Or is it clear from the text that one simultaneously has a body and no body?

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  7. >> The logic is that unless they have always been there (in the spiritual sky) they cannot be eternal, and since they are as of yet still conditioned in the material world they must be mute and dormant still in the spiritual sky until they become fully realised. <<

    I see. The trouble I had with this idea (when it was previously discussed on GD) is that I find it hard to imagine "inactive spiritual bodies" floating about in the spiritual sky in Vraja. As if Krishna and the gopis don't notice these bodies floating aorund or something, haha.

    Considering Srimat Jivapada's opinion in Priti Sandarbha about how these bodies are actually a particle of light (jyotir-aMza) then it all made sense.


    >>One wonders if a distinction's made here between brahma-lIna mukti of the adwaitins and pArSada-deha mukti of the bhaktas. Or is it clear from the text that one simultaneously has a body and no body?<<

    According to Baladeva's commentary, Badari in VS 4.4.10 (about having no body) refers to having no material body in the state of mukti. Commentaries of Sankara and Ramanuja confirm this. Jaimini in VS 4.4.11 states that the mukta-jIva has a (material?) body. It is unknown whether Jaimini is actually referring to a material body, but Sankara, Ramanuja and Baladeva all agree that "having a body" means having a spiritual body, not a material one.

    Then in VS 4.4.12 Badarayana (Vyasa) says that they have both according to their will, as I typed earlier.

    There is no mention of "Advaitin mukti" and "parsada-deha mukti" because mukti itself needs to be properly defined by the commentator. Baladeva doesn't mention anything about this distinction because thi section is about the muktas' having bodies or not.

    It is not clear to me whether muktas can have bodies or not interchangeably or whether it is a decision with "eternal" implications, but they do not "simultaneously" have a body or not. It is clear that, according to Baladeva, a decision needs to be made. Those muktas who choose not to have a body will not have one, and those who do choose to have one will "assume a body by the force of their mere will."

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  8. "Commentaries of Sankara and Ramanuja confirm this."

    Pity there's no sanskrit at these links. We must rely fully on translators who may be materially or spiritually flawed.

    "and those who do choose to have one will "assume a body by the force of their mere will."

    Intriguing, because I start believing less and less in a free will and more and more in destiny.
    Again, here Sanskrit would be welcome.

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  9. The conclusion of Srila Sanatan Goswami's tika to verse 2.2.207 of Brhadbhagavatamrtam:

    Even the liberated souls who have merged into the formless divine light of brahman retain their spiritual bodies, complete with spiritual mind and senses. Nothing, not even liberation in brahman, can ever deprive a jiva of these assets. Thus when a liberated soul gains the favour of the Supreme Lord's personal energy his spiritual body and senses are reawakened for hearing and chanting the glories of Lord Hari and acting in other ways for the Lord's pleasure.

    (Gopiparanadhana's translation, but I am looking at a Bengali edition and it says the same.)

    Advaitadas, as we found when we discussed this a year ago there are numerous references in this part of Brhadbhagavatamrtam to the jiva having a dormant spiritual form. By the way, did you notice what is said in 2.2.109-10.

    I also have studied Madvacarya's statements on this point. See the commentary to verse 2.21 of the Katha Upanishad: www.mandala.com.au/kathaUpanishad/KathaUpahishad.pdf

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  10. Brhadbhag: 2.2.111:
    eko narayano vrtto visnu-rupo paro bhavat
    anyo yajnesa rupo bhut paro vividha rupavan

    Of Sanaka, Sanatana etc:
    One brother manifest the form of Narayan, another that of Vishnu. One, the form of Yajneshwara, and the last manifest several different forms.

    2.4.36
    kecid vicintra rupani dhrtva dhrtva muhur muhur
    vicitra bhusanakara viharadhya mano harah

    Some manifest different forms at different times, with all kinds of ornaments, bodily features and ways of acting, all exceedingly attractive.

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  11. How can the "dormant" spiritual form be covered by the external energy???

    The form we need to enter the spiritual realm is "made" of the internal energy of the Lord, the cit-sakti.

    This spiritual form can never be covered over by maya.

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  12. Tarun, the conditioned soul is of course covered over. The dormant form in the spiritual sky is as if waiting for the conditioned soul to come and animate it, as far as I have understood so far.

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  13. Murali, first of all the link you gave is not working. Perhaps you made a spelling mistake. Secondly, the BB 2.2.109-110 verses dont seem to be related to our discussion. 'To teach the people the Lord performed great penance in the form of an archer-teacher and brahmacari with dreadlocks.. Gopakumar said: "I started out for Gandhamadana, but the four Kumaras, knowing how restless my mind was, told me: "Gopakumara! Behold the Lord here!" and showed me many forms of the Lord.

    Generally speaking, could you explain more clearly how your opinion differs from what we have discovered until now?

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  14. (Comment by Muralidhara:)
    In Brihad bhagvatamrita there are some very definite things said in relation to beings attaining their swarup siddhi.

    The statements about people approaching the gates of Vaikuntha is very clear. They came in various forms, dependent on their state of awareness. Some were monkeys, some were yogis. Some even worshiped the Lord who they meditated on as Surya or Chandra - even those devas were seen as incarnations of Visnu and the bhaktas took on a corresponding form that they could serve the Lord with.

    Another thing is that as in these verses below telling about "Some manifest different forms at different times", it seems clear that a being entering Vaikuntha in their sat-chit-ananda liberated form may in fact transform from one sat-chit-ananda form to another sat-chit-ananda for the Lords service.

    There is the example of Sudarshan who can be a discus or a human shape.

    What is more there is no mention that anyone needs to be told "you are a discus" but rather a soul will manifest his or her own most cherished or most desired form.

    Again, there is Srila Sanatan Goswami quoting Sankaracharya, that a liberated soul can attain a spiritual form in order to engage in Visnu bhakti.

    A soul can be manifest as "impersonal" formless existence or that the soul, later endeavouring to engage in Bhakti can take on a spiritual form that comes from their consciousness.

    Kunjabihari das babaji's statement about souls being awarded spiritual bodies which are waiting in the spiritual world is not backed up by any shastra I have seen.

    On the other hand , we Vedanta Sutra and Brihadbhagvatamrita saying in unambiguous terrms that even a soul merged in Brahman will always retain their dormant spiritual body, and moreover that the soul has a dormant human form. In regard to that human form, I take it to be a form like that of Sudarshan. He can be a human, or he can display the form of a chakra.

    Brhadbhag: 2.2.111:
    eko narayano vrtto visnu-rupo paro bhavat
    anyo yajnesa rupo bhut paro vividha rupavan

    Of Sanaka, Sanatana etc:
    One brother manifest the form of Narayan, another that of Vishnu. One, the form of Yajneshwara, and the last manifest several different forms.

    2.4.36
    kecid vicitra rupani dhrtva dhrtva muhur muhur
    vicitra bhusanakara viharadhya mano harah

    Some manifest different forms at different times, with all kinds of ornaments, bodily features and ways of acting, all exceedingly attractive.

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  15. Hmmm. Well now I really wonder if there isnt a contradiction between Jiva and Sanatan Gosvami...
    BB 2.2.36-38 translates as follows: "Some time and again assume wonderful/variegated (both meanings of the word vicitra) enchanting forms and mindblowing wonderful ornaments, shapes and pastimes (vicitra can mean wonderful because that is what it means in the second half of the verse but it can also mean variegated because the words muhurmuhuh, again and again are there). Some assume human forms, others of monkeys, gods, demons or seers or persons in the caste and ashram system. Others carry the signs of diksa. Some assume forms like Indra and Candra, some have three eyes, four heads, four arms, a thousand mouths or eight arms."

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  16. So far no evidence of Vaikuntha-vasis being shapeshifters. But in the commentary on verse 36, Sanatan Gosvami writes: vicitrANi rUpANi pazu-pakSi-vRkSAdYAkArAn dhRtvA dhRtveti muhurmuhur iti ca vIpsAbhyAM vicitra rUpANAM punaH punar AviSkaraNaM punaH punas tirodhApanaM ca bodhyate - "vicitra rupa means that again and again they assume forms of animals birds and trees that appear and disappear again and again." vIpsA means repetition or succession - "Through repetition or succession they appear and disappear again and again."
    Sanatan Gosvami comments on BB 2.2.37 saccidAnandavigrahANAM zrIvaikuNThavAsinAM vastuto navatvAdyasambhavAt - Actually it is impossible for a resident of Sri Vaikuntha to get a new form because their forms are saccidananda."

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  17. @advaita

    Yeah, I know.
    That is about the jiva-soul.

    But how can our original, spiritual form be "within us" here in the material world, waiting to be uncovered?

    Not possible.

    We get a form, similar to the one of the Lord. By the Lord.

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  18. Advaita: "Intriguing, because I start believing less and less in a free will and more and more in destiny. Again, here Sanskrit would be welcome."

    The Sanskrit for Baladeva's Govinda-bhashya is available on GGM, so over to you Advaitaji! :-)

    Tarun: "But how can our original, spiritual form be 'within us' here in the material world, waiting to be uncovered? Not possible. We get a form, similar to the one of the Lord. By the Lord."

    This is correct, and Srimat Jiva Gosvami backs this up in Priti Sandarbha. It is as yet unknown whether SB 1.6.28/29 contains the operative word "endowed", but for now Priti Sandarbha is enough.

    Vedantasutras are a very complicated study that takes years to master. Baladeva himself states in his bhashya that the student should study the bhashya with his guru, both of them repeating 'Shanti' 3 times (as in 'Om Shanti Shanti Shanti'). So I wouldn't advise cherry-picking bits and pieces from here and there. I am going to study it from the beginning and see the flow of the whole bhashya, because the whole point of a bhashya (in terms of validating the Gaudiya Vaishnava siddhanta) is that it must be consistent.

    So although I'll be keeping my eyes out for anything useful and I may post it either here or on my blog, I'd much rather go back to the beginning. I'm especially keen on finding references to the "own form of the jiva", because this is the key to this issue. All the terms we use here require proper definition, and referring to other bhashyas is only marginally useful to see what they say but we are interested in our own Gaudiya commentator for now.

    I believe I have found the references to back up the idea about "own form" referring to the "natural humanlike form" of the jiva, but silly me, I didn't make notes so now I'll have to find them all over again.

    On another note I've been reading more of the bhashya, it's truly wonderful. I'm also fortunate enough to have a copy of the Upanishads (translated by S. Radhakrishnan though) so I can check out all the sruti references that Srimat Baladeva refers to.

    I'm not sure about all these references to Brhad-bhagavatamrta because I don't have Part 2 of it, so I'll leave that for others. For now I'm sticking to the Vedanta side of the argument. It's taken me a while to get this book and I'm going nowhere. :-) On the other hand, I'd say that a full reading of the BB should be done to understand everything in it's proper context.

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  19. By the way I should also add that, since this discussion arose from my short review of Haberman's book, it should be noted that Haberman himself discovered the two schools of thinking in respects to the attainment of the siddha-deha.

    One school (the majority school?) holds that the siddha-deha is granted whereas the other school holds that it is inherent. This has been mentioned briefly in old discussions on GD and also when I typed up Chapter 8 of Shukavak's book, but now that I have acquired Haberman's book I should note that he gives a couple of hagiographical stories that illustrate that the 'inherent' school may have some validation.

    Although Haberman does not directly state this, one of the sources for this could be none other than our old friend Dr. O.B.L. Kapoor.

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  20. Advaitadas in reply to your request that I make clear what I am trying to say, let me express my point of view in a few words.

    A soul can be manifest as formless "impersonal" existence or the conscious soul can decide to engage in Bhakti. If they adore Bhakti they manifest a spiritual form that comes from within their consciousness. When you desire to offer a flower at the feet of Vaikunthapati-Narayana your dormant human-like form will expand and your hand holding a flower will come out from within your consciousness. The hand that makes the offering comes from you. It is your hand. Your consciousness. Your flower, too.

    ---------------------
    In regard to the dormant human-like form that is within us, see the commentary of Srila Sanatan Goswami to verses 2.2.186; 2.2.196, 2.2.197 and 2.2.207 of Brhadbhagavatamrtam.

    Other relevant verses are those in regard to "shape changing". They have already been presented.

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  21. Muralidhara sent this comment:
    Dear Advaitadas,

    What follows is my personal thoughts. You can post it on the web site or not. You may make the choice, as you like, my friend, my Prabhu. People can believe it or leave it -- it is everyone's free choice to believe whatever they like.

    In Brhadbhagvatamrtam there are some very definite things said in relation to beings attaining their swarup siddhi. Clearly, Sri Sanatan Goswami gave us a book that discusses in detail the different "worlds" (lokas) and pathways that lead from one locale to the next. By this I mean to say that when Narad goes to Uddhava and says "Your are the best Vaishnava" we see Uddhava replies "No the Gopis are the highest!" The Brhadbhagvatam is giving us information about different types of devotees and locales and it was clearly meant to be an instructional book that shows us HOW to get to Vraja-bhakti and WHY Vraja lila is the highest state.

    Neither Narada nor Gopakumar (Sarupa) were ever assigned their swarup siddhi by their Guru. Sarupa NEVER had any instruction from his Guru about what sort of rasa he should cultivate in his bhajan. His mood developed spontaneously and Sarupa attained the svarup form that suited his natural feeling of attraction for Krishna.

    Long ages ago, Kshamabuddhi posed an excellent question. He asked Madhavananda: "are there spiritual forms waiting on coat-hangers on some clothes rack in Goloka"? According to one school of thought, an eternal form is waiting in the spiritual sky for each newcomer to wear. I must say, I don't find any support anywhere in scripture for this novel idea.

    The statements in Brhadbhagvatamrtam about people approaching the gates of Vaikuntha are very clear. We read about people who are attaining entrance into the eternal realm and who were coming to the gates of Vaikuntha and exhibiting various manifestations of their "siddha-form". They came in astonishing forms, dependent on their state of awareness. Some had many arms and many bodies (group forms which merged into one person), some were monkeys, some were yogis. Some even worshiped the Lord who they meditated upon as Surya or Chandra - even those devas were seen as incarnations of Visnu by some bhaktas and the bhaktas took on a corresponding form that they could serve the Lord with.

    Another thing is that in the verses below telling about "Some manifest different forms at different times", it seems clear that a being entering Vaikuntha in their sat-chit-ananda liberated form may in fact transform from one sat-chit-ananda form into another sat-chit-ananda form. They manifest differenty at different times -- for the Lords service.

    Brhadbhag: 2.2.111:
    eko narayano vrtto visnu-rupo paro bhavat
    anyo yajnesa rupo bhut paro vividha rupavan

    Of Sanaka, Sanatana etc:
    One brother manifest the form of Narayan, another that of Vishnu. One, the form of Yajneshwara, and the last manifest several different forms .

    Of other people entering Vaikuntha:
    2.4.36
    kecid vicintra rupani dhrtva dhrtva muhur muhur
    vicitra bhusanakara viharadhya mano harah

    Some manifest different forms at different times, with all kinds of ornaments, bodily features and ways of acting, all exceedingly attractive.

    There is also the example of Sudarshan who can be a discus or a human shape. Visnu's club Gada can also appear as a human from time to time. etc. etc.

    What is more there is no mention that anyone needs to be told "you are a chakra" but rather a soul will manifest his or her own most cherished or desired form.

    This is one thing to be noted.

    Again, in Brhadbhagvatamrtam there is the verse where Srila Sanatan Goswami is quoting Sankaracharya saying that a liberated soul merged in nirvisesha-brahma can attain a spiritual form in order to engage in Visnu bhakti.

    A soul can be manifest as formless "impersonal" existence or the conscious soul can decide to engage in Bhakti. If they do adore Bhakti they manifest a spiritual form that comes from within their consciousness. When you desire to offer a flower at the feet of Narayana your dormant human-like form will expand and your hand holding a flower will come out from within your consciousness. The hand that makes the offering comes from you. It is your hand. Your consciousness.

    Somebody has quoted Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami talking in Bhagavatam about devotees being awarded spiritual bodies, and this somebody make the assumption Swami Maharaj means to say the people were given new bodies different from their self. But in Srimad Bhagavatam 10.12.33 & 38 it specifically states that the demon Agha entered Krishna's body as a "light" and that he then attained sarupya-mukti in Krishna (according to Visvanatha and other authorities). This description harmonizes with the Brhadbhagavat's statements about people coming to the gates of Vaikuntha and exhibiting various manifestations of their "siddha-form". In Narad's case, also, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.28 does not say Narad was given a spiritual body that came from some place else.

    The spiritual body is sad-chid-ananda and as such it is "consciousness" in its essence. When consciousness evolves it can transform from one state to another. Interestingly, I am beginning to wonder about the spiritual form of Syamananda Thakur, who had an inner awareness of himself as a boy in sakhya-rasa (in pursuance of his Guru Sri Hriday Chaitanya's mood of devotion) but who later became transformed into a feminine devotee form. This issue of course is highly controversial and I certainly don't want to get into a debate about it. But I am just expressing my own thoughts on this matter.

    Kunjabihari das babaji's statement about souls being awarded spiritual bodies which are waiting in the spiritual world is not backed up by any shastra I have seen. I have seen the attempts by Madhavananda and others to reconcile Kunjabihari das babaji's statements with statements by Sri Jiva in the Sandarbhas. People are attempting to connect these statements but the "interpretation" aspect of what these people are saying is very high. Sri Jiva is talking about one thing, and they are trying to say that what Sri Jiva says "implies" that souls get given new bodies. This is the arguement we find Madhavananda is giving. Whereas on the other side we have Srila Sanatan Goswami in Brhadbhagavatamrtam making direct statements which are totally contrary to what Kunjabihari das babaji thought and taught.

    We have Vedanta Sutra and Sanatan Goswami in Brhadbhagvat saying in unambiguous terms that even a soul merged in Brahman will always retain their dormant spiritual body, and moreover that the soul has a dormant human form. In regard to that human form, I take it to be a form like that of Sudarshan. He can be a human, or he can display the form of a chakra.

    When I was living with my Guru Maharaj in the early 1980's, Guru Maharaj gave me specific information about how to understand these things being discussed from Brhadbhagvatamrtam -- specifically he gave me instructions about how to attain the knowledge "vasudeva sarvam iti" and moreover what changes of consciousness occur when someone goes from Vasudeva to Lakshmi-Narayan consciousness. This matter is really too complex to discuss here, but let me simply say that it involves "progressing" into the stage where you develop "insight" or "inner sight" of the bhakti-shakti of Narayana. My Guru Maharaj told me (personally) in detail about the attainment of swarup siddhi and moreover he explained about the peculiar position of Sada-shiva and Mahamaya in regards to that stage of life where you finally let go of ahankara and surrender to Adhoksaja Vishnu.

    (PS, I say "personally" because I mean to make the point that I am not merely relying on tapes and books as my basis of understanding, but rather the one-on-one advice I received from Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Actually one-on-one is not quite right... my elder guru-bhai Haricharan das was with me on one important occassion; some other devotees were also there on some other important days when I was asking Guru Maharaj about these things).

    My name is Muralidhar, and Murali is Krishna's flute, so Guru Maharaj began and ended a few talks by describing that the sound of Murali is OM and that this sound OM initiated Brahma and that this sound awakens the liberated souls from the slumber of Brahman-realization. Maybe it was just my good fortune that I was initially given the name Murali and that in later times when someone said "Murali is here" my Guru Maharaj would reflect on this and start off with one of his amazing talks about the sound of the flute song that comes from Murali.

    Oh, and by the way, contrary to what Gaurasundara said I have not relied on the English translations of scriptures as my sole source of information on this topic. Living with me here at our house/temple in Sydney (for the past two years), I have my friend Murlikrsna das Bhattacharya, a Bengali brahmin who studied Sanskrit at a tol in Nabadwip for five years. Murli and I have studied various books dealing with this topic, looking at the original Sanskrit and Bengali, and I have also consulted with other devotees who I respect and who are knowledgeable in the shastra.

    Thank you Advaitadas.

    PS, Advaitadas, what editions of Govinda Bhasya in English, Sanskrit, Hindi or Bengali are you looking at? I have two in English (Bhakti Caitanya Swami and Yati Maharaj). I spoke with Yati Maharaj about this when I met him in Mayapura, and I also talked with him about his translation of Katha Upanishad (Yati Maharaj lives at the Mayapura Yogapitha). We also consulted the Govinda Bhasya edition of Shyam Das written in Hindi.

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  22. "According to one school of thought, an eternal form is waiting in the spiritual sky for each newcomer to wear. I must say, I don't find any support anywhere in scripture for this novel idea."

    Murali, I am a neutral referee in this debate, however I must say that the words murtayas tatra vartante, which indicates present tense, and the word kriyata in the end of Priti Sandarbha 10 do point at this. In Brihad Bhagavatamrita 2.6.359 Sarupa is seen as a newcomer too. I do not know yet how to reconcile - or whether there is any contradiction - with the BB 2.4.36-38 verses.

    "In Narad's case, also, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.28 does not say Narad was given a spiritual body that came from some place else."

    But Sridhar Swami and Jiva Gosvami say that prayujyamaana means 'brought by the Lord, bhagavata niyamana'.

    "What is more there is no mention that anyone needs to be told "you are a chakra" but rather a soul will manifest his or her own most cherished or desired form."

    I dont see why that could not be an option as all the acaryas speak of attaining the siddha svarupa one meditates on from the stage of sadhana bhakti - sadhane ye dhana cai...

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  23. Oh it was Muralidhar das who was posting. I didn't know that. Nice to see him.

    Anyway, it is now 6.30am where I'm at so I don't have time to go through all of what has been said so I may respond tomorrow if that is OK. Here are some brief notes:

    1 - It has been said several times that Kunjabihari das Babaji's concept of siddha-dehas in the spiritual sky has its origin in Priti Sandarbha 10 (jyotir-aMza).

    2 - An important thing to consider is: how do we define "scripture"? Shastras like BB and PS are only applicable if there is a dispute within Gaudiyas and are virtually useless in discussion with members of other schools. For them, "common ground" shastras are applicable such as BG, SB, VS, Upanishads, etc. These "common" shastras all appear to support the idea of "granting" siddha-dehas. And by the way, if BB intimates that liberated jivas can have several bodies/forms, that is not contradicted by Baladeva in Govinda-bhashya. :-) I may post the relevant sections tomorrow.

    3 - I personally think that Sudarshan is a very bad example to use because Sudarshan is an eternal associate of the Lord, a nitya-parikara of sorts. The issues discussed here relate to sadhana-siddhas and not nitya-siddha persons and "objects".

    4 - Several people have sent me comments and emails that contain very good points. I will respond to them tomorrow here, my blog or in private as appropriate. Thank you kindly, they were very good points.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Gaurasundar: "And by the way, if BB intimates that liberated jivas can have several bodies/forms, that is not contradicted by Baladeva in Govinda-bhashya. :-) I may post the relevant sections tomorrow."

    Looking forward to that.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Just a quick follow up

    Baladeva says in Govinda Bhasya 4.1.1 that some words in Sruti texts which seem to suggest a soul is given a spiritual body may also be understood to mean that the soul's inherent form becomes manifest.

    Baladeva is very clear on this point. So is Sanatan Goswami. I am not a Sanskritist so I cannot comment on what Sri Jiva says in Priti Sandarbha 10.

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  26. Murali: "I am not a Sanskritist so I cannot comment on what Sri Jiva says in Priti Sandarbha 10."

    The blog to which we are all commenting here has given an in-depth analysis of Priti Sandarbha 10

    ReplyDelete
  27. "If they adore Bhakti they manifest a spiritual form that comes from within their consciousness."

    Nope, that is the mistake!

    The form is given by the Lord through the mercy of the Gurudeva.

    Where is this stated?
    That a form comes from our consciousness...

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  28. Gaurasundara: "Shastras like BB and PS are only applicable if there is a dispute within Gaudiyas and are virtually useless in discussion with members of other schools. For them, "common ground" shastras are applicable such as BG, SB, VS, Upanishads, etc. "

    Well since we are all gung-ho GVs around here, and Mahaprabhu has innerly inspired the Gosvamis to write their books, and since we all accept Mahaprabhu as Bhagavan Himself, these books are authoritative and must be reconciled with VS Upanishads etc., and indeed with each other...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Tarun:
    Where is this stated?
    That a form comes from our consciousness...

    ===================
    Murali:
    Brhadbhagavatamrtam 1.4.139-142

    sri narada uvaca:
    pasu paksi ganan vrksa lata gulma trnadhikan
    atra drstan na manyasva parthivams tamasan iva
    Sri Narada said:
    Don't think the flocks of animals and birds of this place Vaikuntha, or the trees, creepers, bushes, grass and other vegetation, are made from earth like ordinary creatures in the mode of ignorance. (139)

    ete hi sac-cid-ananda-rupan sri krsna parsadah
    vicitra sevanandaya tat tad rupani bibhrati
    In fact these are all personal associates of Sri Krishna, all with spriritual sat-chit-ananda bodies. They have assumed such forms to taste the ecstasy of serving the Lord in various ways. (140)

    yat varna vad yad akranam rupam bhagavato sya ye
    nija priatamatvena bhavayanto bhajann imam
    They have assumed forms with colours and shapes similar to those of the Lord they have worshiped as most dear. (141)

    tadrsam te sya sarupyam prapta nanakrti sriyah
    manusya munayo deva rsayo matsya kacchapah
    Having each attained sameness with a particular form of the Lord, they have gained opuluences of various kinds of bodies, as sages, gods, fish, tortoises, human beings and mystic seers. (142)

    Note: in verse 140 the words "tad rupani bibhrati".
    I checked the meaning of the word
    bibhrati. It has a number of meanings, but I don't see that any of them might in any way signify that the souls were given a body by God.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yadupati: "Probably the first shastra text to be considered in the siddha-deha discussion is Chhandogya Up.7.12.3: svena rupena abhinispadyate - "appears in his true form" by 'reaching the Highest Light'.
    This text is quoted by Sri Ramanuja and Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana in their commentary on Vedanta Sutra 4.4.1 - "sampadya avirbhavah svena shabdat - "the phrase 'manifestation of one's own form', means manifesting one's real form because the word svena - in its own- indicates that."

    Yadupati and Murali both quoted this text - About VS 4.4.1's niSpadya, all possible root verbs are:
    1) niSpatti: birth, production,
    ripeness, maturity, perfection, consummation, completion, accomplishment.
    2) niSpanna - born, arisen, sprung up, produced, effected, completed, accomplished, ready.
    3) niSpAdana - effecting, accomplishing, concluding, producing, causing.
    So again we can go either way in this - created or accomplished. As Krishna Das pointed out in the original blog, the 'creation of a new body' is ruled out by the word vartante in Priti Sandarbha
    10 - they reside there, present tense. I must confess that I am not expert enough in Sanskrit to give a full flowing translation of 4.4.1, unfortunately.
    I also already read 4.4.10, where Baladeva quotes the Chandogya Upanisad: "There is certainly happiness and distress for those with a body and there is no such a thing for those without a body." He then himself says: "Misery is inevitable for the embodied", and then he explains what it means to be unembodied by quoting SB 7.1.34 - "You should narrate of the bodily relationship of the residents of Vaikuntha, that have no body, senses or life-airs." In other words, they are embodied but not with a material body. Their bodies are spiritual. Wonderful verse, but no clue to created, revealed, dormant or inherant spiritual body here.

    ReplyDelete
  31. "But how can our original, spiritual form be "within us" here in the material world, waiting to be uncovered?

    Not possible.

    We get a form, similar to the one of the Lord. By the Lord."

    @murali

    Nice qoutes.
    But no answer or explanation to my point.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I asked this same question to my Guru, Srila Ananta das Babaji.

    He told me that the form is already there. The guru contacts Krishna´s form as the all-knowing guru and the Lord tells the Guru what form would be compatible with the feelings of the sadhaka.

    So when the sadhaka thinks about that form (that body) it is in the beginning a mental thing, unripe.

    Like Srila Natrottama das Thakur writes: what u think of now becomes the later.
    From unripe to ripe.

    Now, we imagine that siddha-deha (which is truly there).
    Then after the awakening of bhava, we get a real glimpse of our form and of the Lord´s form (Srila Vishvanatha Cakravartipada, Madhurya kadambini).

    The imagination in our mind is NOT unreal, since it is given by the Lord via the sad-guru.
    So, this imagination will become more and more "real" according to the purity of the sadhaka´s mind.
    When the heart (and therewith the mind) is infused with the hladini-shakti of the Lord, after the stage of bhava and with prema incoming, this form becomes our form. We "inhabit" this form, similar to the Lord, given by the Lord.

    So all depends on the sadhaka´s stage of bhakti.

    We are a tiny spark of consciousness with the potency to "inhabit" such a wonderful spiritual form, sotosay to "merge/transform" more and more into that form.

    It is not that this form is already within us, waiting to be de-maya-ized.

    2 cents

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  33. Wow, Tarun-ji,
    this means that the guru has to make direct contact with Sri Krishna about the ontology of the sadhak?

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  34. Yadupatiji, yes, that is the opinion of Sri Ananta das Babaji and, by extension, his own guru Sri Kunjabihari das Babaji. Other gurus such as Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura and his son, Sri Lalita Prasad Thakur, hold the opinion that the sadhaka must analyse their own "temperament" and inclinations for service, and then request a suitable siddha-deha from their guru.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "...the sadhaka must analyse their own "temperament" and inclinations for service, and then request a suitable siddha-deha from their guru."

    No contradiction here.
    Same with Baba.
    First the sadhaka feels inclined and "checks" his inner devotional mood.

    No cheap thing...

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  36. Gaurasundara: "Other gurus such as Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura and his son, Sri Lalita Prasad Thakur, hold the opinion that the sadhaka must analyse their own "temperament" and inclinations for service, and then request a suitable siddha-deha from their guru."

    However, Krishna Das rightly said about the Priti Sandarbha text:

    "the context rules out the interpretation that the body is created because in the previous sentence Jiva Goswami says that mUrtayas tatra vartante. They are there and the Lord gives (kriyate) one such form to the devotee. This is a natural sequence. Otherwise one will have difficulty to explain why he says that the murtis are already there. Yes, vartante is in present tense; more precisely, it is something we would call present simple in English, and the tense mostly indicates that something happens or is always, ie. eternally. "

    How will that jibe?

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  37. I'm pleased to note that my hard work of spending two whole nights typing all of this up has been completed. Hopefully it may bear fruit. All points have been raised and all of them have been answered (I hope!).

    Enjoy!

    The Vedanta of the Siddha-deha

    ReplyDelete
  38. Since Satyanarayan Das Ji also believes in revelation of the siddha deha without siddha pranali (in emergency cases)(see my blog of July 31) I was thinking of the following verse in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (1.3.6) sadhanabhinivesena krsna tad bhaktayos tatha prasadenatidhanyanam bhavo dvedhabhijayate adyas tu prayikas tatra dvitiyo viralodayah "Bhava bhakti (at which stage the siddha deha appears, as is taught by Krishnadas Kaviraja Gosvami and Visvanath Cakravartipad) is usually attained by absorption in sadhana, and sometimes, be it
    rarely, by the grace of Krishna and/or His devotee." This vindicates both the revelationists
    and the siddhapranali-vadis.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Interesting stuff from:

    The Life of Love (O.B.L. Kapoor)

    THE TRANSCENDENTAL BODY
    "So long as the devotee stays in the physical body, he performs sravana and kirtan, and observes the other rules of vaidhi-bhakti outwardly, but inwardly he imagines himself to be in the transcendental body appropriate for the type of bhava to which he is naturally inclined, and to be serving Krishna day and night through that body. By constant medi¬tation or smarana,he makes the whole of Vraja-lila live before him. He enters into that lila in his imagination, and by serv¬ing Krishna, according to the particular bhava or mode of bhakti adopted by him, lives in the ecstasy of that vicarious pleasure. The imaginary transcendental body {antashchintit siddha deha), however, is not wholly imaginary. It is mental reflection of the transcendental body, which Bhagavan—out of His infinite kindness—imparts to the devotee. Bhagavan imparts to him a transcendental body exactly like the one which he imagines himself to possess, and which is essential for the particular mode of bhakti practised by him. He is bound to do so on account of His always being subservient to the devotee. The imaginary or contemplated transcendental body, therefore, is just the transcendental body proper in the making. Smarana or contemplation, and the service of Krishna through the medium of the imaginary transcendental body is the very essence of raganuga-bhakti. But this should not be done to the exclusion of the external observances of vaidhi-bhakti through the physical body, because they are also help¬ful in raganuga-bhakti"
    Pyari: "But Maharaja, I would like to know one thing. If someone is so fallen and weak that he can neither practise raganuga-bhakti nor vaidhi-bhakti, is there no way by which he can attain the lotus feet of the Lord?"

    (spoken by Sri Srimat Radharamana Charana Dasa Deva, a.k.a Barha Baba)

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  40. Tarun,

    Your Guru's explanation is so beautiful, very clear and yes, very short; but it says everything there is to say.

    Myrla

    ReplyDelete
  41. Interesting verses of Brhadbhagavatamrtam:

    2.4.13
    As I reverently offered obeisances, those associates of the Lord of Vaikuntha embraced me and reassured me again and again. Putting forward hundreds of arguments, they wished to give me a bodily form like theirs.

    2.4.92
    Though like everyone else in Vaikuntha I was approached by transcendental opulences, I avoided them. I refused to show even the splendours that spontaneously appeared within me. I resided there in the same form that I had always had, that of a cowherd boy.

    2.4.93
    In Vaikuntha all opulences are purely spiritual, full in eternity, knowledge and bliss. Appearing wherever one desires, they willingly submit themselves to one's control.

    Commentary: THe infinite varieties of the spiritual kingdom ofall share common grounding in sat-chit-ananda existence. But since the expression of opulence there depends on the desires of the individual residents, one encounters immesurable variety. Personal powers there are purely spiritual, so the residents use them faultlessly, without the selfish manipulations employed to enjoy one's senses in the material world.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Great discussion!!

    @gaurasundara

    Wonderful work!!!

    I ALWAYS felt that it cannot be:
    a fully "equipped" form somehow within us, waiting to be uncovered and then realized....

    Meaning maya has so much power to cover our eternal form...that is actually concealed mayavad.
    Nothing less.

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  43. I thought that mayavada taught that actually the personal God and the individual souls turn out, upon enlightment, to be maya (in the meaning of illusion). This enlightment process can be started with karma yoga and bhakti yoga and then jnana-yoga, which explains why many mayavadi's (c.q. advaitis) can talk so enthusiastically about bhakti!
    Not counting the nirgun bhakti of Kabir, Ramakrishna and the likes.
    But I'm afraid this is not within the purview of our discussion of siddha-deha.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Comment by Muralidhara:
    "In verse 2.4.13 of Brhadbhagavatamrtam (see below) we read that the associates of the Lord of Vaikuntha are able to give someone, a new recruit, a "bodily form like theirs".

    All along I have been arguing that you don't get given a spiritual body, yet here we find that a newcomer CAN BE GIVEN a spiritual body (Gopakumar doesn't accept it!). BUT (and this is a big BUT), accepting a "bodily form like theirs" will only happen if the newcomer is WILLING to accept that form.

    Vedanta Sutra 4.4.12 furthermore says that a liberated soul may have a body or be formless - whatever they are willing they can have.

    However there is also this to consider...

    In his commentary to verse 2.2.208 of Brhadbhagavatamrtam, Srila Sanatan Goswami says:
    Even the liberated souls who have merged into the formless divine light of Brahman retain their spiritual bodies, complete with spiritual mind and senses. Nothing, not even liberation, can ever deprive a jiva of these assets. When a liberated soul gains the favour of the Supreme Lord's personal energy, his spiritual body and senses are reawakened for hearing and chanting the glories of Lord Hari and acting in other ways for the Lord's pleasure.

    In this section (please check it, everyone) you find Sanatan Goswami is talking about "mayavadis" who have never engaged in bhakti. Even these people who have never felt a tinge of the feeling of devotion have inherent spiritual bodies. If they get the favour of Bhaktidevi, then their "spiritual body and senses are reawakened". Manifesting a spiritual body they are then able to engage in devotional activities for the first time. Sanatan Goswami's statement is unambiguous (and the translation I've given is accurate!).

    So ultimately it is the "inner feeling" and individual choice that determines what form one will manifest. Gopakumar was willing that he be a boy of Govardhana. In verse Brhadbhagavatamrtam 2.4.14 it says Gopakumar's existing body became empowered with qualities like those of the Vaikuntha residents.

    Later verses explain that whatever opulences a Vaikuntha soul wills to make manifest will indeed become manifest. So Sanak-Sanat Kumara were willing to show Gopakumar how they can be dissolved into the form of formless Brahman, and that they can also appear in Sarupya forms of Naryana in Vaikuntha.

    The issue of will and willpower now appears (to me) to be a critical issue in regard to what form a liberated soul will accept. In my understanding will, the spiritual world and sandhini sakti are ultimately controlled by Baladeva (CC 1.4.64-65; CC 1.5.124-126). The jiva tattva is also controlled by Baladeva (see Vedanta-sutra 2.2.42). Yet then again, the jiva has free will.

    But that is another topic!!!!

    ----------------------------------------
    Interesting verses of Brhadbhagavatamrtam:

    2.4.13
    As I reverently offered obeisances, those associates of the Lord of Vaikuntha embraced me and reassured me again and again. Putting forward hundreds of arguments, they wished to give me a bodily form like theirs.

    2.4.14
    tad asvi-krtya tu sviyam govardhana bhuvam vapuh
    tesam prabhavatas tadrg guna rupady alambhayam
    But I refused their offer, and instead, by their influence, my own body born in Govardhana assumed qualities and beauty like theirs.

    2.4.92
    Though like everyone else in Vaikuntha I was approached by transcendental opulences, I avoided them. I refused to show even the splendours that spontaneously appeared within me. I resided there in the same form that I had always had, that of a cowherd boy.

    2.4.93
    In Vaikuntha all opulences are purely spiritual, full in eternity, knowledge and bliss. Appearing wherever one desires, they willingly submit themselves to one's control.

    Commentary: The infinite varieties of the spiritual kingdom all share common grounding in sat-chit-ananda existence. But since the _expression of opulence there depends on the desires of the individual residents, one encounters immesurable variety. Personal powers there are purely spiritual, so the residents use them faultlessly, without the selfish manipulations employed to enjoy one's senses in the material world."

    ReplyDelete
  45. VS 4.4.11 provides the Vedantic reasoning for why Srimat Sanatana Gosvamin (in his Brhad-Bhagavatamrta) wrote that it is possible to have several forms in Vaikuntha/Vraja, even though most sadhakas are satisfied with just one or two for obvious reasons.

    So VS 4.4.11 vindicates and supports Srimat Sanatana's BB and also provides Vedantic reasoning for why it is possible for Gaudiyas to have two siddha-dehas as per their sadhana; that of a manjari in Vraja and that of a brahman-kishor in Nitya-Navadvipa.

    Slightly on a tangent here, but the Gaura-nagara-vadis believe that it is apropos for the Gaudiya to have a third siddha-deha wherein the mukta-jiva can enjoy with Mahaprabhu. Even that is possible according to Vedanta. If I read correctly, it appears that mukta-jivas can have upto 1,020 forms. Whether they can handle all of that is another matter. :-)

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  46. And the assumption of "one's own form", contrary to popular opinion, does not refer to an "inherent" siddha-deha, but in fact refers to what I have been speculating all along [and now confirmed :-)]; the natural condition of the jiva. "One's own form" actually refers to the eight qualities that are latent and which are brought to the fore upon the attainment of mukti.

    That's all.

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  47. "VS 4.4.11 provides the Vedantic reasoning for why Srimat Sanatana Gosvamin (in his Brhad-Bhagavatamrta) wrote that it is possible to have several forms in Vaikuntha/Vraja...."

    This explains why some of Mahaprabhu's associates have several forms in Krishna-lila and vice versa.

    Raga Vartma Candrika 2.7: "In the Ujjvala Nilamani it is said that 'those who are specially attracted to the ecstasy of the VrajavAsis and thus perform rAgAnugA bhajana will attain that abundance of eagerness that is fit for performing rAgAnugA bhajana and will take birth in Vraja in groups of one, two or three in their own time, according to their eagerness.'

    This coincides with Brihad Bhagavatamrita's 2.4.34-38 verses about the contracting and expanding numbers and shapes of Vaikuntha-residents.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Govinda Bhasya 4.4.11-

    "He becomes one. Then he becomes two. Then three. Then five. Then seven. Then nine. Then eleven. He becomes one hundred and ten. He becomes one thousand and twenty."
    (CChandogya Upanisad)

    Baladeva: "Because the individual spirit soul is atomic in nature, it cannot expand itself to become many different bodies, so these bodies must be possessions of the atomic soul. Nor can it be said that this statement of the Upaniñad is not true, for this is in a passage describing the process of liberation."

    4.4.12 -
    Baladeva: "Lord Vyäsadeva thinks that because the liberated soul's every desire is at once fulfilled both conditions must be true. This is so because statements describing both conditions are found in the scriptures. Therefore it should be accepted that the liberated soul may have a body, and again he may not have a body."

    The first verse is mysterious - it seems the liberated soul is one and can manifest itself in different forms. The second verse seems to confirm that there is a lot of free will for the sadhaka/siddha anyway....

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  49. Muralidhar das quoted: In his commentary to verse 2.2.208 of Brhadbhagavatamrtam, Srila Sanatan Goswami says:
    Even the liberated souls who have merged into the formless divine light of Brahman retain their spiritual bodies, complete with spiritual mind and senses. Nothing, not even liberation, can ever deprive a jiva of these assets. When a liberated soul gains the favour of the Supreme Lord's personal energy, his spiritual body and senses are reawakened for hearing and chanting the glories of Lord Hari and acting in other ways for the Lord's pleasure.


    Advaita das quoted 4.4.12 -
    Baladeva: "Lord Vyäsadeva thinks that because the liberated soul's every desire is at once fulfilled both conditions must be true. This is so because statements describing both conditions are found in the scriptures. Therefore it should be accepted that the liberated soul may have a body, and again he may not have a body."


    All prabhujis here

    Thanks for all your entries, I am learning a lot. How about understanding these in the concept of a KOAN? Like deafening silence and the sound of one hand clapping, sort of thing.
    If Krishna das is reading this: What do you think?

    Radhe Radhe

    (Koans are questions or statements that seem to defy conventional logic. Every koan is a unique expression which cannot be grasped by the bifurcating intellect).

    ReplyDelete
  50. advaitadas: "He becomes one. Then he becomes two..." [Chand.Up. 7.26.2] might refer to the progressive differentiation of the Supreme Soul; the indefinite self-individuation of the Ultimate Reality, see Maitri Up. 5.2.:
    "(...)indeed, the part of Him which is characterized by Purity (sattva) - that, O ye students of sacred knowledge, is this Vishnu.
    Verily, that One became threefold. He developed forth eightfold, elevenfold, twelvefold, into an infinite number of parts. Because of having developed forth, He is a created being (bhuta) has entered into and moves among created beings; He became the Overlord of created beings. That is the Soul (Atman) within and without - yea, within and without!" (Hume translation)

    But that is dry stuff, lets look at Chand. Up 7.25.2:

    "Now [the self-realized guru] instructs the aspirant soul (atmadesha): the Infinite Being (Atman)indeed is below. He is above, He is to the west, He is to the east, to the south and to the north, pervading all through the world.
    Verily, he who sees this, who thinks this, who understands this, who has pleasure in that Highest Being (atmaratih), who has delight in that Highest Being (atmakrida), who has intercourse with that Highest Being (atmamithuna), who had bliss in Him (atmanandah) - he is autonomous (sva-raj)."

    B.P.Yati Maharaj comments on this verse:

    '(...) When the soul soars in the higher realm of burning feelings with passionate love for Sri Krishna augmenting the BhAva of Braja-Gopi, which may awaken normally and naturally in the heart without any forged imagination, such a soul cannot be kept any more, restricted by scriptural regulations and mere human reasoning - The soul transcends them all in its spiritual flight in the Realm of BhAvas - Waves of Feelings. While maintaining a normal and restricted life of spiritual practices in body and words, the individual, in whom the intense longing for the bhAvas of the Eternal Associates of the Lord is awakened, conceives mentally, in accordance with the genuinely awakened braja-bhAva that of a gopi a siddha-deha, which shall correspond to and be favourable and fit for serving the Lord.'

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  51. Advaitaji (and others), what are your views on this?

    I've given my answer according to my own thinking but I would like additional views.

    Also, I notice the poster's comments about the jiva being a part of Brahman's light. I've heard this idea many times but I have not as yet seen a scriptural source for it. Is there any? I was under the impression that the jivas were a different category altogether (tatastha-sakti).

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  52. Yadupati:
    "might refer to the progressive differentiation of the Supreme Soul"
    No it doesnt pertain to God, but to the soul. The Govinda Bhasya 4.4.11 starts with the words muktasya vigrahAdi-bhAvaM jaiminir manyate. "In Jaimini's opinion the mukta has a vigraha", then he quotes the 'sa ekadhA bhavati'-text.

    Yadupati: "Verily, he who sees this, who thinks this, who understands this, who has pleasure in that Highest Being (atmaratih), who has delight in that Highest Being (atmakrida), who has intercourse with that Highest Being (atmamithuna), who had bliss in Him (atmanandah) - he is autonomous (sva-raj)."

    There seems to be incredibly rasik stuff in the Upanishads....

    Myrla: "(Koans are questions or statements that seem to defy conventional logic. Every koan is a unique expression which cannot be grasped by the bifurcating intellect)."

    It surely does seem our pea brains are having a hard time bifurcating this issue.

    Gaura: "Also, I notice the poster's comments about the jiva being a part of Brahman's light. I've heard this idea many times but I have not as yet seen a scriptural source for it. Is there any?"

    Well, the Priti Sandarbha text is translated by Kunjabihari Das Baba as:
    vaikuntha murti - vaikuntha - bhagavan "Vaikuntha means Bhagavan" tahar jyotir aMzabhUtA -
    vaikunthaloker zobhArUpA ye ananta murti tathAy virAja koren "His particle of light - these endless forms that reside there as the beauty-forms of Vaikuntha."
    Reminds me of my Baba's beloved Gita phrase 'mamaivaMzo jIvaloke jIvabhUta sanAtanaH' (15.7)
    'The living entities are my eternal particles."
    Also, however I look at the Priti Sandarbha text, the fact remains that the murtis (siddha dehas)
    are already there (tatra vartante) and tAsAm ekayA saha muktasya ekasya murtiH bhagavatA kriyata "The Lord makes a form of each of them."

    Gaura: "And yes, on a technical note, the Paramatma is an "outside" source by virtue of Svetasvatara Upanishad 4.6.7 (dva suparna sayuja sakhaya, etc.) which is oft-quoted by Srimat Baladeva."

    Well I'd say yes and no - remember that there is acintya bhedAbheda in just about every aspect of
    both spiritual and material life. Reconciliation of our problem here may well be sought in that direction......

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  53. Maybe this is a nice summary of the siddha-deha discussion; good old
    dr O.B.L.Kapoor in 'The Philosophy and Religion of Sri Caitanya' p. 196-7:

    "By constant meditation or smarana he [the sadhak] makes the whole of Vraja-lila live before him. He enters into that lila in his imagination and by serving Krsna, according to the particular bhAva or mode of bhakti adopted by him, lives in the ecstasy of that vicarious enjoyment. The imaginary transcendental body (antascintita siddha deha), however, is not wholly imaginary. It is a mental reflection of the transcendental body, which Bhagavan, out of His infinite kindness, imparts to the devotee. That the transcendental body is a gift of Bhagavan is corroborated by Bhag.Pur. 3.9.11, 'yadyad dhiya, [in order to confer Your Grace on the devotees, You manifest Yourself in that very form they meditate upon You.]' Sri Visvanath Cakravarti, in his commentary, interprets the text to mean that Bhagavan imparts to the devotee a transcendental body exactly like the one which he imagines himself to possess and which is essential for the particular mode of bhakti practised by him, because He is bound to do so on account of His always being subservient to the devotees.
    (...)
    When the devotee is sufficiently advanced in devotion, he becomes free of the 5 kosa's and realizes the spiritual body. The spiritual body is made of shuddha-sattva, the luminous, expressive and unfettered substance of the spiritual order. The imaginary spiritual body (antascintita siddha deha), which the devotee contemplates in raganuga-bhakti, is an imperfect replica of the siddha-deha he attains on fruition of his devotion.
    Narottama Thakur says in Prema-bhakti-candrika 54-55, sadhane bhaviba jaha, that what the devotee desires and meditates upon in the stage of sadhana, he actually attains on the completion of sadhana. The imaginary or contemplated transcendental body therefore, is just the proper transcendental body in the making (pakvApakva mAtra ze bicAra)"

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  54. Advaitadas: "There seems to be incredibly rasik stuff in the Upanishads...."

    You're not kidding! I thought that all of this Vedanta in that book would be egghead snooty cerebral stuff, but the more I read the more I'm falling in love with it. I'm so glad I bought that book. It is well worth it.

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  55. Yes, the krama involves stages like rati, krida, mithuna and anandah. Go figure.....

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  56. Jivas have a body waiting in the spiritual world in the same way that a person may "have a life" waiting for him in another town. The actual form is not manifest in the spiritual world in any way at all. I guess the question that is really trying to be answered is if the jiva has an eternal identity which is pre-destined or is it chosen by the jiva according to his/her desire.

    I would say that it is pre-destined and not chosen.

    Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 22.155

    tat-tad-bhavadi-madhurye
    srute dhir yad apeksate
    natra sastram na yuktim ca
    tal lobhotpatti-laksanam

    We will be attracted to the body or relationship according to what Krishna desires us to be attracted to because our intelligence and mind or desire is controlled by Krishna. While the jiva does have some small amount of free will, for a decision as important to Krishna as that, we will be led to feel comfortable with and desire what Krishna wants from us. (only for those in the transcendental or highest state of consciousness, those in a lower mode may think they truly desire a specific relationship which may in fact change when they attain a higher more purified stage)

    So the jiva will gain a spiritual body when the jiva is transferred to the spiritual world, it is not waiting for him there like a suit on a hanger, it awaits there metaphorically. It exists eternally in the sense that our position in the spiritual world is eternally awaiting us, so the spiritual body is also eternally awaiting us.

    Devotees may think they choose what their destiny will be in Vraja, but the truth is that in the purified state our desire is not independent of Krishna's desire. And in fact a completely purified devotee will not accept a position in Vraja of his/her own choosing. They will ask Krishna what is wanted from them. This is true saranagati on the higher stage. The giving of the self to God to do with as God pleases.

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  57. Baladeva has said in his comment to the Chandogya-text 'sa ekadha bhavati' "Because the individual spirit soul is atomic in nature, it cannot expand itself to become many different bodies, so these bodies must be possessions of the atomic soul."
    The suffix dha means 'a kind', so 'he becomes of one kind, then of two kinds' etc.
    The soul is indivisible but may manifest itself in various forms, just as Garuda and Hanuman manifest themselves in so many ways, in Brihad Bhagavatamrita.

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  58. Advaitadas the verse you cite is also from where Mahaprabhu is instructing Sanatana Goswami on the practice of sadhana bhakti. A few verse later Mahaprabhu ends with:

    abhidheya, sādhana-bhakti ebe kahiluń sanātana

    sańkṣepe kahiluń, vistāra nā yāya varṇana

    "My dear Sanātana, I have briefly described the process of devotional service in practice, which is the means for obtaining love of Kṛṣṇa. It cannot be described broadly."

    The practice is in fact to meditate on an associate of the Lord according one's desire. But I pointed out that our desire is influenced by Krishna. And in the higher stage, beyond sadhana bhakti, after attaining the goal of bhakti the devotee will not desire to impose a realitionship on Radha Krishna but will instead leave it to Radha Krishna to decide what is wanted of them in terms of a relationship.

    Bhaktivinoda mentions this mentality in Jaiva Dharma chapter 21

    Babaji: In the path of raga-bhakti lusty desires and familial relationships are both very important. Thus raga-bhakti is of two kinds: 1. lusty desires (kama) and 2. familial relationships (sambandha).

    Vrajanatha: What is the nature of devotional service with lusty desires?

    Babaji: The word 'lust' means 'the thirst to enjoy'. When it is manifested in ragatmika-bhakti, that thirst to enjoy becomes causeless love for Lord Krishna. Thus it becomes the thirst to enjoy the association of Lord Krishna. In this situation the devotee acts only to please Lord Krishna. The devotee does not act for his own happiness. The devotee accepts his own happiness only if it leads to Krishna's happiness.

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  59. I have found the answer!!! I just now found an online copy of Jiva Gosvami's Priti Sandarbha and of course I checked it out! So it may not be completely reliable as far as translations go but this is too unambiguous to misinterpret. YES!!!!

    Obviously I'm excited, haha. Basically if you have PS you should check out Anuchedda 10-13. The answer is there! Siddha-deha is not inherent, it is given! And Jiva Gosvami says so! :-) I will write it up on my blog sometime this week.

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  60. In Paragraph 11 of Priti Sandarbha, Sri Jiva Gosvami says: iti yA tanuH zri-bhagavatA dAtuM pratijnAtA "The Lord promises (in Sb 1.6.24) to give (dAtu) the devotee a spiritual body" (11)
    And in Paragraph 12, Sri Jiva quotes Gajendra in SB 8.3.19: rAty api deham avyayam "The Lord sometimes even gives (rAti) an immortal body."

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  61. Svarupa means "own form and constitution". To say jiva has no form is a pollution of Vaisnavism by Voidism and Impersonalism. In winter the form of the tree remains dormant within the seed; in springtime the form manifests from the seed. The form of jiva is dormant in material life "folded within the soul", when seva-bhava is enhanced by bhakti-sadhana, then the svarupa gradually awakens and manifests. This is the meaning of Chhandogya Up.7.12.3: svena rupena abhinispadyate - "appears in his true form" by 'reaching the Highest Light'.

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  62. Anon, thank you for your late comment. You are using material examples.
    अभिनिष्पदति { अभिनिष्पद् } abhiniSpadati { abhiniSpad } enter into
    अभिनिष्पदति { अभिनिष्पद् } abhiniSpadati { abhiniSpad } become
    अभिनिष्पदति { अभिनिष्पद् } abhiniSpadati { abhiniSpad } appear
    अभिनिष्पदति { अभिनिष्पद् } abhiniSpadati { abhiniSpad } come to

    Abhinispadyate means the svarupa is received from outside. Please read my blogs about this, and check SB. 1.6.28, prayujyamane mayi tam suddham bhagavatim tanum. No shastra says the svarupa of jiva is dormant, surely not that Chandogya quote.

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