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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Three hours on the phone......

This morning I had a 3-hour iṣṭagoṣṭhi with two devotees by phone:

Bhaktas: "Some people say that Mahāprabhu and His associates were more compassionate than other residents of the spiritual sky because they went down to earth to preach."

Advaitadas: "All of Śrīman Mahāprabhu's associates (pārṣadas) are eternally present in the spiritual sky in their Kṛṣṇa-līlā svarūpas - Rūpa Gosvāmī and so are still there as Rūpa Mañjarī etc. Besides, they did not really leave the spiritual sky to start with, they are eternally travelling around in the Gaura interplanetary roadshow. If the purpose was to prove that preaching is higher than bhajan - they are both there in the spiritual sky and here in the material world. Again, how can anyone live in the spiritual sky while being selfish? By suggesting such a thing one risks offending the nitya siddha associates of the Lord. Where is it said in śāstra that doing bhajan is selfish? It is done for Kṛṣṇa's pleasure - the essence of Bhagavad Gītā (sarva guhyatamaṁ bhūya śṛṇu me paramaṁ vacaḥ, 18.64) is announced to be (18.65)

man mana bhava mad bhakto mad yaji māṁ namaskuru

'Think of Me, be My devotee and bow down to Me'.

Would Kṛṣṇa demand that if it were selfish, as the ultimate conclusion of the Gītā? After defining bhakti (in Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu) as anukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśilanam - "only performed to please Kṛṣṇa", Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī listed 64 items of such devotion and none of them are preaching. Not that there is anything wrong in preaching either..."

Bhaktas: "There is evidence that preaching is the most dear to the Lord in Bhagavad Gītā 18.68.

ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyam
mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā
mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayah

yah — anyone who; idaṁ — this; paramaṁ — most; guhyaṁ — confidential secret; mat — of Mine; bhakteṣu — amongst devotees; abhidhāsyati — explains; bhaktiṁ — devotional service; mayi — unto Me; parāṁ — transcendental; kṛtvā — doing; mām — unto Me; eva — certainly; eṣyati — comes; asamśayah — without doubt.

"For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me."

Advaitadas: "Consider the words paramam guhyam, 'The greatest secret', and mad bhakteṣu 'unto my devotees'.

Bhaktas: "Yes, but everyone is mad bhakta."

Advaitadas: "Not in the present situation, and Kṛṣṇa would then have said sarva bhūteṣu (to all living beings) instead of mad bhakteṣu. He had a reason for using the specific words mad bhakteṣu and that is to indicate the devotees. Also you must see the context of the verse, by looking back to the preceding verse (18.67)

idam te nātapaskāya
nābhaktāya kadācana
na cāśuśrūsave vācyam
na ca mām yo 'bhyasūyati

idaṁ — this; te — by you; na — never; atapaskāya — to one who is not austere; na — never; abhaktāya — to one who is not a devotee; kadācana — at any time; na — never; ca — also; aśuśrūsave — to one who is not engaged in devotional service; vācyam — to be spoken; na — never; ca — also; mām — toward Me; yah — anyone who; abhyasūyati — is envious.


"This confidential knowledge may never be explained to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who is envious of Me."

If quoting verse 18.68 serves to prove that preachers are greater than 'selfish' bhajanānandīs, then this is itself very selfish as one wants to place one's own ego above that of others. Preaching is great as long as one is on that level. One should not be a miser with one's spiritual knowledge and share it with others. Mahāprabhu preached in the middle part of his līlā but later became unable to due to intense absorption in Rādhā Kṛṣṇa līlā, so he withdrew into the Gambhīrā with just two associates while others continued the preaching. Was that also selfish?"


Bhaktas: "Is there any connection between Rādhārāṇī kicking Tulasī Mañjarī (see Ānanda Gopāl Gosvāmī's commentaries on Vilāpa Kusumāñjali, verse 17) and Nityānanda kicking Śivānanda Sena?"

Advaitadas: "In Indian culture corporal punishment is much more accepted than in the modern western world. Śrīla Ānanda Gopāl Gosvāmī mentioned in his Vilāpa Kusumāñjali lectures that Lalitā Sakhī repeatedly slaps Tulasī Mañjarī when she makes a lapse in her services, like failing to peel the subji properly.  Rādhārāṇī's kicking of Tulasī Mañjarī can be compared with Nityānanda's kicking of Śivānanda Sena in the sense that they are āśraya tattva in Kṛṣṇa līlā and Gaura līlā resp."

Bhaktas: "That kick bestowed them prema?"

Advaitadas: "No not to Tulasī Mañjarī or Śivānanda - they are anyway nitya siddhas, but if you or me would get such a kick it would be very helpful indeed!"

Bhaktas: tripāda vibhūti (a title for the spiritual sky, the 'threefold opulence') and eka-pāda vibhūti (the material world, the 'onefold opulence') pertains to quality, not to quantity [size]?"

Advaitadas: "I'd say so - one third of infinity is infinity. The idea of the material world being limited while the spiritual sky is unlimited is in itself limited. Mahāprabhu says (CC Madhya 19.138) ei mata brahmāṇḍa bhori ananta jīva-gaṇa - "Thus the universes are filled with innumerable living entities"

Bhaktas: "It is said that some jīvas emanate from Baladeva and some from Saṅkarṣaṇa."

Advaitadas: "There is no evidence for such a theory. Besides, jīvas do not emanate from anyone. They are eternal sparks of Kṛṣṇa -mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūta sanātana (Bhagavad Gita 15.7).

Bhaktas: "Must we understand from Vilāpa Kusumāñjali verse 18 that Smt. Rādhārāṇī is actually passing stool?"

Advaitadas: "This is all taking place in mādhurya prakāśa, where all pastimes are nara līlā (human-like). Despite being saccidānanda vigraha, Kṛṣṇa is also described as passing urine on the floor of Mother Yaśodā's kitchen (SB 10.8.31, kurute mehanādini), and passing semen in the womb of Rukmini (kṛṣṇa vīrya samudbhava, 10,55.1)- this is all to create a totally sweet, human-like atmosphere.

Bhaktas: "It is sometimes claimed that there is evidence for mañjarī bhāva in Caitanya Caritāmṛta, in the 18th chapter of Antya līlā, where Mahāprabhu stays out on the shore of the Yamunā while the gopīs go in to play with Kṛṣṇa there. But the text actually says there that He stays on the shore with the sakhīs, not with any mañjarīs. (tīre rahi dekhi ami sakhīgaṇa saṅge, eka sakhī sakhīgaṇe dekhāye se raṅge)."

Advaitadas: "Yes that is so. I presume that Kṛṣṇadas Kaviraja didn't want to mention mañjarī bhāva in Caitanya Caritāmṛta because that book was meant for a larger audience. It is not that he did not preach mañjarī bhāva at all, because his Govinda Līlāmṛta mentions it repeatedly, and that was also written before Caitanya Caritāmṛta. Govinda Līlāmṛta was obviously meant for a more advanced, intimate audience."

Bhaktas: "You have learned this from so many different sources"

Advaitadas: "Yes, but we are not Paramātma worshippers - ultimately I get all this knowledge, directly or indirectly, from my own, personal Guru."


  1. Namashkar, Baba,
    regarding the "emanation" theory, vis-a-vis the origin of the jiva in Sri Nityananda, could you please look over this verse?
    could all non-moving and moving include the jiva?

  2. I am not sure if I understand your question, but yes, sthavara jangama are considered the vibhuti of the purusa here. Of course there is no historical development given here, like they ever 'emanated from the purusa' at a certain point in time. If I misunderstood your question please reformulate it.

  3. Sorry, let me try again. In this part of your post:
    "Bhaktas: "It is said that some jivas emanate from Baladeva and some from Sankarsana."

    advaitadas: "There is no evidence for such a theory. Besides, jivas dont emanate from anyone. They are eternal sparks of Krishna -mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhuta sanatana (Bhagavad Gita 15.7). To my knowledge no scripture mentions that various types of jivas 'emanate' from different features of Vishnu."
    Because I am foolish, this seemed to make a contradiction between "jivas don't emanate from anyone" and "and the moving and nonmoving beings appear subsequently as His opulences".
    Am I misunderstanding your previous statement?
    Joy Sitanatha Prabhu!

  4. OK Well perhaps we dont understand each other, let's see. There is no time when Krishna nor the living entity did not exist (Bhagavad Gita 2.12) - this means that Krishna never created us and there was no time that we appeared from Him, except for when we emanate from Mahavishnu at the time of renewed creation. But that does not mean we did not exist before. We have always been there; we are just periodically withdrawn into Mahavishnu's giant body. When the shastra says eko'ham bahu syAm "I was one, I became many", that is only to make it understandable for the tiny brain. Actually we never emanated from Krishna at any point in history.

  5. So, if I may attempt to recap,
    1. the jiva has no "origin" as such, having always existed concurrently with Bhagavan.
    2. for the purposes of creation, we emanate from the Maha-Visnu after being previously withdrawn, but not in the ultimate sense of actually beginning with Maha Visnu.
    do I have it right so far?

  6. Baba, hardly a debate.
    I have heard from some that as time/space is purely a function of (material) consciusness, (the Upanishads explanation of the four states) when the jiva rises out of the tatastha-sakti, and is drawn towards this side of things, then mind and material thinking start and from them, time/space. This was presented as the reconciliation between the jiva having some origin and entering the material universe at some time and
    krsna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
    ataeva maya tare deya samsara-duhkha.
    Any thoughts?

  7. anaadi bahirmukha says it all - "turned away from Krishna without beginning." That theory you quote there needs scriptural backup. There is none. We are so conditioned to thinking in terms of beginning and end, that is the problem. Again, many things are said to make things conceivable for our tiny brains but the reality is much larger than that........

  8. The concept of emanating is incorrect as advaitadas points out, most likely that idea is a misunderstanding of Caitanya Caritamrta verses Adi 5.45-48. Those verses are esoteric and not easily understood. The idea is that although God is one and is doing everything that there are distinctions or categories of activity which are being carried out by God. In each of those categories of activities a specific name is given to that aspect of God which carries out that activity e.g. Karanodakasayi Vishnu who creates all the universes, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu who in each universe, and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu who acts as paramatma. Even though they are doing what they do in a way that is inconceivable to a jiva the fact remains that these different names don't pertain to different entities, just different functions of one entity. So saying that Maha Sankarsan is the shelter of tatastha sakti has some esoteric meaning because Maha Sankarsan and Nityananda Balarama and Sri Krishna are all one and the same entity.

    As far as the idea of the jiva having no origin, well that is a bit complicated. Since everything that exists is contained within God, and since God has no beginning and is eternal, therefore everything in existence has no beginning and is eternal. That doesn't mean the jiva doesn't have a beginning. For example even though Krishna's energy is eternal my bicycle was created at a certain point. My bicycle is in one sense without beginning and willl exist eternally because it is comprised of Krishna's energy. But from another point of view it was built some 5 years ago from elements which were created millions or billions of years ago. We can go back in time to where even the molecules comprising those elements had not as yet been turned into particles of matter.

    So the jiva is in one sense without beginning because it is part of Krishna. But logically the jiva had to have come into existence at some point in time. This is simple to prove.

    According to some teachers of gaudiya philosophy the jiva is born into either the spiritual or material world from the tatastha sakti based on some kind of choice the jiva makes. Some other gaudiya vaisnavas claim that all jivas are originally from the spiritual world and then make a choice to leave.

    If you accept that the jiva originates in the tatastha sakti then made a choice to go where he goes, some questions arise: when and how? Logically there had to be a time when a choice was made. What was the nature of the jiva before then? For all practical purposes the jiva did not exist as an individual until that time.

    If you accept that the jiva was originally in the spiritual world and then fell into maya, that raises the question of how can the jiva participate in the spiritual world (vaikuntha, goloka etc) without first growing up? A resident of the spiritual world according to vaisnava philosophy lives life as a personality with a bodily form engaging in various activities while interacting with other people places and things in a way which is similar to how we live our lives e.g we speak language, people in vaikuntha speak langauge, we cook food, they cook food, we play music, they play music, and on and on. In order for someone to perform any of these activities a person needs to learn how to do them. People need to learn a language and so many other things in order to fully function as normal people.

    So all jivas in the spiritual world had to have at some point learned how to live like intelligent people with the various capabilities that intelligent people have there. Without learning word meanings and communication skills it is impossible to speak or understand language or comprehend thoughts. Knowledge is not inherently part of our being because the nature of knowledge is that it is something which needs to be understood. Therefore there has to be a time when a process of understanding is gone through. One cannot have knowledge without first acquiring that knowledge. That means that all knowledge that people have is something which they gain from some experience. So any jiva regardless of existing in the spiritual or material world had to have been at one point without knowledge and then gone through a process of knowledge acquisition.

    If one believes that all jivas fall from the spiritual world then that means that when they were in the spiritual world they had to have been born there and learned how to live as intelligent people. What were they doing before that time?

    If one believes the jiva originates from tatastha sakti then what was the jiva doing before he chose to go where he went?

    In either case for all practical purpose the jiva did not exist as an individual until being born in either the spiritual or material world. That doesn't mean that the jiva is not eternal, the jiva is a part of the consciousness of God. God is without beginning because God is the original substance of all existence, God's existence defines reality. Since God is without beginning likewise the jiva is without beginning. But jivas do become individuals at some point in time manifested from and within as a part of the consciousness of God.

  9. Sorry to disagree with you here, Shiva - the jiva has been sentient for always and has been here always, too. It is hard for people to conceive of there being no beginning and no end to things and that is why all the confusion arises. The beginninglessness of the jiva's condition is described many times, in SB 4.29.70, 5.26.3, 6.5.11, 11.11.4 and 11.11.7, and many Bhagavat-commentaries of the acaryas too. If the jiva had left the spiritual world there must be evidence for that in shastra, but there isnt any. Your example of the bicycle pertains to maya shakti, which is constantly transforming, unlike the tatastha shakti. Of course our material bodies always change, while the soul remains the same, that is true, but that does not mean the soul and its conditioning isnt beginningless.

  10. This debate springs up in all our different Gaudiya communities every now and again and although very interesting I never found a satisfying answer anywhere. One answer I got once was that this very question was like a chickpea in boiling oil (?!!?!) Like whatever..

    I do understand though why especially for us (believers of a personal God and a personal jiva-soul one in love separate in identity for all eternity) this question is such a braincracker. Mayavadis have an artificially constructed answer that satifies the brain and stops the questioning. We don't. Why ?

    Like Shiva says.. In the material world we eat, play music etcetera and so in the spiritual world. So we conditioned souls, who newly adopted Vaisnavism, cannot help but project our experience of this temporary world on the spiritual.

    But I think Time is one of the most mysterious potencies of Sri Krishna.... time as a destroyer, time as a facillitator of lila, static time like in brahmajyoti sometimes experienced as no-time like in buddhist nirvana.
    I guess that even in a liberated state this mystic time-potency of Sri Krishna will remain a mystery that is only known Him.

    Not me, not Mister Power of Now Eckhart Tolle or anyone else will be able to solve this puzzle of eternal existence. Nonetheless the discussion about it brings about deep realizations of Sri Krishna's inconceivableness.......... so let us continue to try and find answers

  11. "So we conditioned souls, who newly adopted Vaisnavism, cannot help but project our experience of this temporary world on the spiritual."

    That is exactly why we must accept the verdict of the shastras and the acaryas who commented on them, without hoping to conceive of it within the mind - acintya khalu ye bhavah na tams tarkena yojayet (Mahabharata) "One should not argue about inconceivable matters".

  12. Sometimes I question the urge to know my origin.
    Where do I need the proof for ?
    To know that my origin is marginal and thus impersonal and thus doubt the eternity of my personality as a jiva ?
    To know that my origin is in Vaikuntha, but I later fell down, because it wasn't so nice after all ? So why proceed on this path and return ?

    Indeed the question, although very natural, many times arises from insecurity in the process. We are not ready yet to sacrifice ourselves in the fire of bhajan and are looking for a way out. An excuse to slow it down and give other paths a chance instead of humbly surrendering and accepting Krishna's inconceivable powers for what they are.. inconceivable.

    Though sometimes legitimate this question can be a trap as insecurity in disguise, false ego trying to find an excuse to proof it is all nonsense. Indeed I have seen many bhaktas leaving our path because they stumbled over this question. Somewhere Thakur Bhaktivinode gives a warning about this.
    But the ego persists in wanting to know its origin. What could be more natural, it says. It is convinced of an origin somewhere, because it has an origin. The origin of its misidentification. The false ego origin. And this ego is never ready to accept the timelessness of the spirit soul. It will fight it until its death. Understanding it with the tools under the spell of "false"ego is impossible, and also in a liberated state I doubt the possibillity of ever knowing. Knowing makes places for loving and in love is the answer.

  13. I do have an additional question about santa rasa ?
    What is it ?
    Is it something desirable ?
    Does it resemble the neutrality of the marginal plane or is it something completely different since it is calculated amongst the 5 principle rasas ?
    I am struggling with this for a while. I once heard that the trees in Vrindavan are in santa-rasa ? So are all the utensils..pots, pans, conches etcetera. I also heard that if someone in santa rasa wants to 'ugrade' he needs to return to the material world get trained accordingly. This seems like a Back to Godhead justification in the literal sense.
    What is your view on all this in relation to santa rasa ?
    Please help me to try and make sense of it all.

  14. (spell checked version of previous post)

    The example of the bicycle was in making the point that in one sense it is without beginning because it is comprised of Krishna's energy which is without beginning because Krishna is without beginning. We are also Krishna's energy and therefore we are also without beginning. But we had to have a beginning as individual consciousness otherwise any way you try to explain the origin of the jiva it will always be illogical.

    It's not really very complicated. It can seem complicated if you take as the basis for your belief on the origin of the jiva that the jiva had no beginning in the absolute sense. If you take an illogical premise and then claim that the reason we cannot understand it is because we cannot understand spiritual matters then maybe we should consider that our premise is faulty as well.

    If at one point the jiva didn't live in the material or spiritual world in a spiritual form, then where and how did he live? How did he get the knowledge which would enable him to make a choice between Krishna and Maya?

    If the jiva fell from the spiritual world then how did the jiva originally become educated enough to interact in the spiritual world with other people in that society? And what was he doing before that time?

    If we insist that the jiva was always sentient then then we cannot answer these questions. It's not that it is "conditioned souls" who cannot understand the seeming contradictions, the problem is that the premise that the jiva was always a jiva is faulty. It is logically impossible for the jiva to have always existed as a jiva if you accept that the jiva at one time had to make a choice to live in either the material or spiritual world. Where and how was that choice made and what was the jiva doing before that choice? It's a simple logical question. To say that we cannot understand the "nature of time" in the spiritual world is irrelevant and really doesn't mean anything.

    The sastra is often more metaphoric and esoteric then it is literal in it's intent. Whenever you run across a seeming logical impossibility or contradiction then it is more then likely that what is being said has more of a metaphoric or allegorical intent then a literal one.

  15. Shiva, there is no origin and there was never any choice made either. This is all misunderstanding. There is no beginning, there is no end, there is no reason and there is no choice. We seek these things because we are conditioned to do so. If you check the 5 Bhagavat verses I mentioned 2 comments ago you will see it confirmed there.

  16. Anuradha: Is it something desirable ?

    Not if you get the taste for manjari bhava.

    "What is it?"

    It is bhakti without an attachment to service, a neutral observation of Krishna, mostly in his four armed form.

    "I once heard that the trees in Vrindavan are in santa-rasa ? So are all the utensils..pots, pans, conches etcetera."

    Different items have different rasas in the spiritual world. Govardhana has dasya rasa, the cows vatsalya rasa, the flute madhurya rasa etc.

    "I also heard that if someone in santa rasa wants to 'ugrade' he needs to return to the material world get trained accordingly. This seems like a Back to Godhead justification in the literal sense."

    There is no mentioning in shastra of anyone leaving the spiritual world, but:

    yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama
    yam prapya na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama

    Two slokas from the Gita show that once you attain Golok you never return.

    "What is your view on all this in relation to santa rasa ? "

    Mahaprabhu Himself said:
    cari bhava diya nacaimu tribhuvana "I make the three worlds dance through four rasas" That is, without shanta rasa.

  17. Anuradha: "Knowing makes places for loving and in love is the answer."

    In the sense that if you love you will get all the answers. Note of caution: Mahaprabhu warned against sentimentality: siddhanta boliya ihate na koro alasa "Dont be lazy (in thinking), thinking 'it is only philosophy'

  18. advaitadas I checked those verses and they can be meant in an alegorical way. You say there was never a choice? Then why are there nitya baddha jivas? How did they become nitya baddha jivas? Saying there was no beginning makes no sense because there has to be a reason that Krishna chose to put the jiva into the conditioned state instead of into vaikuntha. That means there had to be a time when a choice was made by Krishna to send the jiva into the material realm to be conditioned. That cannot be without a beginning if it happened, and there had to be a cause of that action and a time when it occured. Why do you think the jiva is sent to the material world? Whatever your answer is then there has to have been a time when that cause took place and a time when it occured. There was also a time before that occured. What was the jiva doing before then? You cannot be conditioned without a beginning. There has to be something to condition and something which does the conditioning, they have to begin at some point otherwise no such thing can actually exist. When the sastra says anadi in reference to the jiva it doesn't mean without any beginning in time and space, it means from our perspective there was no beginning because we cannot perceive our beginning, we have always been in the material world from our perspective. Without a beginning there can be no progress to a higher level from a lower level.

    In case you think I have no support from a recognized gaudiya acharya on this point this is what Sridhara Maharaja said on this topic: From

    "How does the soul first appear in this world? From what stage of spiritual existence does he fall into the material world?" This is a broad question, which requires some background information.

    There are two classes of souls, jivas, who come into this world. One class comes from the spiritual Vaikuntha planets by the necessity of nitya-lila, the eternal pastimes of Krsna. Another comes by constitutional necessity.

    The brahmajyoti, the nondifferentiated marginal plane, is the source of infinite jiva souls, atomic spiritual particles of nondifferentiated character. The rays of the Lord's transcendental body are known as the brahmajyoti, and a pencil of a ray of the brahmajyoti is the jiva. The jiva soul is an atom in that effulgence, and the brahmajyoti is a product of an infinite number of jiva atoms.

    Generally, souls emanate from the brahmajyoti which is living and growing. Within the brahmajyoti, their equilibrium is somehow disturbed and movement begins. From nondifferentiation, differentiation begins. From a plain sheet of uniform consciousness, individual conscious units grow. And because the jiva is conscious it is endowed with free will. So, from the marginal position they choose either the side of exploitation or the side of dedication.

    Krsna bhuli sei jiva anadi bahirmukha . Anadi means that which has no beginning. When we enter the land of exploitation, we come within the factor of time, space, and thought. And when we come to exploit, action and reaction begins in the negative land of loan. Although we strive to become masters, really we become losers.

    Goloka and Vaikuntha servitors are also seen to be within the jurisdiction of the brahmanda, the material universe, but that is only a play, lila. They come from that higher plane only to take part in the Lord's pastimes and then return. The fallen souls come from the marginal position within the brahmajyoti and not from Vaikuntha.

    The first position of a soul in the material world will be like that of Brahma the creator. Then his karma may take him to the body of a beast like a tiger where he is surrounded with a tigerish mentality, or to the body of a tree or creeper, where different impressions may surround him. In this way, one is involved in action and reaction. The case is complex; to analyze the details of the history of a particular atom is unnecessary. We are concerned with the general thing: how the transformation of the material conception springs from pure consciousness.

    Matter is not independent of spirit. In the brahmajyoti we are equipoised in the marginal potency as an infinite number of pinpoints of spiritual rays, electrons of consciousness. Consciousness means endowed with free will, for without free will no consciousness can be conceived. An atomic pinpoint of consciousness has very meager free will, and by misuse of their free will some jivas have taken their chance in the material world. They refused to submit to the supreme authority; they wanted to dominate. So, with this germinal idea of domination, the jiva enters into the world of exploitation. In the Bhagavad-gita (7.27) it is stated:

    iccha-dvesa samutthena
    dvandva-mohena bharata
    sarva-bhutani sammoham
    sarge yanti parantapa

    "Two principles in a crude form awaken in the jiva: hatred and desire. Then, gradually the soul comes down to mingle with the mundane world."

    At first, sympathy and apathy develop in a crude form, just as when a sprout springs up with two leaves. And gradually these two things help us to dive deep into this mundane world. Upon retiring from the world of exploitation, the soul may return to his former position in the brahmajyoti as spirit. But, if the soul has gathered the tendency of dedication through his previous devotional activities, he does not stop there; he pierces through the brahmajyoti and goes towards Vaikuntha.

    Why has the soul come to the world of exploitation" and not the world of dedication? That should be attributed to his innate nature, which is endowed with free will. It is a free choice. This is substantiated in the Bhagavad-gita (5. 14):

    na kartrtvam na karmani
    lokasya srjati prabhuh
    na karma-phala-samyogam
    svabhavas tu pravartate

    "The soul is responsible for his entrance into the land of exploitation."

    The responsibility is with the soul, otherwise, the Lord would be responsible for his distressed condition. But Krsna says that the soul's innate free will is responsible for his entanglement in the material world. The soul is conscious, and consciousness means endowed with freedom. Because the soul is atomic, his free will is imperfect and vulnerable. The result of that free choice is that some are coming into the material world, and some are going to the spiritual world. So, the responsibility is with the individual soul.

    Once, an Indian political leader, Syamasundara Cakravarti, asked our spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada, "Why has the Lord granted such freedom to the jiva ?" Prabhupada told him, ""You are fighting for freedom. Don't you know the value of freedom? Devoid of freedom, the soul is only matter." Freedom offers us the alternative to do right or wrong. Once, Gandhi told the British authorities, ""We want freedom."' They replied, "You are not fit to have self-government. When you are fit, we shall give it to you." But finally, he told them, "We want the freedom to do wrong." So, freedom does not guarantee only acting in the right way; freedom has its value independent of right and wrong.

    Free will is only absolute with the Absolute Truth. Because we are finite" our free will is infinitesimal. The possibility of committing a mistake is there. Our first choice was to dominate" and so, gradually we have entered the world of domination. As a result of this first action, everything else has developed. So, in different ranks" the species have been divided" from the demigods down to the trees and stones. And watery bodies, gaseous bodies, anything that we find here has evolved in that way. The activating principle in any form of embryological development is the soul, and from the soul, everything has evolved."

  19. Dear Shiva, please try to give up the conceptions of beginnings, reasons, entry - all these things do not exist in the conditioning of the jiva. Regarding free will, this is gradually given up in the course of surrender. A siddha bhakta will never misuse this free will because his surrender is irreversible. When the sadhana siddha jiva attains the spiritual world he remembers nothing of the material world, for his subtle body has been dissolved through the transcendental process of bhakti. That is as far as free will goes, it is, as your superiors admit, minute, atomically minute. Furthermore, with due respect to Sripad Sridhar Maharaja, there is no evidence for his theories you quote there, rather the shastras repeatedly say very clearly that there is no beginning and no cause for our conditioning. One sample of many, Visvanatha's tika of SB 3.7.10: tatra bhagavatah prstha sthitaya anadyavidyaya tamah svarupaya anadi vaimukhya rupa bhagavat prstha-sthanam jivanam jnanam yallupyate tasya na vastutvam karanam napi prayojanam kim apy asti "Ignorance, which is beginningless, is situated on the Lord's back. She covers the knowledge of the jivas who are situated on the Lord's back and are non devotees. Their non devotion is anadi. There is no real reason or purpose for their knowledge being covered."

  20. advaitadas this is what Satyanarayana wrote on this topic:

    "Where Do The Nitya-baddhas Come From If Not From Vaikuntha?

    Some fall-vadis say, “The cycle of creation and destruction of the material world is beginningless, and thus has occurred innumerable times. During the maintenance period, occasionally some jivas attain liberation. If living entities only exit the material world, and none enter by falling from Vaikuntha, then the universe would be empty in the course of time. But the cycle of material creation is eternal thus it is logical to assume that souls fall from Vaikuntha to replace those who achieve liberation from the material world.”

    Logical as their reasoning may seem, the sastra offers another explanation. In the prayers of the personified Vedas they acknowledge that unlimited living entities exist in the material world (Bhag..10.87.30 ):

    aparimita dhruvas tanu-bhrito yadi sarva-gatas

    tarhi na sasyateti niyamo dhruva netaratha

    ajani ca yan-mayam tad avimucya niyantri bhavet

    samam anujanatam yad amatam mata-dushtataya

    If the countless living entities were all-pervading and possessed forms that never changed, You could not possibly be their absolute ruler, O immutable one. But since they are Your localized expansions and their forms are subject to change, You do control them. Indeed, that which supplies the ingredients for the generation of something is necessarily its controller because a product never exists apart from its ingredient cause. It is simply illusion for someone to think that he knows the Supreme Lord, who is equally present in each of His expansions, since whatever knowledge one gains by material means must be imperfect.

    In this verse aparimita means immeasurable, countless, unlimited. The problem comes that we see these words but we don't take it literally, because "countless living entities" is inconceivable to us. But it is to be taken literally. There are unlimited living entities because the Lord is unlimited and His jiva-sakti potency is also unlimited. Hence the unlimited Lord has His unlimited marginal potencies, which are compared to sunshine molecules, and these unlimited jivas are forever taking birth and some are forever becoming liberated. Even so an unlimited quantity is left behind and this process is going on anadi. It is a beginningless and never-ending process. And that is the whole story, simply inconceivable, but that is precisely what the Absolute Truth is, inconcievable in every respect. Hence it can be understood only through the revealed word of the sastra.

    Commenting on the verse by the personified Vedas, Srila Sanatana Gosvami quotes a question to Markandeya in the Vishnudharmottara Purana (1.81.12):

    ekaikasmin nare muktim kalpe kalpe gate dvija

    abhavishyaj jagac chunyam kalasyader abhavatah

    O Brahmana, because time has no beginning, even if one person achieved liberation in each of the bygone kalpas, by now the world would be empty.

    Markandeya replied (81.13,14):

    jivasyanyasya sargena nare muktim upagate

    acintya-saktir bhagavan jagat purayate sada

    brahmana saha mucyante brahma-lokam upagatah

    srijyante ca maha kalpe tad-vidhascapare janah

    When someone is liberated, the Supreme Lord who has inconceivable potency, creates another jiva and thus always keeps the world full. Those who achieve brahma-loka become liberated along with Brahma. Then in the next Maha kalpa the Lord creates similar beings.

    These verses explain that there is replacement of the liberated soul from a stock of sleeping souls. These souls exist within Maha-Vishnu. The first verse explains the replacement of the liberated souls during the period of creation. The second explains the replacement of all the souls who get liberation along with Brahma at the end of his life.

    Sri Haridasa Thakura told Lord Caitanya that if all the conditioned jivas were liberated by His mercy He would replace them all (Cc.Antya. 3.78,79):

    haridasa bale,—"tomara yavat martye sthiti

    tavat sthavara-jangama, sarva jiva's-jati

    saba mukta kari' tumi vaikunthe pathaiba

    sukshma-jive punah karme udbuddha kariba

    Haridasa said, "My Lord, as long as You are situated within the materiaI world, You will send to the spirituaI sky all the deveIoped moving and nonmoving living entities in different species. Then again You will awaken the living entities who are not yet developed and engage them in activities. In this way all moving and nonmoving living entities will come into existence, and the entire universe will be filled as it was previously.

    Therefore there is no need to assume that living entities fall from Vaikuntha to replace the liberated souls. There is no hint of that in these two verses by Haridas Thakura. Rather, "indolent souls" as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta calls them will be awakened and they will fill the material universes. The supply of such indolent souls is unlimited, being manifestations of the tatastha sakti of the unlimited Supreme Personality of Godhead.

    The important word in Markandeya's answer is acintya-sakti, the nature of which has been described in detail in the first part of Bhagavat Sandarbha. Without accepting the existence of this most amazing energy of the Lord, one can never hope to understand Him properly. When a living entity insists on understanding the acintya performance of the Supreme Lord without surrendering to the versions of the sastra or sabda, he simply wastes his time, but if he simply accepts the version of the revealed scripture and renders devotional service to the Lord, he can progress on the path of God realization. By the mercy of the Lord he may come to realize some small drop of ocean of the Absolute Truth. Without this mercy the infinitesimal jivatma cannot grasp the infinte Personality of Godhead. This was confirmed in the prayers of Lord Brahma after he returned the cowherd boys and calves (Bhag.10.14.29): (The great Jaloo has to put in the Sanskrit)

    My Lord, if one is favored by even a slight trace of Your the mercy of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality. But those who speculate to know You are unable to do so even though they may speculate for many years.

    The story of the cobbler and the brahmana best illustrates the difference in mentality of devotee and a non devotee in this regard. The cobbler had no trouble accepting that the Lord acts in inconceivable ways and therefore when he heard that the Lord was threading an elephant through the eye of a needle, he was filled with joy to hear the wondrous pastime of the Lord. The brahmana, on the other hand, was not so engladdened. He wanted to know how is it possible for the Lord to thread an elephant through the eye of a needle. Actually, for the Lord it is not such a wonderful feat. As the cobbler pointed out when Narada Muni asked him how he could believe that the Lord was doing such an unimaginable thing. "For the Lord, who has put a great banyan tree inside of a tiny seed, it is not so amazing that He passes time by threading an elephant through the eye of a needle."

    In the same way that the full potential for a banyan tree is within the tiny seed, so within the indolent souls, whose covering by the material energy is anadi, is the full potential for a loving service relationship with the Lord in the variegated spiritual sky even though they were never before in such lila, just as the banyan seed was never a tree before.

    But a natural doubt arises here. “Living entities are said to be beginningless, anadi (Bg.13.20). Then why does the above verse say that the Lord creates others?”

    Srila Sanatana Gosvami answers that there are unlimited inactive living entities which the Lord activates as He desires. This is what is meant by the term “creates” in the above verse. Actually srijyante is the word used to indicate “creates,” and it comes from the root srija visarge, which means to create, or release. Here we must take the second meaning because use of the first meaning will contradict verses which state that the jiva is never created. Srijyante then means to release the jivas from the inactive state into the active state, as was stated by Haridasa Thakura (C.C. Antya 3.80): "Then again You will awaken the living entities who are not yet developed and engage them in activities."


    So when the nitya baddha jiva is said to be without beginning and his conditioning without beginning there is some metaphoric intent. Because the jiva is essentially created from the Lord from an undifferentiated or ignorant or sleeping state in that sense the jiva is without beginning because that part of the Lord's energy which the awakened jiva becomes has always existed. Then at some point the Lord awakens the jiva and then the life of the jiva begins even though he has always existed in another sense. Satyanarayana then goes on to say that the reason that some jivas are nitya siddha and some nitya mukta is because: "The answer is that if the Lord did not display this feature he could not be said to be complete, unlimited and omnipotent."

    I have to disagree with that because that is simply a philosophical construction which negates the essential character of the Lord which is mercy and compassion. The Lord being full of all good qualities will not send jivas to suffer in the material world simply to fulfill some type of convoluted reasoning as described in the above quote.

    From Sri Jiva's Paramatma Sandarbha

    Anuccheda 29 Text 1

    tasmimc canandatmake jnane pratibimbam yusmad- arthatvam na bhavati. kintv atmatvad asmad-arthatvam eva. tac casmad-arthatvam aham-bhava eva. tato 'ham ity etac chabdabhidheyakaram eva jnanam cuddha atma prakrty- aveco 'nyatha nopapadyate. yata evavecat tadiya-sagghata evaham ity aham-bhavantaram prapnoti. tad etad abhipretya tasyaham-arthatvam aha

    When that blissful spiritual consciousness is pervertedly reflected in material consciousness, the individual soul thinks, "I will not act for your benefit. I will only act for my benefit". In this way the individual soul comes under the grip of materialistic false-ego. Thus influenced by false-ego, the pure soul enters the material world. Without this false-ego it would not be possible for the soul to enter the material world. In this way the individual soul comes under the grip of false-ego

    Anuccheda 39 Text 4

    atha tatasthatvam ca sa yad ajaya ajam anucayita ity adau vyaktam asti. ubhaya-kotav apravistatvad eva. srutayah sri-bhagavantam.

    That the individual souls are the marginal potency of the Lord is dessribed in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.38):

    "The illusory material nature attracts the minute living entity to embrace her, and as a result he assumes forms composed of her qualities. Subsequently, he loses all of his spiritual qualities and must undergo repeated deaths."

    In this way it is said that the individual souls are on the border between the spiritual and material worlds. This verse was spoken by the Personified Vedas to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

    Anuccheda 47 Text 3

    aparas tu tat-paragmukhatva-dosena labdha-cchidraya mayaya paribhutah samsari. yathoktam hamsa-guhya-stave sarvam puman veda gunamc ca taj-jYo na veda sarvajnam anantam ide iti.

    The other individual souls, the rebellious souls who are averse to the Supreme Lord, become conquered by the illusory potency maya and must live in the material world.

  21. Shiva, there is still no reason (Visvanatha said so in his SB 3.7.10-tika), no cause and
    no beginning, though your explanation is welcome.

    To your Paramatma Sandarbha 47 quotation, Satyanarayan replies:

    "The meaning of the words tat-parAGmukhatva doSeNa labdha-chidrayA mAyayA paribhUtaH (ParamAtma Sandarbha, Text 47, cited above) is that the jIva is covered by mAyA who sees the defect of non devotion in the jIva. It is important to understand that there is no sequence intended here. Just as it is said that jIvas spring from the Lord, but the jIva and Lord both are aja, unborn, nitya, eternal. How can the jIva spring from the Lord, because that would imply that jIvas did not exist once upon a time? The point is that they co-exist as energy and the energetic. Similarly the non devotion of the jIva and MAyA's covering him is all simultaneous.
    When expressed in words it appears there is a sequence of events. That is the limitation of language in trying to express a reality that in fact has no relation of cause and effect. Sequence is a limitation of language, because words must be spoken or written in some sequence. Thus language has the influence of material time, which has the divisions of past, present and future. As a result language causes concurrent events to appear linear." [end of quotation SND]

    Speaking of Bhagavad Gita 13.20, In his comment on this verse Visvanatha Cakravarti declares that the conditioning of the conditioned souls is beginningless—mAyA jIvayor api macchaktitvena anAditvAt tayoH saMzleSo'py anAdir iti bhAvaH "Illusion and the conditioned souls are both My energies. They are both beginningless and they have been interconnected since beginningless time as well."

    As to your quotation of Paramatma Sandarbha 29/1:
    "When that blissful spiritual consciousness is pervertedly reflected in material consciousness, the individual soul thinks, "I will not act for your benefit. I will only act for my benefit". In this way the individual soul comes under the grip of materialistic false-ego.
    Thus influenced by false-ego, the pure soul enters the material world. Without this false-ego it would not be possible for the soul to enter the material world. In this way the individual soul comes under the grip of false-ego...."

    This is most probably the translation of Kushakratha Das, whose translations of the Sandarbhas are notoriously flawed. There is no mentioning in the text
    at all of anyone entering any place. Rather the word bhavati is in present tense, which indicates timelessness.

    The verse SB 10.87.38 also shows no time sequence at all.

  22. This topic is so confusing to me.

    So if the jiva (living beings = including plants and animals) is anadi and his presence and absence in the material world is a function of Mahavishnu’s cycle of breathing in and breathing out of innumerable material universes all at once in a cyclical time concept of continuously breathing in and out, breathing in and out ad infinitum, what determines which universe the jiva will go to in the next Maha-Vishnu breathing cycle, or for that matter if that is going to be his last presence in the material unverse? Is that what you call the free will?

    What about inanimate entities, like stones and water, are they jivas that play those roles due to the jiva’s action of free will?

    However if its not due to free will , because according to Advaitadas it is “ is” (no cause and reason) , based on the verse he you cited, like so: Ignorance, which is beginningless, is situated on the Lord's back. She covers the knowledge of the jivas who are situated on the Lord's back and are non devotees. Their non devotion is anadi. There is no real reason or purpose for their knowledge being covered., so my question is: where does this longing to develop the 4 rasas come about, which will ultimately take us out of the huge cycle of Mahavishnu’s mini cycles to ultimately live in the abode of the Lord? I ask that not just in regards to the jivas like us but for all living and non-living beings?

    I thought I read in Jagat’s blog, maybe I’m wrong, that though we are all travelling through the infinite convoluted mini-cycles of the giant cycle , we are ultimately heading in the direction of Radha Krishna’s lila. Would that makes sense in relation to your assertion, Advaitadas, that our ignorance has no reason and purpose and just part of the whole play?

    If I sound ignorant, at least you all know I’m brave enough to put my name in such foolish questions like above.

    Radhe Radhe

  23. M: "what determines which universe the jiva will go to in the next Maha-Vishnu breathing cycle,"

    Advaitadas: Its desires during the previous creation.

    M: "or for that matter if that is going to be his last presence in the material unverse?"

    Advaitadas: bhavapavargo bhramato yad bhavet (SB 10.51.54) "When the end of this seemingly endless cycle comes in sight, one attains the association of a devotee...."

    M: "Would that makes sense in relation to your assertion, Advaitadas, that our ignorance has no reason and purpose and just part of the whole play?"

    Advaitadas: It is stated in the Mandukya Upanisad (1.9):
    bhogartham srstir ity anye kridartham iti capare devasyaisa svabhavo'yam aptakamasya ka sprha
    "Some say that Lord creates the material world for His enjoyment and some say He creates for His play. Indeed it is His mere nature. After all, He is fully satisfied, so what desires does He have to fulfill?"
    Purport by Satyanarayan Dasji: "The idea is that just as the Lord is causeless so are His activities such as the creation. It is not possible to attribute any ultimate cause for them except that it is His very nature. Any one who has energy will act. People act to attain something, but the Lord is aptakama, one whose desires are fully satisfied. Therefore His activities are just part of His nature."

    M: "Where does this longing to develop the 4 rasas come about, which will ultimately take us out of the huge cycle of Mahavishnu’s mini cycles to ultimately live in the abode of the Lord?"

    Advaitadas: krsna tad bhakta karunya labha matraika hetuka "The desire for
    raganuga bhakti is merely the mercy of Krishna and His devotees". See also the above quotation from SB 10.51.54.

    M: "Would that makes sense in relation to your assertion, Advaitadas, that our ignorance has no reason and purpose and just part of the whole play?"

    Advaitadas: Yes, because the mercy of the Lord and His devotees is causeless. Mercy always is.

    M: "If I sound ignorant, at least you all know I’m brave enough to put my name in such foolish questions like above."

    Advaitadas: No the questions are intelligent and I hope so are the answers....

  24. advaitadas my point in using the quotes from Jiva Goswami was to show that the concept of anadi when used vis-a-vis the cause of the bondage of the jiva cannot mean that the nitya baddha jiva has always been in bondage because there is cause of that bondage. If there is a cause of bondage then there had to be starting point for that bondage. If there was no starting point then there cannot be any cause. Since we are taught that the cause is avidya then there had to be a starting point of that avidya. Cause cannot be causeless , it is a contradiction and logically impossible.

    As for Anuccheda 47 this is what Satyanarayana has written on this topic:

    "In the Paramatma-Sandarbha (47), Srila Jiva Gosvami writes:

    tadevamananta eva jivakhyas tatasthah saktayah. tatra tasam vargadvayam. eko vargo'naditah eva bhagavadunmukhah, anyas tvanaditah eva bhagavat-paranmukhah-svabhavatastadiya jnana-bhavat tadiya-jnanabhavacca.

    In this way the marginal energies called jivas are unlimited. They have two classes. One class is devoted to the Lord beginninglessly (anadi) and the other is not devoted to the Lord beginninglessly (anadi). This is because the former class of jivas naturally have knowledge of the Lord and the second class of jivas naturally do not have knowledge of the Lord.

    Here it is explicit that the bondage of the living entity has no beginning or it is causeless, anadi. The word anadi has no other meaning here. Any other meaning will not make sense. Even the rendering "since time immemorial" does not fit here for one would have to apply the same meaning to nitya-mukta devotees as well, because anadi has been used to describe both nitya-baddha and nitya-mukta in the same Text. If the literal meaning of time immemorial is used then the anadi nitya-muktas would not be eternally liberated but would have been liberated since time immemorial, which implies that once, somewhere in the remote past, they were not liberated. That renders the word nitya-mukta worthless."

    He fails to see the illogical statement he made. He wrote that the nitya mukta jiva is "devoted to the Lord beginninglessly". You cannot be devoted to someone or something unless you have knowledge or experience of that person or thing. You cannot have knowledge or experience of a person or thing unless you acquire it. The nature of knowledge and experience is that it is something which is acquired, it is not inherent in anything. If you are devoted to someone you are devoted due to the knowledge and experience that you have acquired about that person. You cannot be devoted to someone without getting to know the person in some way. That means there has to be a process of acquiring knowledge and experience of the person. Otherwise there is no way to know the person. You cannot be devoted to someone without first being educated on that person.

    Therefore nitya mukta jivas are not devoted beginninglessly in the absolute sense. There has to be an original cause of devotion otherwise devotion cannot exist. Likewise there has to be a cause of avidya. Avidya cannot exist unless there is a cause and beginning of the experience of avidya. A person cannot have been in ignorance going back in time to infinity unless the concept of avidya in this usage means complete ignorance. By complete ignorance I mean to contrast that with the concept of the avidya born of contact with the modes of nature. By complete ignorance I mean an unconscious state. It is perfectly logical to say that all jivas were in complete avidya from beginningless time if in this usage avidya means that "all jivas were orignally in an unconscious state from beginningless time".

    This is logical because in order for a jiva to become affected by the modes of nature or become devoted to God there has to be an original introduction to those realities. In either case the jiva is reacting to a situation. A situation is a design of the Lord. Therefore the situation had to have an origin because a design needs to be designed which needs a designer. Therefore the jivas contact with the situation had to have an origin after the design of the situation had been created into actual existence.

    Satyanarayana also wrote this: "We have seen that none of our predecessor acaryas accept fall down from krishna-lila as the explanation for the origin of the conditioned soul. Their opinion is that the jivas in this world came from Lord Maha-Vishnu. Prior to conditioned existence they were in a place described as the tatastha region. Wherever this region is, it is defnitely not in the nitya-lila in the spiritual sky...

    ...He says that the reason for the material conditioning of the jiva is its association with avidya and the association of jiva with avidya has no beginning. That means it is causeless. This, in short, is the explanation of the jiva's bondage."

    So you see he contradicts himself. First he says that jivas existed in the tatastha region prior to their conditioned existence, and then a few sentences later he writes that the jiva's conditioning has no beginning.

    Anadi doesn't always mean absolutely without beginning in every possible way. Let me point this out by going back to my mention of design vis-a-vis designer. If the jiva is either in goloka or the material world from without beginning in time, then we have to wonder what form they have been in? If the nitya mukta jiva has always been in goloka then has he or she always been in the form of a gopa or gopi? Gopas and gopis are male and female human forms. Human forms are designed. They live in goloka which has houses, vegetation, musical instruments, animals, and countless other items all of which are designed. You cannot have a design without a designer and a plan and then the carrying out the plan to create something based on the design. The human forms or any form which the jiva takes had to have had a beginning because they had to be designed and then crafted by God. Male and female forms are extremely complex designs which are designed to compliment each other. Fruits, flowers, vegetables, trees, houses, chairs, beds, shoes, clothes, musical instruments, etc, (all of which exist in Goloka) none of these things can have ever existed without being brought into existence by the design and creative potency of the Lord.

    Therefore, Goloka, had a beginning because everything about Goloka is a design. Therefore all jivas in Goloka had a beginning. The only thing in existence without a beginning is God. Everything else was created by God. All jivas are without beginning in the same sense that the spiritual and material world are without beginning, that is that God is without beginning and everything exists within and is comprised of God so in one sense everything is without beginning. But in the more literal sense, everything, except God's consciousness/energy and mind, was designed by God and created by God. That is because everything but God's consciousness/energy and mind is a design. The only undesigned thing in existence is God. That is why we are told repeatedly throughout all vedic literature that everything comes from the Lord.

  25. Sorry Shiva I am trying to be more patient with you than back in the GD days but frankly speaking, I am not the only person with whom you debate who is puzzled by your confused and confusing way of argumentation. I think that the verdict of the shastra is very clear and simple, and so is the explanation of Satyanarayan Prabhu. But let me ask you the question even a toddler would ask you - if God designed everything and that design was not beginningless, what/who was there before the designs were made???

  26. advaitadas you wrote: "Sorry Shiva I am trying to be more patient with you than back in the GD days but frankly speaking, I am not the only person with whom you debate who is puzzled by your confused and confusing way of argumentation"

    Yes you have indeed shown quite a change from back then, not just with me but with in general you seem to have attained a higher level. And yes I know what I say isn't easily understandable by everyone, but I think that this is because often people view sastra literally, when an esoteric viewpoint is presented it can seem confused or confusing.

    krsna-tulya bhagavata -- vibhu, sarvasraya
    prati-sloke prati-aksare nana artha kaya

    There really is in most vedic writings a non literal or esoteric intent as well as a literal. But that is for people to decide on their own. I write from my experience as I expect others do as well.

    I don't think I understand your question. You said:

    "if God designed everything and that design was not beginningless, what/who was there before the designs were made???"

    A design is by nature not beginningless, it was designed. Are you asking what existed before God designed everything? God is the only undesigned thing in existence. All forms are designed and created by God. The jiva is designed by God in order to enable God to have someone to be with. In a metaphoric sense everything is anadi because God is anadi and everything is made from God, everything is God's energy, but in a more historical sense God had to actually create everything besides his/her own self, from scratch. It wasn't easy. It didn't happen overnight. We all owe a tremendous debt for what Krishna had to go through in order to design and create everything to it's ultimate state of supreme and awesome perfection.

  27. Well allright, I get a bit of an idea now what you are talking about. I disagree with you that the anadi concept is metaphorical, though I do agree (another break from the GD past you may have noticed if you followed my blog in the past 2 years) that some things are metaphorical. Nevertheless I choose to accept matters as metaphorical only when the acaryas in their commentaries say so. That is not the case with the jivotpatti issue. It is only your opinion. You may appear to be very broadminded but actually you are quite the opposite because you fail to come to terms with the principle or the conception if you will, of beginninglessness. F.i. krishna bhuli appears in the same sentence as anadi bahirmukha. That should teach the thinker to develop the concept of something being beginningless though some time sequence appears to be indicated (bhuli). It is exactly so with the concept of 'design'.

  28. Radhe Radhe Shiva

    I think you have to understand the concept of linear and cyclical time. Satyanarayan das had said that this event is not a function of linear time but of cyclical time.

    Just to give you an idea, I pasted something from wikepedia. I also do not understand that much the physics side of it , but cyclical time has basis in physics too.

    Eternal return
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    For other uses of the term, see Eternal return (disambiguation).
    Eternal return (also known as "eternal recurrence") is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur in the exact same self-similar form an incomprehensible and unfathomable number of times. The concept has roots in ancient Egypt, and was subsequently taken up by the Pythagoreans and Stoics. With the decline of antiquity and the spread of Christianity, the concept fell into disuse, though Friedrich Nietzsche briefly resurrected it.

    In addition, the philosophical concept of eternal recurrence was addressed by Arthur Schopenhauer. It is a purely physical concept, involving no "reincarnation," but the return of beings in the same bodies. Time is viewed as being not linear but cyclical.

    The basic premise is that the universe is limited in extent and contains a finite amount of matter, while time is viewed as being infinite. The universe has no starting or ending state, while the matter comprising it is constantly changing its state. The number of possible changes is finite, and so sooner or later the same state will recur.

    Physicists such as Stephen Hawking and J. Richard Gott have proposed models by which the (or a) universe could undergo time travel, provided the balance between mass and energy created the appropriate cosmological geometry. More philosophical concepts from physics, such as Hawking's "arrow of time," for example, discuss cosmology as proceeding up to a certain point, whereafter it undergoes a time reversal (which, as a consequence of T-symmetry, is thought to bring about a chaotic state due to thermodynamic entropy).