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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is not dormant within the heart, but is an external gift

There is a widespread theory among Western Vaiṣṇavas that bhakti exists in a dormant state in the heart of the jīva. The upholders of this theory support their view by a verse from Caitanya Caritāmṛta, which runs as follows:

nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema 'sādhya' kabhu naya

śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya

“Love of Kṛṣṇa is eternally perfect, it is never merely produced by sādhana – when the heart is purified by hearing and so, it arises.”

However, the Caitanya Caritamrita (Madhya 19.151) says:

brahmāṇḍa bhramite kon bhāgyavān jīva, 
guru-kṛṣṇa prasāde pāy bhakti-latā bīja. 

“Wandering throughout the universe, some fortunate soul receives the seed of devotion, by the grace of Guru or Kṛṣṇa.” Every word is significant here - kon means “some”, not that everyone gets it. pāy means 'he/she gets', not that it's intrinsic – it’s coming from outside. prasāda means that it isn’t deserved, but is causeless grace. One cannot work in advance to attain it. Only in this way the verse nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema 'sādhya' kabhu naya can be understood. hlādinī is the missing ānanda in the svarūpa of the jīva and it is an external gift.

The verse nitya siddhasya bhāvasya from the Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu (1.2.2, quoted just before the nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema - verse in the Caitanya Caritāmṛta) confirms this - this nitya siddha bhāva is the goal, it is not to be achieved artificially. Jīva Goswāmī comments on B.R.S. 1.2.2: bhāvasya sādhyatve kṛtrimatvāt parama-puruṣārthatvābhāvaḥ sādityāśaṅkyāha—nityeti | bhagavac-chakti-viśeṣa-vṛtti-viśeṣatvenāgre sādhayiṣyamāṇatvād iti bhāvaḥ , i.e. “If bhāva is attained mechanically (kṛtrima means something that is not produced naturally or spontaneously) it cannot be the highest goal of life; in order to clear this doubt the verse says – nitya-siddhasya bhāvasya. The meaning is that in the first place (agre) it happens by a special function of the Lord's potency“. The word nitya siddha means nitya-siddha bhaktas according to Mukunda Goswami in his comment on this verse: nitya-siddha-bhakteṣu śuddha-sattva-viśeṣa-rūpatayā sadā vartamānasyātra svayaṁ sphuraṇān na kṛtrimatva-śaṅkā | ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [bha.ra.si. 1.2.234] iti vakṣyamāṇatvāt | sādhana-bhaktir eva na kṛtrimā, kim uta bhāvaḥ   “The pure sattva which is ever present in the nitya siddha devotees manifests itself and thus should not be seen as artificial. This can be seen in verse 1.2.234, ataḥ śrī kṛṣṇa nāmādi. Surely sādhana bhakti is not artificial, what to speak of bhāva.”

Jīva Gosvāmī comments on that Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu verse (1.2.234):

sevonmukhe hīti | sevonmukhe bhagavat-svarūpa-tan-nāma-grahaṇāya pravṛtta ity arthaḥ | hi prasiddhau | yathā mṛga-śarīraṁ tyajato bharatasya varṇitam | nārāyaṇāya haraye nama ity udāraṁ hāsyan mṛgatvam api yaḥ samudājahāra [bhā.pu. 5.14.45] iti | yathā ca gajendrasya jajāpa paramaṁ jāpyaṁ prāg-janmany anuśikṣitam [bhā.pu. 8.3.1] ity ādi 

Sevonmukhe means one becomes inclined to chant the holy name of the Lord. The examples of Bharata in the deer-body, and Gajendra the elephant are very famous in this regard. They had animal tongues, but since they had a desire to chant the name of Kṛṣṇa, svayam eva sphuratyadaḥ - all this became spontaneously manifest.”

Bhakti is svarūpa-śakti and the jīva is taṭastha śakti. Therefore, bhakti cannot be intrinsic to the jīva. ānanda that comes with bhakti is a function of cic-chakti which manifests as sandhinī, samvit and hlādinī. bhaktyānanda is the hlādinī-aspect of cic-chakti. The Lord's ānanda is two-fold according to Jīva Gosvāmī's Prīti Sandarbha (66): svarūpānanda and svarūpa-śaktyānanda. The Lord Himself is depending on svarūpa-śaktyānanda (svarūpa-śaktyānanda-rūpa yadānanda-parādhīnaḥ śrī-bhagavān apīti). This ānanda is bhakti.

The Śruti quite clearly says that ānanda is not a property of the jīva: raso vai saḥ, rasam hy evāyam labdhvānandī bhavati, “God is verily rasa. If one attains rasa, one becomes blissful“. Apart from that, in the ānandamayādhikaraṇa of the Vedānta-sūtras, the ācāryas explain that the jīva is not ānandamaya. In the tika to the sūtra vikāra-śabdān neti cen na prācuryāt, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa refutes the idea that the word ānanda-maya could be applied to the jīva (tasmad ānandamayo na jīvaḥ), and this is the case also in the liberated state which means non-existence of suffering (na cānandamaya-śabdena muktau duḥkhāpty-asadbhāvāj jīva iti vācyam).

In addition, commenting on the definition of the jīva as cid-ānandātmaka, Jīva Gosvāmī explains in Paramātma Sandarbha (29) that the jīva is not ānanda in the proper sense of the word: duḥkha-pratiyogitvena tu jñānatvam ānandatvaṁ ca ... ānandatvaṁ nirupādhi-premāspadatvena sādhayati. “Because the jīva is beyond misery it is said to be of the nature of consciousness and bliss ... The jīva attains bliss when it attains love of God.“ However, Jīva Goswāmī mentions the ānanda of the jīva in Prīti Sandarbha (Anu. 65): ato natarāṁ jīvasya svarūpānanda-rūpā, atyanta-kṣudratvāt. He says that it is extremely minute. However, one has to understand the statement in connection with the previous one, i.e. that the ānanda means just non-existence of misery.

If one argues “What about the verse jīvera svarūpa hoy kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa from Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Madhya 20.108)? How to explain that in the light of bhāva not being inherent? The words nitya and svarūpa also imply inherence, after all.”

The answer to that will be: “The verse jīvera svarūpa hoy kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa does not say that bhakti is inherent to the jīva. It just means that the jīva is a śakti of the Lord, and thus it is subordinate to Him who is the śaktimān, the Owner of the śakti. This relationship is eternal. It never was and will never be different. The verses subsequent to this one in Caitanya Caritāmṛta make the point clearly. The Bhagavad Gītā statement mad bhaktiṁ labhate paraṁ (18.54) “He attains My devotion and thus the Supreme” proves bhakti is not intrinsic but gotten (labhate) from outside.
The translation of the word udaya in the nitya siddha verse above should not be ‘awakened’, but ‘arises’, as prema is not dormant in the heart. If it were described in scripture as dormant it would have been called supta prema or nidrita prema, but such terminology does not exist at all in scripture."


"The point “Bhakti is svarūpa-śakti and the jīva is taṭastha śakti. Therefore, bhakti cannot be intrinsic to the jīva." was taken from Navadvip Das’ introduction to Bhakti Sandarbha, with thanks. Some of the quotes were contributed by Krishnadasa (that was more than a little help from my friend).

27 comments:

  1. By chance, I am reading Manah Siksa with commentaries and I quote below from the book:

    The Soul of all souls, Radha-Krishna are the bestowers of the jewel of atma-rati. The infinitesimal living entity is an eternal servant of Krishna. The spontaneous attraction for Radha_Krishna which the jiva experiences in his constitutional state is called atma-rati.

    Although this atma-rati is
    eternally present in the original identity or svarupa of the jiva, in the conditioned state it remains
    covered by material desires born of ignorance.

    Only by the worship of Radha-Krishna Yugala in Vraja is this jewel of rati awakened within ones
    heart. Upon receiving further nourishment, it is promoted to the stage of mahabhava.


    MY Q: since you noted that the jiva is a tatastha sakti, is there something wrong with the paragraphs above? Like so: that in its constitutional state, in its original identity or swarupya the jiva experiences atma rati.

    Or does the paragraph jive with your idea? That though bhakti is not inherent in the jiva , atma rati is eternally there as a potential catalyst for bhakti prema?

    If the quoted paragraphs are wrong , I would I assume that the commentaries were by the translator-Guru and not by Srila Ragunatha das?

    Radhe Radhe

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  2. Shastra repeatedly says that rati or prema or bhakti is an external gift of Guru, sadhu or Krishna Sri Jiva Gosvami writes at the end of his Laghu-Tosani-commentary on Srimad Bhagavata's verse 10.51.36 that the God-consciousness of a devotee who attains the association of great devotees is called the seed of rati: sat sangamena raty-ankura rupaiva matir jayata iti. Also, Raghunath Das Gosvami himself says in that Manah Shiksha verse you quote there, sva rati mani dau, "Radha-Krishna are the givers (dau) of rati for Themselves." This too shows that it is an external gift and not something innate.

    Malati: "If the quoted paragraphs are wrong , I would I assume that the commentaries were by the translator-Guru and not by Srila Ragunatha das?"

    Raghunath Das just wrote the verses, not any commentaries on them.

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  3. I was contemplating this topic a while ago when we touched this matter on an earlier post. You and Madhavananda gave nice views enriched with sastric evidence. It helped me to see things in a less black and white manner. I would like to share this with you. IF YOU FIND ANY FAULT, FEEL FREE TO CRUSH.

    External gift or dormant within ?
    Does it really matter ?
    We need grace (call it external if you will) anyway to be able to tune in to the dormant bhakti within (if you believe it to be already there).
    So both theories agree that without grace bhakti will never be attained and the soul will not be able to taste rasa. The seed is given.... the seed to open up what is already there or the seed containing the entire mood of loving devotion.
    Expressions to describe this mysterious gift of bhakti and its devellopment have much in common with the descriptions to describe the origin of the jiva (as if there is an origin) and are meant to convey a certain concept/idea beyond our rational thinking at the same time using rational thinking (limited language and calculation). If this is true, that must be false. But that doesn't have to be the case in the absolute realm.

    If an acarya sais something like 'this devotion is our birthright', we can safely conclude it is dormant within us or that we are born for it. Tatastha-sakti viewed from that perspective is just a philosophical concept to help us sort of understand our origin and satisfy our urge to mentally capture the inconceivable.
    When we discuss further we notice (we have seen before) it doesn't help us much unless we actually start experiencing some higher truth.

    If we go to a party we need to be invited and follow a dresscode. Similary if we want to enter Krishna's Lila (the only thing that gives us ANANDA) we need to be invited. Our willingness to accept the invitation is not enough. We need to be introduced and trained (how to behave, who is who, etcetera) by an insider, the bonafide guru. He is the giver of bhakti, something we are unfamiliar with but that nonetheles feels natural.

    Why does it feel natural ? Because we are born for it. It can mean that it was covered before hidden within the chromosoms of our soul or that it was never there before like an egg waiting to be fertilized. If you analyze closely you'll find that there is no difference at all between the two theories .It becomes irrelevant anyway as soon as we indeed start experiencing bhakti.

    You more or less state that many westerners hold on to this misconception of the bhakti already there but covered and the soul being sad-chit-ananda. I believe it so because it sells better to western hearing and it sounds less elitarian. I see no harm in it though and I do not consider it a misconception.

    I do see now that (and I agree with you) what yogis experience as "ananda" is actually more the realization of SAD and CHIT resulting in a feeling of peace interpreted as ananda. ANANDA is reserved for bhaktas only and comes from relating to God through bhakti. Hence it is God given, because it only excists in relation to God, the Personal God. This cannot but be.

    No Krishna, no bhakti, no ANANDA. To be able to taste ANANDA, Krishna needs to give Himself to the jiva through GURU. Indeed the jiva without relation is "just" tatastha, a cup without soup. Very simple.

    Hope this contributes somehow.

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  4. Anuradha, I can pretty well go along with most of what you write. Your question 'does it really matter' in particular, or in general ('do any philosophical errors really matter as long as we are tought to chant the holy name?') was actually another point I want to debate, hopefully some time in the future. I have already heard different opinions on this too.
    Yes, the 'dormant in the heart' theory seems to be linked parallel to the 'fall of the jiva' issue. Since the evidence in shastra plus the logic that we did not fall is overwhelming, the 'dormant' vada is bound to tumble with it, like a domino effect.
    Finally, about 'it sells better' - I blogged on this before and I wish to repeat it here - the truth is more abstract than those simple logical explanations given by the big preachers, but the truth most be heard and accepted, however abstract it may be. Krishna is the absolute Truth (satyam param dhimahi) - how can He be attained when one lives with untruth, however unimportant it may seem?

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  5. It's me again.

    I agree that there can be only one absolute truth. Something opposing that must be an untruth.
    Yet in trying to bring us to higher levels of understanding there are different ways in trying to accomplish that.. thesis, antithesis and then synthesis. These are not little philosophical explanations. That is condescending and too generalizing.

    You now represent one way of EXPLAINING the absolute truth, but not the absolute truth as such.
    Some of those "big preachers" (and I include Bhaktivinod Thakur) took into account their hearing and the collective state of mind of the 20th century and chose to use language that connected to the present audience. This is what I meant with 'it sells better'. You need to take into account your hearing. You do it, I do it and it is a sign of maturity.

    Example... do you change the absolute truth by moderating your critisism on ACBVSP or SBSST ? No, you are just wiser and take into account the effect of what you say on your hearing. Ofcourse there will be people in some circles that will accuse you of diplomacy at the cost of speaking the one and only truth.
    Similarly I never quote BR Sridar Swami or ACBVSP on your blog, because I know that for you they do not necessarily represent ultimate proof. Am I a hypocrite now ?

    Now if we were really puritanical to the extreme we should advise Iskcon to delete the word 'back' in the Back to Godhead Magazine. Because it might be apasiddhanta and it has lead to immense confusion for the generation to come.
    But many times ACBVSP reffered to society at large and pointed out the decay of God-consciousness in our societies and wanted to guide us BACK to a god-conscious society (like the ones we supposedly had in previous yugas).
    He wasn't implying the soul and jiva-tattva necessarily all the time.
    On top of it, as you yourself suggested and I agree, most of the audience they had to deal with from the west came from christian background. It is stupid not to take that into account and not build upon what is already there. They made it palatable. Explaining jiva-tattva to a westerner as you would explain it to devout hindu Indian without taking into account his way of thinking is setting yourself up for failure.

    Ofcourse in retrospect we see that a lot of things could have been done differently and little notes must be made (translation of avatar, relativity of the word back and so on). As we advance we see that there is more to it and the truth is not so easily explained.

    I think, and I respect your contribution, you belong to the sincere second generation that pointed out the flaws and stimulates further inquiry into our roots.
    The sincere third generation is however the generation that must be able to reach a synthesis and be able to see the truth as it is and find a way to bring it to the next generation with little chance of misinterpretation.

    Dormant-vada as you call it can not be totally dismissed as an untruth, but it is also definitelly not the whole truth.
    We are made for something we don't have yet.

    I just met someone who proclaimed the jiva is only SAT while under the spell of maya. What's the use of dormant knowledge/consciousness if you can't reach it ?, he added. CHIT is infused, he concluded.

    I wanted to fight his argumentation, but then I thought.... What the hack !

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  6. Anuradha, I am not sure I completely agree. If you have known me and my writings before I started this blog you may have noticed that I greatly toned down my rhetoric. I did that because a wise person advised me to do so, just at a time I had the opportunity to start with a clean slate (this blog), and also because of some traumatic experiences I had on Gaudiya Discussions 3 years ago. However, I dont think that this is exactly the same as altering the siddhanta in order to be understandable to an audience of a certain time and place. This is actually exactly why a segment of the western IGM recruits, like myself, broke away. We havent given up our western/Christian roots to hear a western/Christian version of the Absolute Truth. As the very first western Vaishnava, Krishna Prem, said, "I have come this far and now I should go all the way as well."

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  7. Advaitadas: "The point “Bhakti is svarupa-sakti and the jiva is tatastha sakti. Therefore, bhakti cannot be intrinsic to the jiva.”

    One observation that, in my opinion, supports the above view on the subject:
    if bhakti had been an intrinsic part of jiva, than all jnanis and monists and all prajapatis on tapaloka as well would have been on bhakti yoga, full of Krsna Prema, by default.
    How could all those experienced souls and even liberated ones, who have already achieved nirbikalpa samadhi (final dissolution of ahankara or Release - mukti - as referred to in Vedanta Sutras)
    have missed the incredible sweetness of bhakti IF it had already been in their awareness as inherent quality?

    Although certain teachers (Bhaktivinoda, for example, in his Sri Krsna Samhita) state that all that is present in Bhagavan is present in
    jivas as well, only in minute proportions, it still doesn't really rime with what we see in practice.

    (This, of course, rises another important question: experiences vs. intellectual knowledge gotten from sastras, but thats another subject, perhaps also very interested for a constructive debate).

    with respect,
    nityananda p.

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  8. About you toning down and that being not the same as altering siddhanta, I agree with you 100%.

    Choosing a somewhat different way of explaining the philosophy because of a different audience is also not necessarily altering siddhanta. About this we think somewhat different, I guess.

    I know about Krishna Prem. He is an exception to the rule, we can safely say. Most people need to be talked to in their own language.

    PS. I also think bhakti is infused. But we are nonetheless made for it. So if someone else thinks it is blueprinted in the soul, I see also no real reason to disagree.

    Thanks for your replies and have a blessed evening.

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  9. While it is logical to conclude that bhakti is not inherent within the jiva if we take bhakti to mean direct willful devotion, at the same time it is not necessarily wrong to claim that "bhakti exists in a dormant state in the heart of the jiva". It depends on whether that statement is literal or figurative. We can look at that statement from various angles and can get different meanings from it depending on our angle of vision.

    For example is it not true that God exists within the heart of the jiva?

    sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto

    Since God is in the heart (heart in this usage doesn't mean the heart organ it means that God is the soul of our soul) and God contains swarupa shakti and hladini and bhakti, then it can be said that all these exist inherently within the jiva because God exists within the jiva.

    From another angle of vision we can say that the jiva exists solely for the purpose of bringing pleasure to the Lord. That being the case then it can be said that until the jiva fulfills his inherent destiny that that destiny resides in a dormant state within the jiva i.e. bhakti resides in a potential state within the jiva because the purpose of the jiva is bhakti.

    Dormant can mean inactive or unawakened or it can mean potential. Does the jiva have inherent potential for bhakti? Why of course. Does the jiva have unawakened bhakti? Since the Lord resides within the heart of even the nitya baddha jiva, therefore it can be said that bhakti resides in the heart of the nitya baddha jiva, although the jiva is not conscious of or unawakened to that bhakti i.e. The Lord.

    Also on another thread Madhavananda was saying that the jiva could be considered part of swarupa shakti when it is in the position of a manjari. Swarupa shakti is essentially different from jiva shakti because it is essentially non different from Krishna ergo: swarupa shakti is called swarupa shakti. The jiva shakti is acintya bheda abheda in relation to Krishna and therefore can never be considered within the category of swarupa shakti.

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  10. 'Potential' is more acceptable but that is quite different from 'dormant', and then the word dormant should also be replaced with potential. As for the jiva becoming svarupa sakti, I have already shown from C.C. that tatastha shakti is divided in nitya baddha and nitya siddha ( this division of the tatastha sakti is mentioned in the Sandarbhas too, but I cant remember where). As to Anuradha's earlier proposition that

    "Tatastha-sakti viewed from that perspective is just a philosophical concept to help us sort of understand our origin and satisfy our urge to mentally capture the inconceivable.":

    The other half of the famous 'jivera svarupa hay krsner nitya das' says 'krsnera tatastha shakti bhedabheda prakash' - the fact that we are tatastha shakti is a substantial fact. Finally, as I said in one of the phone-sanga blogs, I dont accept that the Acaryas used hyperbole or poetic license in matters of tattva and siddhanta.

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  11. For what I understood, the Jivatma is in nature Brahman, it has not personality by itself. Bhakti and the desire to associate with the Lord occurs as a result of the impressions (imprinted in the heart) derived from Shastra and Sangha.

    Like the Shastra has already indicated:

    “Wandering throughout the universe, some fortunate soul receives the seed of devotion, by the grace of Guru or Krishna.”

    Caitanya Caritamrita (Madhya 19.151)

    Do you agree with that view, Advaitadas-ji?

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  12. There are two halves in your statement - I guess I go along with the second half but I am not sure about the first half, about the jiva being brahman and having no personality. In my own experience, before I got the mercy of Guru and Krishna and received the seed of bhakti, I felt very much like a person as well.....

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  13. Interesting !
    Harisaran's point of view makes sense if we take tatasthta-sakti to be the same as Brahman. Brahman is one, one big unlimited balloon of consciousness, where the limited spark of consciousness is one with the blinding light of the whole, not much room for personhood.
    The person you felt being before you came in contact with Guru and Shastra, Advaita, was based on false designations created by maya (I am Dutch, I like windmills and hate Germans). So this feeling you describe is no proof for your personhood before coming into contact with Guru and Shastra.

    In the past some people dared to call BR Shridar Swami a mayavadi, because they took this kind of explanations to be pure monism, because if we come from Brahman, we are Brahman.
    I know His Holiness is not a mayavadi, but I do realize the difficulty that arises from bringing this tattva across. That is why I said that tatastha-sakti basically is a philosophical concept that sometimes helps, but sometimes adds to the confusion giving food to our monist tendencies.
    ACBVSP solved this problem by avoiding the topic most of the time and stating that we come from Krishna.... period... without going to much into the technicalities of it.
    I liked Shiva's point of view and like you I do not like to believe that prior to meeting Guru and Shastra I was basically no person, just Brahman with a mayic covering.

    But now we have to prove our assumption !

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  14. Indeed. You both need to prove that theory. jivera svarupa hoy krishner nitya das; krsnera tatastha shakti bhedabheda prakash (CC) "The svarupa of the jiva is eternal servant of Krishna. It is Krishna's marginal energy, both different and non-different from Him." Nothing here about the jiva being brahman, which does sound like Vedanta or parinama vada.

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  15. Anuradha: „But now we have to prove our assumption !“

    Indeed.

    Well, this discussion reminds me of the one we had on the subject of jivas minute independence.
    If brahma and jiva are in fact one and the same, why sastras (vedanta sutra, upanishad and BG) proclaim that jivas have independence?
    And vice versa, if jivas had no independence, why would Vedanta Sutras claim that they are eternally separate from brahma?


    Anyway, I took a look at Vedanta Sutra (I like to take refuge in it as it is very „technical“, sharp arguments are found therein) and there is in fact no real notion of brahma and jiva being one.

    The Vedanta Sutras of Badarayana, commentary Baladeva, 1.1.2 sutra:
    "... The text 'know the understanding (jiva) as Brahman' does not mean that Jiva is Brahman, because is ti clearly established in this sastra (Vedanta sutra) that Jiva is separate from Brahman. Thus see sutras: 1.1.16; 1.1.17; 1.3.5; 1.3.21; 1.3.41. These five sutras explain that Brahman is separate from Jiva. Even in the state of release, the Jiva is never one with Brahman, but remains separate from him, as will be explained later on."

    Now, I read these sutras, and the evidence is strongly conclusive: jiva and brahma are separate, forever.
    (an interesting observation: Vedanta Sutras given above do not state that jiva is different from Brahma (although in other sutras it states this also), it says it is separate from him, so,
    acintya bheda abheda.

    With respect,
    nityananda

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  16. So may I conclude that tatastha-sakti is not the same as the brahmajyoti-effulgence of the Lord then ?

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  17. Brahman is the Supreme, one of the three non-dual features of the Absolute, as in vadanti tat tattva-vida tattvam jajjnanam advayam brahmeti parameti bhagavaniti shabdyate (SB 1.2.11), whereas the jiva is an energy of the Absolute - apareyam itastvanyam prakrtim viddhi me param jiva bhuta (BG 7.5), as the C.C. says bhedabheda prakash, both different and non-different.

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  18. Advaita das: "Brahman is the Supreme, one of the three non-dual features of the Absolute."

    Yes, there you go, anuradha:

    S.B. 1.2.11:
    "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān."

    Brahma is only one aspect of absolute truth, realized as non-personal aspect. Some satras say this is brahmajyoti, yes, as we see:

    Isopanishad, 16:
    O my Lord, O primeval philosopher, maintainer of the universe, O regulating principle, destination of the pure devotees, well-wisher of the progenitors of mankind--please remove the effulgence of Your transcendental rays so that I can see Your form of bliss.

    Why would sri isopanishad pray for removal of this effulgence, if devotees were one and the same with it?

    kind regards,
    nityananda

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  19. You obviously all have read a wide range of literature, I honestly haven’t

    Reading all your posts, I tried to understand and “imagine” what they might mean.

    Two things stand out for me from what have been said.


    Harisarandas: For what I understood, the Jivatma is in nature Brahman, it has no personality by itself.

    Adavaitadas: In my own experience, before I got the mercy of Guru and Krishna and received the seed of bhakti, I felt very much like a person as well.....

    jivera svarupa hoy krishner nitya das; krsnera tatastha shakti bhedabheda prakash (CC) "The svarupa of the jiva is eternal servant of Krishna. It is Krishna's marginal energy, both different and non-different from Him."



    Can we not see these ideas tattva in the light of
    1 philosophy and
    2 rasa.

    That the acintya bheda abheda idea (simultaneously one and different or the energetic and the energy or sun and the rays of the sun) can be seen in the light of philosophy and the idea , the jiva in its eternal form or swarup being a servant of Krishna, be seen in the light of rasa.

    I think these ideas can co-exist in parallel and for me personally I can more or less undertand and “imagine” what these ideas might mean.

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  20. Malati, such philosophy is not scriptural. The bhedAbheda is inseparable. bheda means and includes the being an eternal servant of Krishna. It is both rasa and siddhanta.

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  21. Nityananda I think you got it backward when you said that the jiva is separate and not different from Brahman. Separate means disunited or apart from, Whereas The Vedas tells us everything is Brahman therefore nothing is separate from Brahman, also they tell us the atma is Brahman. (see Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5 or Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.1 and many others)

    Nothing is separate from Brahman because Brahman is the impersonal aspect of the Lord i.e. in the sense that Brahman refers to the all pervading consciouness/energy of the Lord without necessarily refering to the personality of the Lord. Yet we are different then Brahman because we do not possess all the attributes of Brahman i.e all pervading, all powerful, etc.

    So acinyta bheda abheda when it comes to Brahman means we are one with Brahman and not separate from Brahman because nothing is separate from Brahman. But we are also different from Brahman when we consider that we do not share all the attributes of Brahman as well as being distinct personalities from Bhagavan who is the supreme or Param Brahman.


    Harisaran you wrote:

    "[the jiva] has not personality by itself"

    That statement is proposing a reality that cannot exist for the jiva i.e the jiva being by itself. Therefore the statement is false. The jiva is never by itself therefore the jiva always is a personality. If the jiva did not have personality it would not exist because one of the attributes which makes the jiva different from the rest of the energy of the Lord is it's personality (personality meaning unique self awareness) Without a different self awareness or personality from the Lord the jiva would not be a jiva, in that case the energy which comprises the jiva would be non different from the Lord.

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  22. Sivahari das: "Nityananda I think you got it backward when you said that the jiva is separate and not different from Brahman."

    Well, I just quoted what Vedanta Sutras say on the subject, word for word.
    I just have some luck to pick out the right book with the (mostly) right answers...
    :)

    But I see your point and I can live with it, no problem.

    But the fact still remains, jiva is NOT Brahma nor Siva or anything else. It can get a post of Brahma on satyaloka (we see this in Brhad Bhagavatamritam, 2nd part), but it is still jiva.

    And, back to main subject, bhakti is not really inherent in jiva (I explained my reasoning above), even Brahma got a taste of it from Krsna in the form of Gopala mantra, and not out of Himself.

    In Sri Bhakti rasamrta Sinduh, it is said:
    2nd wave, text 2, commentary:
    "...Sri Jiva Gosvami further answers a hypothetical objection. It may be said that if Bhava-bhakti is to result from Sadhana-bhakti as a consequence thereof, it becomes an effect in time (janya-padartha), and therefore does not answer to the conception of Bhava-Bhakti as an eternally accomplished reality. Sri Jiva points out in reply, that what happens in the case in question is that Bhava, which is an eternal essence of Swarupa-shakti, i.e. the Intrinsic Potency of the Lord Himself, and not a thing that grows in the heart of an individual as an effect of Sadhana-bhakti, reveals itself into the hart of the jiva-atma or finite self, where it was absent because of its self-forgetfulness and God-forgetfulness (that is, due to avidya - my addition)..."
    Comment goes on here on the subject of special physical expressions when such mercy accrues.

    (I quoted from Bon Maharaja's rendering of BRS).

    with respect
    nityananda

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  23. This subject is very subtle and difficult to make short work of. I appreciate that both are possible models for reality. Both sides of the argument have their favorite verses to quote that they feel bolster their argument. I am surprised that you missed two biggies that the inherent svarup school uses- Madhya.22.160-161.

    160: kṛṣṇaḿ smaran janaḿ cāsya
    preṣṭhaḿ nija-samīhitam
    tat-tat-kathā-rataś cāsau
    kuryād vāsaḿ vraje sadā
    Here nija samihitam (of one's own choosing) being critical.

    161: dāsa-sakhā-pitrādi-preyasīra gaṇa
    rāga-mārge nija-nija-bhāvera gaṇana
    And here nija nija is echoed.
    If there was not a process of hearing and purifying through association with Vaishnavas these words would absolutely no meaning.

    This totally agrees with:
    “Love of Krishna is eternally perfect, it is never merely produced by sadhana – when the heart is purified by hearing and so, it arises.”

    With regards to sadhana there is no practical difference between the one who subscribes to the inherent or gifted svarup models. This was confirmed by a senior devotee who I can cite in private to you if you wish.
    Secondly the school of inherent svarup are of the opinion that
    1. no one gets bhakti without mercy of Vaishnava and Krsna.
    2. no one gets back to Godhead with out diksa.
    3. the ananda that is inherent in the svarup is not of the same quantity or quality of those nitya-siddha-jivas.The inherent school also asks, "if there are two kinds of tatastha sakti jivas, both missing the svarup, as you say, Nitya-Baddha and Nitya-Siddha,
    did the nitya siddha tatastha sakti get bhakti lata bija and from whom? And when?
    Their svarup must be intrinsic otherwise from where is it coming? Some choose Krsna-dasya and some come here. The one who did not choose Krsna came her and got contaminated and need the diksa.

    Point 2:
    Now, supposing the jiva who comes here gets bhakti lata bija according to your conception. Let us also suppose for whatever reason he does not attain to Krsna upon dying and takes birth in a human body. if the ananda has been infused into the jiva- he now has his svarup, there would be no necessity to take diksa again?!
    But diksa is necessary always.
    But if the ontology of the jiva has been fundamentaly altered with the external infusing of the svarup, why take again? This is unworkable.
    Please excuse my lack of intelligence and quarrelsome nature.
    Joy Sitanatha Prabhu!

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  24. Interesting comment, Visnudas. However, of the two points:

    "Some choose Krsna-dasya and some come here. The one who did not choose Krsna came her and got contaminated and need the diksa."

    It seems here you erred, since there is no such siddhanta of Sadhu Shastra and Guru that we made a choice and came here (fall-vada).

    "But diksa is necessary always.
    But if the ontology of the jiva has been fundamentaly altered with the external infusing of the svarup, why take again? This is unworkable."

    As far as I understood from my Guru-bari, the Guru comes back for the submissive disciple. That would almost certainly mean that the disciple gets diksa again. I know that there is a class of Vaishnavas that say that the bhakti lata bija means diksa and can be given just once, but to my knowledge there is no independent confirmation of that. Because in that case your theory would be unworkable.

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  25. Just some ideas (not well-cooked).
    1. People ask: “How have I come to this dark material world?” But open your eyes: you are not in the dark, simply your eyes have been closed for a long time. See: the “material world” is truly vatsa-padam.
    2. People say: “I was this and that, I’ve become this and that, and I’ll become a gopi.” But you are unchangeable, eternal, vastu. So open your eyes and see who you eternally are. Krisner nitya das: “nitya” is nitya, it’s not like at a certain time it will start to be nitya.
    3. A comment on “kon”. "Someone gets special mercy" But who is that unfortunate one whom hladini-sakti has neglected at all? How he managed to escape the Holy Name ever-reverberating within a ball of the Universe? Though, hladini-sakti seems to be not in hurry in its work on jivas.
    4. Imagine a person underwater discussing what is to take a breath, is it “a birth right” or “an exceptional fortune”. Such discussion is not for him. Tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam.

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  26. "........simply your eyes have been closed for a long time.."

    Old concepts die hard. It should be 'have always been closed (until now)....'

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  27. One more point. What is meant by “the artificial process” in BRS 1.2.2, tika? In the same paragraph Jiva Gosvami says: the goal of sadhana is bhava and the goal of human endeavor is artha, dharma, kama, moksa. The point here is: if I want bhakti then I am not interested in anything but bhakti. I do not need any artificial assistance of gyana and vairagya too (BRS 1.2.249, tika). Only I want to have my heart melt with bhava. You want it, you get it.

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