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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The tatastha-‘region’

Dāmodar Das
The conception that the jīvas are from a taṭastha-region and choose between the spiritual and material world is false?”

“This is nowhere in śāstra and makes no sense.”

Dāmodar Das
“They quote

jīvera svarūpa hoy kṛṣṇera nitya dāsa;
kṛṣṇera taṭastha śakti bhedābheda prakāśa.”

“Where is a taṭastha REGION? South of Vladivostok? It says taṭastha ŚAKTI, not REGION. śakti means an ontological value,  not a location, like east of Amsterdam. What does the verse say?

jīvera svarūpa hoy kṛṣṇera nitya dāsa;
kṛṣṇera taṭastha śakti bhedābheda prakāśa

“The true form of the spirit soul is being an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. He is Kṛṣṇa’s marginal energy, being both different and non-different from Him.”

Where is it mentioned it is a region or he made a choice?  Where is this mentioned anywhere else? In the six Sandarbhas? Śrīmad Bhāgavata? Bhagavad Gītā? Caitanya Caritāmṛta? Caitanya Caritāmṛta also says the jīva is anādi bahirmukha, disinclined towards Kṛṣṇa from beginningless time. How they explain the word ‘anādi' in the very same book?”

Dāmodar Das
“Do you have Bṛhad Āranyaka Upaniṣad? They say that text 4.3.9 there proves their theory. They translate it as: "The jīva has 2 places: the material region and the cit-region. And there is another place, a border-region called tatastha, which forms the contact of the material and spiritual regions. Being in that region, the jīva sees these both places.”

That text is about consciousness, not about the jīva -

tasya vā etasya puruṣasya dve eva sthāne bhavataḥ: idaṁ ca para-loka-sthānaṁ ca; sandhyaṁ tṛtīyaṁ svapna-sthānam; tasmin sandhye sthāne tiṣṭhann, ubhe sthāne paśyati, idaṁ ca para-loka-sthānaṁ ca atha yathākramo’yaṁ para-lokasthāne bhavati, tam ākramam ākramya, ubhayān pāpmana ānandāṁś ca paśyati. sa yatra prasvapiti, asya lokasya sarvāvato mātrām apādāya, svayaṁ vihatya, svayaṁ nirmāya, svena bhāsā, svena jyotiṣā prasvapiti; atrāyam puruṣaḥ svayaṁ-jyotir bhavati.

“There are two states for that person, one here in this world, one in the other world, and a third in an intermediate state, the dream-place. When in that intermediate state, he sees both those states together, the one here in this world, and the other in the other world. Now whatever his admission to the other world may be, having gained that admission, he sees both the evils and the blessings. And wherever he dreams, then after having taken away with him the material from the whole world, destroying and building it up again, he dreams by his own light. In that state the person is self-illuminated.”

Otherwise the Upaniṣads would contradict Śruti and Vedānta, which unanimously say that ignorance and karma are beginningless.  These verses are speaking about the position of ātma in different states of existence i.e. waking, dream and birth and death. You can see this from the context. It is a dialogue between Janaka and Yajñavalkya. The king asks about ātma in 4.3.7. Yajñavalkya is explaining how ātma is different from all the modifications of the mind experienced in the waking and dream state: “He, remaining the same, wanders along the two worlds, as if thinking, as if moving. During sleep (in dream) he transcends this world and all the forms of death.” In 4.3.8 he explains about the transmigration of the ātma – “On being born that person, assuming his body, becomes united with all evils; when he departs and dies, he leaves all evils behind.” In 4.3.9 he combines what he said in 4.3.7 and 4.3.8. There is no talk of any spiritual world. Paraloka refers to next body or birth. In 4.3.18, another text they quote to prove the tatastha region-point, even the word svapna-sthāna, ‘dream-place’, is stated explicitly, “As a fish swims between two banks, the ātma experiences the waking and dream states.”

tad yathā mahā matsya ubhe kule' nusancārati pūrvaṁ ca paraṁ caivam
evāyam puruṣa etav ubhāv antav anusancārati svapnāntam ca buddhāntam ca

(Fall-vādī translation:) “Just as a large fish living in the river wanders from one bank to the other, so the jīva is of similar quality, and is equipped to wander in the Kāraṇa waters between the material and spiritual worlds (svapnānta and buddhānta).” Bṛhad-Āraṇyaka Upaniṣad

Here again are the words svapnāntam, dreaming state and buddhāntam, wakeful state of consciousness. Where is there any mentioning of the Kārana ocean? It does not fit in the context at all. That whole section of the Upaniṣad, texts 8-18, is all about consciousness.“


  1. what book are you discussing where there is talk of a tatastha region?

    Srila Sridhar Maharaj spoke about a tatastha region but he never meant to suggest it is a specific place like Indraloka or Vladivostok. It is an abstract thing, formless and all pervading. To say there is a tatastha region is like saying something like, "the prefect circle is everywhere, it is clearly visible in millions of minds in millions of placs but it cannot be seen as a concrete reality existing in the physical world"
    -- Muralidhar das

  2. The book which has sparkled the idea that jiva comes from a region called "tatastha" is Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Jaiva Dharma. In Vol. 3 Ch. 15 he says: "The place where a river’s waters meet with the land of the shore is called the “tata.” The “tata” is then the place where the water meets land. What is the nature of this “tata”? It is like the thinnest of threads that runs along the boundary of land and water. A “tata” is like the finest of lines, so small that the gross material eyes cannot even see it. In this example the spiritual world is like the water and the material world is like the land. The thin line that separates them is the “tata.” That boundary place is the abode of the individual spirit souls. The individual souls are like the atomic particles of sunlight. The souls can see both the spiritual world and the material world created by maya."

    In Jaiva Dharma BVT gives a very different and novel interpretation of the meaning of anadi. In the first chapter of Jaiva Dharma he establishes a cause-effect relationship between jiva and maya and thus the question about a specific point in time and free will arises where the term "anadi" has been reinterpreted. So from here the idea of the jiva's fall developed. Right in the beginning of the book, BVT says that the jiva has existed before his "entrance into the material world” or that he "enters Maya's word".

  3. Very interesting.
    Tatastha is not indicating a region, but the particular energy-stream characteristic of Shakti of Sri Bhagavan.
    So there is no choice then, being made by the jiva to choose maya or Bhagavan.
    This does make the most sense.

    How can he/she choose or make an informed choice in this tatastha region? He/she cant. And so its said that it happens by chance, or by mustard seeds falling on an edge of a blade, some fall in maya some fall in Vaikuntha.

    So then Advaita DasJi, do you support the assertion, that whatever bhava you eventually manifest, wether vatsalya or sakhya or tad-tad-bhavaicchamayi-kamanuga-raganuga bhakti, thats already decided beforehand?
    i think, and my thinking is of course limited and material and falliable, but i think simply our sanga chooses along with our acceptance and motivation, to gravitate towards a particular bhava, this gives the jiva full freedom, and this is something to celebrated.
    Do you agree that our bhava is predetermined in the tatastha shakti stage in mahapralaya, or when jivas come across the teachings of the gosvamis?

  4. Anon, there is no falling in maya or in Vaikuntha, we have been here in maya since beginningless time. All śāstras of prasthāna traya and all great ācāryas said so. As for predestination, yes, if you consider receiving the mercy of Guru-Kṛṣṇa as predestined, then that is surely so. But you still consider tatastha a location then? [you say "our bhava is predetermined in the tatastha shakti stage in mahapralaya"]

  5. Dandavat Advaita DasJi. Indeed, i agree that our scriptures talk about anadi-bahirmukh when it comes to jivas who are therefore called anadi-mayabaddha, because in maya there is no freedom to know who you are,
    which is a (jivatma) and what spiritual form you have,
    and in which bhava you are interracting with that spiritual form,
    and in which transcendental loka this interaction is taking place.

    Sorry for my english, but i said that to call tatastha shakti as a region is incorrect and cause of confusion.
    I am agreeing with your understanding, that the individual tatastha jiva is Shakti-ansha,
    and in maya with mayic bodies he/she does not know that fact.

    My question is regarding the spiritual form that the sadhaka meditates on/gravitates towards.
    Does he, (i mean the jiva so she?) anyway, does the jiva have the FREE WILL to choose if he wants to pursue sambandhanuga-raganuga bhakti, or kamanuga-raganuga bhakti?

    For example, i am reading Sri SuradasJi Maharaj's gita press compilation on Vatsalya bhava, and i find it to be infinitely attractive, to imagine serving Sri Yashoda Mata in this way caring for pauganda Sri Gopala.

    And then, i am also aware, or what it means to be Rupanuga, specifically what it means to follow in the footsteps charana-raja of the dasanudasa of Srila Rupa Gosvami, who teaches us not Vatsalya aspiration, but the other shining blue-jewel teaching.
    So BRS with sambandhanuga, and UN with kamanuga.

    so AdvaitaDasJi, what i was asking was, in this life this sadhaka has come across this crossroads.
    So where he/she goes eventually, was it determined before this particular physical incarnation, or was it determined by chance or by mercy of the sanga?

    I certainly dont think that tatastha is a location, but i think, according to my limited understanding, the choice that is made by the jiva, has to happen while being incarnated in mayaloka, and in mahapralaya there is no material world, so there is no question of the tatastha shakti playing out what it want to be, sambandhanuga or kamanuga.

  6. If you agree there is no beginning, how can you still believe in an original choice by the jiva? That would indicate a beginning, right?
    As to your question about free will - no sastra speaks of a free will of the jiva. Please see Bhagavad-gita 3.27, 3.33, 18.60-61.

  7. There is certainly no beginning to the mayabaddha jivas when they "fell" in maya. They are anadi-bahirmukha.
    However, they need not remain forever in maya,
    therefore their journey to Goloka certainly has a beginning in material time, does it not?
    Material time is no small thing, even the appearance of Sri Bhagavan in Vraja which happened over 5000 years ago, is precisely timed, as is the later appearance of Him as Sriman Mahaprabhu in 1407A.D.

    I mean, the tatastha-jiva-Shakti, has never been in Goloka in ANY spiritual form whatsoever, am i right?
    Tatastha-jivas are beginningless in their enmeshment in maya,
    but once a jiva comes across Srila Rupa Gosvami's teachings or in any of the branches of the G.V. line,
    then suddenly, the wheels start turning,
    the mind begins to think aho! is this possible?! how glorious is this path delineated by the Gosvamis.
    Now here is my question, in this scenario.
    Suppose, a maya-baddha jiva, with true sadhana bhajana, achieves the satshatkaar of the Divine Couple within that lifetime. He has chosen his particular form, way, peculiarity of service, has he not? Or was it chosen for him?
    the examples of the saints of braja and the saints of bengal, mentioned in OBL Kapoors books come to mind.
    Just like your Sri Gurudeva Advaita DasJi, he was so unique, and did things in his divine way, with his own peculiarity and his own personality and rebellious attitude. Its brilliant, and all the saints that i have read about, all are absolutely unique, with their own mannerisms, their own understanding of their surroundings, their own take on their spiritual journey, and their own particular leanings of engaging in the service of the Divine Couple.
    I mean, they are not carbon copies of each other in physical form or in spiritual transcendental form.
    Dont they have a "free will" to serve the Divine Couple as they see fit?
    Of course, in their service, their whole and only consideration is to give Ananda to Both, but its not robotic.
    They choose, they want to do their particular service, not because its forced out of them, not because its the right thing to do, not because they want to keep up false appearances, not because of what will people think if they dont, but because its their choice to do this service, they maintain their individuality. I think its brilliant.

  8. There is of course a beginning to the path of liberation. Liberation has a beginning but no end, bondage has no beginning but [may have] an end. The baddha jiva has never been in Goloka or any other spiritual realm before, indeed.
    Form and service are bestowed by Sri Gurudeva, whether assigned or revealed.
    Surely there are many different natures and approaches, yes, but that is according to swabhava, not free will. That is clear from Gita verses I quoted. Service to the Divine Couple is rendered on Sri Guru-manjari's indication only. Happiness lies in subjugation, freedom is an illusion.

  9. Swabhava or nature.
    In the case of the Mayabaddha jivas, prakriti+gunas make it up, as said by Sri Bhagavan in BG 3.33.

    I am wondering, is there something like transcendental "nature"?
    There are 2 "natures" i am referring to.
    One is the plants with chlorophyll and flesh and blood animals and igneous rocks..the whole of maya jagat.
    Two is human nature, with their kama, krodna, lobha, moha, etc.
    Right now, i am enmeshed in maya with all these afflictions mentioned above.
    Like SurdasJi or Tulsidas Ji says in the Ramacharitmanas, i want to transmute all these negative afflictions, into positive traits to enrich the service of the Divine Couple.
    As you have said, AdvaitaDasJi, the tatastha-jiva shakti, has no entry in Goloka, so its not like you as a spiritual form in Goloka ever existed before you "fell" and are now in that sense 'going back to Godhead'.

    So it seems you are saying, that these material swabhava that i have right now, with its mannerisms and personality traits, will be carried over into the transcendental realm under the service of Sri Guru.

    This is very interesting, because it means, that something that never existed before, that is you in your spiritual form, is now able to serve the Divine Couple, with the personality that your time, place and circumstances determined solely in prakriti.
    So your addition to the transcendental Goloka serving under your Sri Guru, is something that never existed before, nor was it predetermined before, nor was it predicted before.

  10. Yes you are right about transmutation of nature, as far as I understood. Rupa Goswami calls it patra vaisistya.
    It is also true that the spiritual body is eternal, though in linear time-frame we are at present conditioned.

  11. Dandavat!
    So, is it right understanding, that Bhagavan has for us such state of conditional beginingless existance?
    And our only endeavour should be how to get out of it?
    By surrendering to Him?

  12. And is it right understanding that everything what is going on in the sphere of eternal time is beginningless?
    Because after all even this mortal world is depending and working in the frame of eternal time. So in deeper sight we can see that material world is also eternal in sense that it's running in the eternal time factor. Jiva can enter (can be put) this sphere of karma which is dependent on eternal time. Therfore it was in the "past" but actualy there is no beginnig of it, because it is going on in the eternal time factor. Everything what is going on in the sphere of eternal time is beginningless? Is it right?

    PS: In my mind: there is no fall down from Vaikuntha, tatastha or anything like this.

  13. Gītā says prakṛtiṁ puruṣam caiva viddhy anādi ubhāv api [ch.13] - "Know that both matter and spirit are beginningless." It does not mean that nothing ever changes, though. There is no beginning to our conditioning but there can be an end to it, while there is no end to liberation but there is a beginning to it, from the viewpoint of this material world at least. There is no fall from Vaikuntha, no.