Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Original "Why?"

This morning, reading the 7th Chapter of Bhagavad gita, which usually gives me some transcendental pleasure, a question that had previously come up for me reappeared. Why did we, the marginal energy of the Lord, make the wrong choice to come to this material world? Why, if we are superior energy, did we not choose to remain under the protection of the internal energy, rather than be covered by the inferior energy? Now the obvious answer i know: as part & parcel of Parambrahman, we have a spark of free will. Free will is intrinsic to our nature as jivas. So we were given a choice, and we chose to enter the material world to compete with Krishna, to act as false enjoyers and lords. But that begs the question: how could we have made that choice when anyone in knowledge would never have made it, knowing that the consequences would be endless suffering here in this material world?

It does not seem possible to me that we, as jivas, were in knowledge when we made this basic choice. That would imply that we were covered by ignorance from our very beginning. The Sanskrit term, nitya bandha, implies the same: eternally conditioned. So then the question comes back to Krishna. Why, as the all merciful (karuna sindu) friend of the fallen (dina bandhu) would the Supreme Lord cover his own children, his parts and parcels, by ignorance, from what appears to be their very beginning, knowing they would then make the wrong choice?

So, this is my question. If i were deeply sincere, like Adwaita Acarya when he could not understand one verse in the Gita, i would fast until Krishna kindly revealed some answer or gave me an insight to clear up this doubt. Since i am an insincere rascal, such austerity and determination are not possible for me.

I know that this question is related to the controversy over where the jiva actually comes from. I don't buy the official "BBT" version that the jiva was with Krishna in the spiritual world in his original swarup and then fell down. No one falls down from Goloka. I also know that Srila Prabhupada spoke and wrote various different perspectives on this subject, but he stressed that it is not important to know how we got here, but absolutely necessary to know how to get out. Still, our philosophy should be able to clearly explain the ontology of the jiva. How and why did we make this terrible choice to enter samsara?

Ironically, it may only be after we are well on our way out that we'll understand the answer.


Indu said...

The answer to your question is given in the Jaiva Dharma by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Chapters 15-17.

jauvana said...

Dear Indu,
Thanks for your comment. I thought Jaiva Dharma would be the source to look at. Is it online anywhere yet?

Indu said...

Hare Krsna Prabhu,
You can find it here:

Indupati das

Sita-pati das said...

The Supreme Brahman desired to expand his enjoyment by becoming many and expanded into unlimited jivas. In doing so part of his desire manifests as the material world, the srsti-lila, where the pastimes of creation, being lost and then found, forgetting Himself and then remembering, and descending to liberate the conditioned souls all take place.

These are all nectarean pastimes that cause the joy of Brahman to increase unlimitedly.

That is why we are here.

Of course, if you think of yourself as something separate from Brahman this doesn't make sense to you, and you want someone to blame for the fact that you are not "enjoying" (you would be enjoying it if you realized your non-difference from Brahman).

So therefore various other explanations are given where it gets to be "your fault". As long as you think there is fault (which arises from separatist consciousness) then the fault should be yours. Otherwise there is no-one to blame, everything is perfect.

As far as the idea that we fell from the spiritual world, specifically, this can be understood in this way: as a preaching device to shift whatever blame you generate to where it can help you to advance in consciousness.

However, in the case of Srila Prabhupada's presentation it can also be understood as the bhava of a nitya-siddha who has descended from that plane. In this case raganuga-bhakti means following in the footsteps of such a ragatmika-bhakta, and so we should also feel this: "That is our home, let us return there - Back home, back to Godhead!"

If we cultivate this mood, then we will find ourselves there very quickly. In this lifetime, in fact, just as Srila Prabhupada promised.

That has been my conclusion on the whole thing from the viewpoint of tattva and rasa.

jauvana said...

Sita Pati prabhu,
thanks for your comments. But we are not the Supreme Brahman. We are tiny jivas. There is mayavada influence to think we are non different from the Supreme Brahman, and are merely part of His lila to forget himself. We have a spark of free will, so my question is: why did we misuse it? What were the conditions that turned us away from Krishna? Where we originally in knowledge or in ignorance? These questions are not easily answered. We cannot be superficial nor can we avoid the issue of responsibility for being in this samsara. it's no joke unless you're liberated, and even then it's very very rare to go back to Godhead.

Rodney said...

I cannot agree with Sridar Maharaj or Narayana Maharaj's understanding of the origin of the jiva soul. There understanding IS NOT the teachings of our Srila Prabhupada

When one is in Goloka, does one really care what material body they had in the material world After all, we have had billions of them. Isn't the eternal 'present' in Goloka and Vaikuntha beyond the concept of past, present and future in the material world ot mahat-tattva? Which means our perpetual Krishna Consciousness will have no interest in what we were in the past in the material world, nor the future in the material world because we will be too absorbed in our devotional service in the eternal 'presents in Goloka' serving Krishna. Such loving service, always thinking of pleasing the object of our love with unconditional service actually does not allow one the memory of past, present and future of the material 'dream''world and its extended bye product of decay, forgettfulness, changing bodies, to exist.

Why would one want to remember 'that which is not' (Maya)? In fact it is not possible in Goloka because the only reality is Krishna and His dear pure devotees and maya cannot exist there. However if one looks up into the Spiritual Sky in Krishna Lila, they may see a insignificant dark cloud although, like everything else if Goloka, that cloud (mahat-tattva) will only be another aspect of Krishna's beauty in the color of a monsoon cloud

Srila Prabhupada - The living entity's constitutional position is to be a servitor; he has to serve either the illusory Maya or the Supreme Lord. If he serves the Supreme Lord he is in his normal condition, but if he prefers to serve the illusory, external energy, then certainly he will be in bondage.

Srila Prabhupada - In illusion the living entity is serving in this material world. He is bound by his lust and desires, yet he thinks of himself as the master of the world. This is called illusion.

Srila Prabhupada - When a person is liberated, his illusion is over, and he voluntarily surrenders unto the Supreme to act according to His desires.

Srila Prabhupada - The last illusion, the last snare of Maya to trap the living entity, is the proposition that he is God. The living entity thinks that he is no longer a conditioned soul, but God. He is so unintelligent that he does not think that if he were God, then how could he be in doubt? That he does not consider. So that is the last snare of illusion.

Srila Prabhupada - Actually to become free from the illusory energy is to understand Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and agree to act according to His order.

Srila Prabhupada - Real knowledge is the understanding that every living being is eternally a servitor of the Lord, but instead of thinking oneself in that position, the living entity thinks that he is not a servant, that he is the master of this material world, for he wants to lord it over the material nature. That is his illusion. This illusion can be overcome by the mercy of the Lord or by the mercy of a pure devotee. When that illusion is over, one agrees to act in Krishna consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada - A conditioned soul, illusioned by the external energy of matter, does not know that the Supreme Lord is the master who is full of knowledge and who is the proprietor of everything.

Srila Prabhupada - One who does not know Him (Krishna) is under the spell of illusion; he does not become a devotee, but a servitor of Maya. Arjuna, however, after hearing Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, became free from all illusion. - All quotes from B.G. 18.73

Srila Prabhupada - As living spiritual souls, we are all originally Krishna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by the material atmosphere, called Maya, or illusion.

And what is this illusion?

The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, he is said to be in illusion. Translation to the Hare Krishna mantra 1966

When the mayavadi's say the world is an illusion, to them nothing is real because they have no concept that Krishna is the Supreme Creator and enjoys His eternal pastimes in the eternal 'presents’ or Goloka, the permanent imperishable Krishna Conscious Spiritual Sky.

The devotees on the other hand see that if it is not permanent, then it is illusion, only because it does not include Krishna. In this way, that which is illusion means it is temporary, decaying, fading, to the point that eventually it will appear as if it never was – that which is not - Maya.

Srila Prabhupada clearly explains here how the non-Krishna conscious dreams (nitya-baddha consciousness) that are sub-consciously separate from ones marginal nitya-siddha-svarupa rasa body, are then transferred to the ‘creation for the dreaming’ known as the mahat-tattva creation of Maha-Vishnu. This secondary (conditioned) extension of the marginal living entities is known as the nitya-baddha condition of restricted self centred thoughts and awareness manifesting in a dreaming condition of non-Krishna conscious thoughts and desires

Srila Prabhupada - 'There is possibility (falling from Vaikuntha), if you do not stick to the spiritual principle, even if you are in Vaikuntha, you will fall down, what to speak of this material world? Because in the Vaikuntha or in the spiritual world, no contaminated soul can stay there. He will fall down'. Bhag.-Gita class, Honolulu: July 4, 1974)

Srila Prabhupada - “We wanted to give up Krishna.”

Srila Prabhupada therefore clearly tells us that we have never been always conditioned because factually our svarupa body is always in Goloka, only our 'dreaming' consciousness comes to the mahat-tattva from Vaikuntha, although as complicated as it may be to understand, our nitya-baddha conscious condition is only temporarily exists.

In this way, just as the sun dissipates the darkness, when one is fully established as their nitya-siddha authentic eternal body, the darkness or the nitya-baddha counterfeit consciousness will simply not exist. This is because our non-Krishna conscious desires or the nitya-baddha feature of ones marginal identity can never exist in Goloka-Vrndavana or Vaikuntha.

Srila Prabhupada - “Originally everyone is nitya-siddha. Nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti ’sadhya’ kabhu naya sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya Every living entity originally nitya-siddha, “. Srimad-Bhagavatam Class 7.9.4– Mayapur, February 18, 1977

Srila Prabhupada -“The living entity should become purified and regain his svarūpa, his original identity” Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.48

It is a fact that Maha-Vishnu is laying down dreaming and His DREAM IS THE MATERIAL CREATION OR MAHAT-TATTVA

“This material creation is the spirit soul’s dream. Actually all existence in the material world is a dream of Maha-Visnu, as the Brahma Samhita describes:

Yah karanarnava – jale bhajati sma yaga
Nidram ananta – jagad- anda- saroma- kupah

This material world is created by the dreaming of Maha-Visnu. The real factual platform is the spiritual world, but when the spirit soul wants to imitate the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is put into this dreamland of material creation.”Purport to SB. 4.29.83.

This description of the material dreaming characteristic of our marginal (nitya-baddha identity) has been a controversial subject for so long however, Shiva must understand that the dreams of Maha-Vishnu and the dreams of the marginal living entity, that takes residence within Maha-Vishnu’s material dreaming creation, are certainly not on the same 'mental' state' of illusionary dreams that we all have in our present material biological bodies.

No, it is not like that interpretation of the word dream.

Maha-Vishnu is sleeping and dreaming and our bodily vessels and their surroundings are all part and parcel of His mahat-tattva dream
"The modes of nature divide the soul's consciousness into normal wakefulness, dreaming and dreamless sleep. All such varieties of perception, however, are actually Maya and exist only like a dream". Text 34 Purport Canto 11

Srila Prabhuapada calls non-Krishna Conscious thoughts, dreams and says we are ‘thinking’ or ‘dreaming’ that we are separated from Krishna but actually there is simply a cloud covering our vision of seeing Krishna and who we really are.

What does this mean

The secondary nitya-baddha 'dreaming' conscious state of the jiva-tatastha, is an authentic and real condition that ALL living entities can activate if they choose to use their free will and ignore Krishna and their authentic 'svarupa' body they serve Krishna as. The permanent bodily Krishna Conscious nitya-siddha feature of the marginal living entity is the bona fide permanent spiritual identity that ALL marginal living entities are endowed with.

Srila Prabhupada - "Our position is like that, sometimes covered, sometimes free, just like at the edge of the tide. As soon as we forget, immediately the illusion is there. Just like as soon as we sleep, dream is there”.
Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. This is the secret in understanding in all the Vedic literature.” SB. 4.29.2b.

We are all dreaming as our nitya-baddha secondary self within the dreams of Maha-Vishnu Our authentic constitutional eternal self is nitya-siddha in Goloka

Srila Prabhupada also uses the analogy of the cloud covering the sun, its not that the sun is not there, but rather is that we cannot see the sun similarly, the nitya-baddha consciousness is like the cloud and the only when that cloud (nitya-baddha consciousness) dissipates, can we see the sun or our true perpetual Krishna Conscious nitya-siddha bodily identity.

The problem with the dream analogy is many foolishly relate this dream state with the biological body of nine gates. This is due to not understanding what the 'dream' means in this context in relation to maha-Vishnu. The DREAMING CONCEPT simply means we have ALL come down from Goloka and our consciousness has become covered like a cloud covers the sun, or like dust covers the mirror or like smoke covers the fire - dreaming simply means being covered to the point you cannot see who you really are, just like in the dark, one cannot see themselves and those around them due to the absents of light, therefore, presently a blanket of 'darkness' covers the marginal living entity in the material world, that 'blanket of darness' is called the nitya-baddha consciousness. The uncovered state is ones real eternal DEVOTIONALLY ACTIVE BODILY identity called the nitya-siddha genuin self that perpetually resides in Krishna's eternal pastimes in Goloka.

The marginal living entity therefore can choose to use their 'marginal' freewill and venture as the non-Krishna Conscious covered nitya-baddha characteristic (the covered state) of their marginal identity to the mahat-tattva 'dreaming' creation of Maha-Vishnu. The nitya-baddha consciousness therefore is an existent living part and parcel of ones own marginal potency or individual identity that is a secondary feature of the individual living entity that’s restricted view simply manifests due to ones REAL authentic nitya-siddha bodily identity being covered like the cloud blocks out the sun or like ones dreams at night makes one forget their present body.
In this way the mahat-tattva DREAM is real, however it is also temporary due to its fading scenery of past, prsent and future and that is why it is called illusion, that which is not - Maya.

Each living entity has their ceaseless nitya-siddha Krishna Conscious bodily identity in Goloka or Vaikuntha and also has the ability, due to the freedom to choose, to arouse their non-Krishna conscious desire, thoughts and imaginings that ARE like a dark cloud that covers ones perpetual ‘svarupa’ identity. This ‘lower self or secondary consciousness’ blocks out ones awareness, service and vision of real permanent self and is known as ones nitya-baddha COVERED consciousness, a state of restricted perception that all marginal living entities can trigger (be covered by) if they no longer want to stay with Krishna in Goloka..

In this way this attribute within the mahat-tattva or material creation and the impersonal Brahmajyoti, ones jiva-soul identity is 10,000th the size of a tip of hair IN OUR dimension of awareness within the maha-tattva, AND can also move on to a dreamless dormant state within the impersonal trait of the Brahmajyoti that can only also exist outside the personal active realm of Goloka and Vaikuntha.

The Impersonal feature of Brahman or the Brahmajyoti cannot exist as independent effulgence because factually that effulgence IS the marginal living entities secondary nitya-baddha consciousness in an inactive dormant dreamless state.

Srila Prabhupada says that only those who DO NOT 'DREAM' of selfish independance in the material world with their mistaken desires, thoughts, aspirations and imaginations of grandur, are in always Goloka in their original bodily constitutional position and Never FALL DOWN OR COME DOWN to the material creation. They have chosen to NEVER dreamin of the material world. This means prsently we are caught up in a dream we think is real but in comparison to the eternal 'presents' in Goloka, it is only real for a short time, then fades away to the point that it never was, hence the meaning of Maya, that which is not.

THIS IS WHAT THE WORD DREAM MEANS IN THIS ABSOLUE CONTEXT. The dream we are presently having in the material creation or mahat-tattva, that IS our material body and mind and its surroundings, is an illusion (that is real but temporary) created by Maha-Vishnu; hence dream means illusion in the material world, something that fades away to the point that it will seem that it never really existed. Real existence is permanent and never fades away. Therefore the material 'dream' existence is real, but only temporarily real. Eventually your material body and mine will be as if it never was, as if it never even existed in the first place.

Srila Prabhupada - "Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. That is the secret understanding in all Vedic literature" Text 1b:Canto 4 Purport Srimad Bhagavatam

Srila Prabhupada - "One is actually dreaming due to incomplete knowledge, just as one may dream that one has wakened from a dream". Canto 11 Text 30 Purport

Srila Prabhupada - "As an object of enjoyment or a permanent residence for the conditioned souls, the material universe is certainly illusion, nothing more than a dream. One may give the analogy that the vision of abundant water in a desert is no more than a dream, although real water exists elsewhere. Similarly, the vision of home, happiness and reality within matter is certainly no better than a foolish dream in which repeated miseries appear.

In another sense, however, the universe is real. In his commentary on Vedanta-sūtra, Śrīla Madhvācārya has confirmed this by quoting the following statement from the Vedic śruti-mantras: satyam hy evedam viśvam asrjata. "This universe, created by the Lord, is real." The perfect authority of the Vedas thus certifies this universe to be real; nevertheless, because our knowledge is stolen by illusion (as indicated here by the words asta-dhisanam), we cannot properly understand this universe or the Supreme Lord who has created it. As the expansion of Lord Krishna, the universe is real and is meant for being engaged in His service. One who accepts the kingdom of God as home, the Lord Himself as the object of love, and the material universe as paraphernalia for being engaged in the Lord's service dwells within eternal reality wherever he may go within the material and spiritual worlds".Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.14.22 Purport

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.29.71


When the living entity is in deep sleep, when he faints, when there is some great shock on account of severe loss, at the time of death, or when the body temperature is very high, the movement of the life air is arrested. At that time the living entity loses knowledge of identifying the body with the self.

Srila Prabhupada's purport - "Foolish people deny the existence of the soul, but it is a fact that when we sleep we forget the identity of the material body and when we awake we forget the identity of the subtle body. In other words, while sleeping we forget the activities of the gross body, and when active in the gross body we forget the activities of sleeping".

Srila Prabhupada - "Actually both states — sleeping and waking — are creations of the illusory energy. The living entity actually has no connection with either the activities of sleep or the activities of the so-called wakened state".

Your servant Vigraha dasa (Melbourne)

Rodney said...

It is at that 'time', when one has finally re-established themselves as who they really are, (their endless nitya-siddha-svarupa body that is eternally their Krishna Conscious identity), the dark troublesome cloud of past, present and future of the mahat-tattva is lifted and no longer exists just as darkness can no longer exist in the presents of light. When one reaches this realization, one's so called fall down will be as if it never happened. "Never happened" because there is no past tense AT ALL in Goloka.

Sita-pati das said...

Jauvana prabhu, our Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy is acinyta bheda-abheda-tattva. So simultaneous oneness *is* there.

If we think it is only one then we are advaitins. If we say there is only difference that is dvaita.

We are each the expression of the Supreme Brahman experiencing as an individual, out of joy.

God is us, but we are not God.

So we can say that we are not the Supreme Brahman, but the Supreme Brahman is us.

Just like a jewel has many facets. Through each of these facets the same heart of the jewel shines, and they are part of the one jewel, and at the same time each has its own individual identity and nature.

Both exist simultaneously.