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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Amnaya Sutra > Part one > Chapter-VI

Chapter Six

Jiva-tattva-prakarana

The Nature of the Individual Spirit Souls

 

 

Sutra 30

 

 

paratma-surya-kirana-paramanavo jivah

 

     paratma - of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; surya - of the sun; kirana - rays of light; paramanavah - atoms; jivah - the individual spirit souls.

 

 

     The individual spirit souls are rays of light coming from the sun of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:

 

 

yathagneh kshudra visphulinga vyuccaranti evam evasmad atmanah sarvani bhutani vyuccaranti.

 

 

     "As sparks fly from a fire, so the individual spirit souls are manifest from the Supreme."

 

     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (5.9) it is said:

 

 

balagra-shata-bhagasya

     shatadha kalpitasya ca

bhago jivah sa vijneyah

     sa canantyaya kalpate

 

 

     "If we divide the tip of a hair into one hundred parts and then take one part and divide this into another one hundred parts, that ten-thousandth part is the dimension of the living entity. Knowing this fact, a soul becomes eligible for liberation."*

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (7.4-5), Lord Krishna explains:

 

 

bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh

     kham mano buddhir vea ca

ahankara itiyam me

     bhinna prakritir ashtadha

 

apareyam itas tv anyam

     prakritim viddhi me param

jiva-bhutam maha-baho

     yayedam dharyate jagat

 

 

     "Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego, all together these eight constitute My separated material energies. Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature."*

 

     Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 20.108-109) explains:

 

 

jivera svarupa haya krishnera nitya dasa

krishnera tatastha shakti bhedabheda-prakasha

 

suryamshu kirana yena agni jvala caya

 

 

     "It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krishna because he is the marginal energy of Krishna and a manifestation simultaneously one and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire."*

 

 

Sutra 31

 

 

ubhaya-vaibhava-yogyas tatastha-dharmat

 

     ubhaya - both; vaibhava - potencies; yogyah - suitable; tata - in the margin; stha - staying; dharmat - because of the nature.

 

 

     Because the individual spirit souls are situated between them, the souls can stay in either of the Lord's two energies.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad it is said:

 

 

asya va etasya purushasya dve eva sthane bhavata idam ca para-loka-sthanam ca sandham tritiyam svam.

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead has two abodes: the spiritual world and the material world. The individual spirit souls are situated between those worlds."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said:

 

 

tasmad bhavadbhih kartavyam

     karmanam tri-gunatmanam

bija-nirharanam yogah

     pravaha-paramo dhiyah

 

 

     "Therefore please destroy the seeds of material actions, which are based on the three modes of nature, and fix your thoughts on the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

     Shri Nimbarka Svami explains:

 

 

anadi-maya-parimukta-rupam tv enam vidur vai bhagavat-prasadat. baddham ca muktam ca kila baddha-muktam prabheda-bahulyam tathapi bodhyam.

 

 

     "By the mercy of the Lord the devotees understand the nature of the beginningless material world and the nature of liberation from it."

 

 

Sutra 32

 

 

svarupatah shuddha-cin-mayah

 

     svarupatah - by nature; shuddha - pure; cit - spirit; mayah - consisting of.

 

 

     By nature they are pure spirit.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.3.11) it is said:

 

 

svapnena shariram api prahatyasuptah suptan abhicakashiti shukram adaya punar eti sthanam hiranmayam purusha eka hamsah.

 

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is graceful like a swan, wakens the souls sleeping in material bodies and takes them back to His effulgent spiritual abode."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said:

 

 

atma nityo 'vyayah shuddha

     ekah kshetrajna ashrayah

avikriyah sva-drig-ghetur

     vyapako sanganavritah

 

 

     " `Atma' refers to the Supreme Lord or the living entities. Both of them are spiritual, free from birth and death, free from deterioration, and free from material contamination. They are individual, they are knowers of the external body, and they are the foundation or shelter of everything. They are free from material change, they are self-illuminated, they are the cause of all causes, and they are all-pervading. They have nothing to do with the material body, and therefore they are always uncovered."*

 

     Shri Sha\nkaracaraya explains:

 

 

atha sthitam caitat nyayato nityam svarupam chaitanya-jyotishtamatmanah.

 

 

     "Thus by logic it is proved that the soul is eternal, conscious, and effulgent."

 

 

Sutra 33

 

 

asmad-arthah

 

     asmat - us; arthah - the meaning.

 

 

     We are the individual spirit souls, each of us endowed with a distinct identity.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (5.8) it is said:

 

 

angushtha-matro ravi-tulya-rupah

     sankalpahankara-samanvito yah

buddher gunenatma-gunena caiva

     aragra-matro 'py aparo 'pi drishtah

 

 

     "The conditioned soul is small like a thumb, splendid like the sun, and filled with false-ego and material desire. Different from him is the Supersoul, whose form is also very small, but who is filled with intelligence and spiritual knowledge."

 

     In Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda it is said:

 

 

aham-artho 'vyayah kshetri

     bhinna-rupah sanatanah

adahyo 'cchedyo 'kledyo

     'shoshya eva ca

evam-adi-gunair yuktam

     shesha-bhutah parasya vai

 

 

     "I am the knower of the field of activities that is the material body. I am different from the body. I am eternal. I cannot be burned, cut, moistened, or dried. I have many other spiritual qualities like these."

 

     Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 22.9-10) explains:

 

 

vibhinnamsha jiva tanra shaktite ganana

 

sei vibhinnamsha jiva dui ta prakara

eka nitya mukta eka nitya samsara

    

 

     "The separated expansions are living entities. Although they are expansions of Krishna, they are counted among His different potencies. The living entities (jivas) are divided into two categories. Some are eternally liberated, and others are eternally conditioned."*

 

 

Sutra 34

 

 

jnana-jnatritva-gunakash ca

 

     jnana - knowledge; jnatritva - the state of being the knower; gunakah - the quality; ca - also.

 

 

     The souls also have the quality of being knowers of knowledge.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.9) it is said:

 

 

esho 'nur atma cetasa veditavyo

     yasmin pranah pancadha sannivesha

pranaish cittam sarvam otam prajanam

     yasmin vishuddhe vibhaty esha atma

 

 

     "The soul is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. The atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air (prana, apana, vyana, samana, and udana), is situated within the heart, and spreads its influence all over the body of the embodied living entities."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.10.8) it is said:

 

 

vilakshanah sthula-sukshmad

     dehad atmekshita sva-drik

yathagni-daruno dahyad

     dahako 'nyah prakashakah

 

 

     "Just as fire, which burns and illuminates, is different from firewood, which is to be burned to give illumination, similarly the seer within the body, the self-enlightened spirit soul, is different from the material body, which is to be illuminated by consciousness. Thus the spirit soul and the body possess different characteristics and are different entities."***

 

     In his commentary on Vedanta-sutra, Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana explains:

 

 

jna eva atma jnana-svarupate sati jnatri-svarupah.

 

 

     "By its nature the soul possesses knowledge."

 

 

Sutra 35

 

 

paresha-vaimukhyat tesham avidyabhiniveshah

 

     paresha - to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vaimukhyat - because of aversion; tesham - of them; avidya - ignorance; abhiniveshah - entrance.

 

 

     Because they rebelled against the Supreme Lord they have entered into ignorance.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.1-2) it is said:

 

 

 

dva suparna sayuja sakhaya

     samanam vriksham praishasvajate

tayor anyah pippalam svadv atty

     anashnann anyo 'bhicakashiti

 

 

     "The individual spirit soul and the Supersoul, Supreme Personality of Godhead, are like two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree (the sense gratification afforded by the material body), and the other bird (the Supersoul) is not trying to eat these fruits, but is simply watching His friend.*

 

 

samane vrikshe purusho nimagno

     'nishaya shocati muhyamanah

jushtam yada pashyati anyam isham

`    asya mahimanam iti vita-shokah

 

 

     "Although the two birds are on the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord, and knows His glories, at once the suffering bird becomes free of all anxieties."*

 

 

     "

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.37) it is said:

 

 

bhayam dvitiyabhiniveshatah syad

     ishad apetasya viparyaya-smritih

 

 

     "When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krishna, he is overpowered by fear. Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed. In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Krishna, he becomes Krishna's competitor. This is called `viparyayo 'smritih'."*

 

     Shri Nayanananda dasa sings:

 

 

kali-ghora timire    garasala jagajana

          dharana karama bahu-dura

asadhane cintamani    vidhi milaula ani

          gora bada dayara thakura

 

 

     "Plunged by their materialistic deeds into the terrible darkness of Kali-yuga, the people cannot find the cintamani jewel of Lord Gaura's mercy.

 

 

bhai re bhai    gora guna

          kahane na yaya

kata shata-anana  kata catur-anana

          baraniya ura nahi paya

 

 

     "O my brother! O my brother! No one has told you the glories of Lord Gaura. How great is Lord Brahma? How great is Lord Shesha? They are not as great as Lord Gaura.

 

 

cari veda    shad-darashana padiya se

          jadi gauranga nahi bhaje

kiba tara adhyayana  locana vihina jena

          darpane kiba tara kaje

 

 

     "What use are the four Vedas and the six systems of philosophy if one does not worship Lord Gauranga? Why study them? What use is a mirror to a blind man?

 

 

veda vidya dui  kichui na janata

          sei jadi gauranga jane sara

nayanananda bhane sei   se sakala jane

          sarva-siddhi kara-tale tara

 

 

     "If one knows the two kinds of Vedic knowledge, he still does not know anything. But if one knows Lord Gauranga, he knows the most precious knowledge. Nayanananda says: Such a person knows everything. All perfections stay in the palm of his hand."

 

 

Sutra 36

 

 

sva-svarupa-bhramah

 

     sva - own; svarupa - identity; bhramah - mistake.

 

 

     They are bewildered about their own identity.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.3-4) it is said:

 

 

     tad yatha trina-jalayuka trinasyantam gatvanyam akramyatmanam upasamharaty evayam atmedam shariram nihatya vidyam gamayitvanyam akramyatmanam upasamharati.

 

 

     "As, coming to the end of one leaf a snail transfers itself to another, so the soul leaves one body and enters another.

 

 

     ayam atmedam shariram nihatyavidya gamayitvanyan navataram kalyanataram rupam kurute pitryam va gandharvam va devam prajapatyam va brahmam vanyesham va bhutanam.

 

 

     "As a goldsmith takes one gold object and fashions it into another, so the soul leaves one body and attains another, a better body, the body of a pita, gandharva, deva, prajapati, Brahma, or other exalted being."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.30.4 and 6) it is said:

 

 

jantur vai bhava etasmin

     yam yam yonim anuvrajet

tasyam tasyam sa labhate

     nirvritim na virajyate

 

 

     "The living entity, in whatever species of life he appears, finds a particular type of satisfaction in that species, and he is never averse to being situated in such a condition."*

 

 

atma-jaya-sutagaram

     pashu-dravina-vastushu

nirudha-mula-hridaya

     atmanam bahu manyate

 

 

     "Such satisfaction with one's standard of living is due to deep-rooted attraction for body, wife, home, children, animals, wealth, and friends. In such association the conditioned soul thinks himself quite perfect."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 20.122) it is said:

 

 

maya-mugdha jivera nahi krishna-smriti-jnana

 

 

     "The conditioned soul cannot revive his Krishna consciousness by his own effort."*

 

 

Sutra 37

 

 

vishama-kama-karma-bandhah

 

     vishama - painful; kama - of material desires; karma - actions; bandhah - bondage.

 

 

     They suffer in bondage created by material activities.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.5) it is said:

 

 

sa va ayam atma. . . yathakari yathacari tatha bhavati. sadhu-kari sadhu bhavati papa-kari papi bhavati punya-punyena karmana bhavati papah papena.

 

 

     "As the spirit-soul acts, so he becomes. If he acts piously, he becomes a saint. If he performs sins, he becomes a rogue. He is pious by saintly deeds and a sinner by sins."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.30.7) it is said:

 

 

sa dahyamana sarvanga

     esham udvahanadina

karoty aviratam mudho

     duritani durashayah

 

 

     "Although he is always burning with anxiety, such a fool always performs all kinds of mischievous activities, with a hope which is never to be fulfilled, in order to maintain his so-called family and society."*

 

     Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 22.14) explains:

 

 

kama krodhera dasa hana tara lathi khaya

 

 

     "In this way the conditioned soul becomes the servant of lusty desires, and when these are not fulfilled, he becomes the servant of anger and continues to be kicked by the external energy, maya."*

 

 

Sutra 38

 

 

sthula-lingabhimana-janita-samsara-kleshash ca

 

     sthula - the gross material body; linga - the subtle material body; abhimana - identification; janita - created; samsara - in the world of birth and death; kleshah - torubles; ca - also.

 

 

     Because he falsely identifies with the gross and subtle material bodies, the soul suffers in the world of birth and death.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.5) it is said:

 

 

avidyayam antare vartamanah

     svayam dhirah panditam manyamanah

dandramyamanah pariyanti mudha

     andhenaiva niyamana yathandhah

 

 

     "Following the path of ignorance even though they think themselves very wise, blind fools become leaders of others. In this way the blind lead the blind."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.30.14) it is said:

 

 

tatrapy ajata-nirvedo

     bhriyamanah svayam-bhritaih

jarayopatta-vairupya-

     maranabhimukho grihe

 

 

     "The foolish family man does not become averse to family life although he is maintained by those whom he once maintained. Deformed by the influence of old age, he prepares himself to meet ultimate death."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 20.118) it is said:

 

 

ata eva maya tare deya samsara-duhkha

 

kabhu svarga uthaya kabhu narake dubaya

dandya-jane raja jena nadite cubaya

 

 

     "The illusory energy (maya) gives the living entity all kinds of misery in his material existence.*

 

     "In the material condition, the living entity is sometimes raised to higher planetary systems and material prosperity and sometimes drowned in a hellish situation. His state is exactly like that of a criminal whom a king punishes by submerging him in water and then raising him again from the water."*

 

 

Sutra 39

 

 

tat-sammukhyat sarva-klesha-hani-vrittih svarupa-praptish ca

 

     tat - to Him; sammukhyat - by facing; sarva - all; klesha - troubles; hani - destruction; vrittih - activity; svarupa - own form; praptih - attainment; ca - and.

 

 

     By turning to the Lord and becoming favorable to Him, the soul attains his original form and thus becomes free of all his troubles.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (1.11) it is said:

 

 

jnatva devam sarvam pashapahanih

     kshinaih kleshair janma-mrityu-prahanih

 

 

     "By understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a person becomes free of all material bondage, his sufferings perish, and he escapes the cycle of repeated birth and death."

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.3) it is said:

 

 

yada pashyah pashyate rukma-varnam

     kartaram isham purusham brahma-yonim

tada vidvan punya-pape vidhuya

     niranjanah paramam samyam upaiti

 

 

     "Then the individual spirit soul becomes enlightened. Then he sees the effulgent Supreme Personality of Godhead, the creator of all. Casting away the reactions of all pious and sinful deeds, and now pure and untouched by matter, the individual soul becomes liberated like the Lord Himself."

 

     In the Vishnu-dharma Purana it is said:

 

 

janmantara-sahasreshu

     tapo-jnana-samadhibhih

naranam kshina-papanam

     krishna-bhaktih prajayate

 

 

     "After thousands of births spent in austerities, study, and meditation, when all their sins are completely destroyed, the living entities can attain devotional service to Lord Krishna."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.9.6) it is said:

 

 

tavad bhayam dravina-deha-suhrin-nimittam

     shoka-spriha paribhavo vipulash ca lobhah

tavan mamety asad-avagraha arti-mulam

     yavan na te 'nghrim abhayam pravrinita lokah

 

 

     "O my Lord, the people of the world are embarrassed by all material anxieties. They are always afraid. They always try to protect wealth, body, and friends, they are filled with lamentation and unlawful desires and paraphernalia, and they avariciously base their undertakings on the perishable conceptions of `my' and `mine'. As long as they do not take shelter of Your safe lotus feet, they are full of such anxieties."*

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 20.120) it is said:

 

 

sadhu shastra kripaya jadi krishnonmukha haya

sei jiva nistare maya tahare chadaya

 

 

     "If the conditioned soul becomes Krishna conscious by the mercy of saintly persons who voluntarily preach scriptural injunctions and help him to become Krishna conscious, the conditioned soul is liberated from the clutches of maya, who gives him up."*

 

 

Sutra 40

 

 

antarangopalabdhis tat-sammukhyam

 

     antaram - within; ga - gone; upalabdhih - perception; tat - to Him; sammukhyam - favorableness.

 

 

     When he becomes favorable to the Lord, the soul can see the Lord face-to-face.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.3.10-12) it is said:

 

 

indriyebhyah para hy artha

     abhyarthash ca param manah

manasash ca para buddhir

     buddher atma mahan parah

 

 

     "Higher than the senses are the sense-objects. Higher than the sense-objects is the mind. Higher than the mind is the intelligence. Higher than the intelligence is the soul. Higher than the soul is the mahat-tattva.

 

 

mahatah param avyaktam

     avyaktat purushah parah

purushan na param kincit

     sa kashtha sa para gatih

 

 

     "Higher than the mahat-tattva is the unmanifested. Higher than the unmanifested is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nothing is higher than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the highest. He is the supreme destination.

 

 

esha sarveshu bhuteshu

     gudhatma na prakashate

drishyate tv agryaya buddhya

     sukshma-darshibhih

 

 

     "He is the Supersoul hiding in all living beings, but He does not reveal Himself to them. He is seen only by they who with great intelligence have the power to see spirit."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.32.36) it is said:

 

 

atma-tattvavabodhena

     vairagyena dridhena ca

iyate bhagavan ebhih

     su-guno nirgunah sva-drik

 

 

     "By understanding the science of self-realization and by developing a strong sense of detachment, one who is expert in understanding the different processes of self-realization realizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is represented in the material world as well as in transcendence."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.10.7-8) it is said:

 

 

vilakshana-sthula-sukshmad

     dehad atmekshita-svadrik

yathagnir daruno dahya

     dahakanyah prakashakah

 

 

     "Just as fire, which burns and illuminates, is different from firewood, which is to be burned to give illumination, similarly the seer within the body, the self-enlightened spirit soul, is different from the material body, which is to be illuminated by consciousness. Thus the spirit soul and the body possess different characteristics and are different entities."***

 

     Shrila Jiva Gosvami explains:

 

 

sammukhyam dvi-vidham nirvishesham ayam savishesham ayam ca. tatra purvam jnanam uttaram tu dvi-vidham ahangrahopasana-rupam bhakti-rupam ca.

 

 

     "The state of being favorable and turning to the Lord is of two kinds: 1. approaching the Lord as the qualityless impersonal Brahman, and 2. approaching the Lord as the Supreme Person who has transcendental qualities. Thus there are two kinds of knowledge: 1. worshiping the impersonal Supreme as one's own self, and 2. worshiping the Supreme Person by serving Him with devotion."

 

     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 22.14) it is said:

 

 

bhramite bhramite yadi sadhu vaidya paya

 

tanra upadesha mantre pishaci palaya

krishna-bhakti paya tabe krishna nikata yaya

 

 

     "Wandering and wandering throughout the universe, the conditioned soul may by chance get the association of a devotee physician, whose instructions and hymns make the witch of external energy flee. The conditioned soul thus gets into touch with the devotional service of Lord Krishna, and in this way he can approach nearer and nearer to the Lord."*