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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 15. Prameya: Jiva-Tattva


C H A P T E R 15

Prameya: Jiva-Tattva


The next day, Vrajanatha reached Shrivasangana earlier than

on previous days. The Vaishnavas from Godruma had also come

before evening to take darsana of sandhya arati, and Shri Premadasa

Paramahamsa Babaji, Vaishnava dasa, Advaita dasa, and other

Vaishnavas were already seated in the arati-mandapa. When

Vrajanatha saw the bhavas of the Vaishnavas from Godruma, he was

struck with wonder, and thought, "I will perfect my life by having

their association as soon as possible." When those Vaishnavas saw

his humble and devotional disposition, all of them bestowed their

blessings on Vrajanatha.


When arati was over, Vrajanatha and the elderly Babaji began

to walk southwards together in the direction of Godruma.

Raghunatha dasa Babaji saw an incessant stream of tears flowing

from Vrajanatha's eyes and, feeling very affectionate towards him,

asked lovingly, "Baba, why are you weeping?"


Vrajanatha said, "Prabhu, when I remember your sweet instructions,

my heart becomes restless and the entire world seems to be

devoid of all substance. My heart is becoming eager to take shelter

at Shri Gaurangadeva's lotus feet. Please be merciful to me and tell

me who I really am according to tattva, and why I have come to this



Babaji: My dear son, you have blessed me by asking such a question.

The day that the jiva first asks this question is the auspicious

day on which his good fortune arises. If you will kindly hear the

fifth sloka of Dasa-mula, all your doubts will be dispelled.


sphulingah rddhagner iva cid-anavo jiva-nicayah

hareh suryasyaivaprthag api tu tad-bheda-visayah

vase maya yasya prakrti-patir evesvara iha

sa jivo mukto 'pi prakrti-vasa-yogyah sva-gunatah


Just as many tiny sparks burst out from a blazing fire, so the

innumerable jivas are like atomic, spiritual particles in the

rays of the spiritual sun, Shri Hari. Though these jivas are

non-different from Shri Hari, they are also eternally different

from Him. The eternal difference between the jiva and

Isvara is that Isvara is the Lord and master of maya-sakti,

whereas the jiva can fall under the control of maya, even in

his liberated stage, due to his constitutional nature.


Vrajanatha: This is an exceptional siddhanta, and I would like to

hear some Vedic evidence to support it. Shri Bhagavan's statements

are certainly Veda, but still, people will be bound to accept the teachings

of Mahaprabhu if the Upanisads can substantiate this principle.


Babaji: This tattva is described in many places in the Vedas. I will

cite a few of them:


yathagneh ksudra visphulinga vyuccaranti

evam evasmad atmanah sarvani bhutani vyuccaranti

Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (2.1.20)


Innumerable jivas emanate from para-brahma, just like tiny

sparks from a fire.


tasya va etasya purusasya dve eva sthane

bhavata idan ca paraloka-sthanan ca

sandhyam trtiyam svapna-sthanam

tasmin sandhye sthane tisthann ete ubhe

sthane pasyatidan ca paraloka-sthanan ca

Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.3.9)


There are two positions about which the jiva-purusa should

inquire - the inanimate material world, and the spiritual

world. The jiva is situated in a third position, which is a

dreamlike condition (svapna-sthana), and is the juncture

(tatastha) between the other two. Being situated at the place

where the two worlds meet, he sees both the jada-jagat (inert

world) and the cid-jagat (spiritual world).


This sloka describes the marginal nature of jiva-sakti. Again, it

is said in Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.3.18):


tad yatha maha-matsya ubhe kule 'nusancarati

purvan caparan caivam evayam purusa etav ubhav antav

anu sancarati svapnantan ca buddhantan ca


Just as a large fish in a river sometimes goes to the eastern

bank and sometimes to the western bank, so the jiva, being

situated in karana-jala (the water of cause that lies between

the inert and conscious worlds), also gradually wanders to

both banks, the place of dreaming and the place of wakefulness.


Vrajanatha: What is the Vedantic meaning of the word tatastha?


Babaji: The space between the ocean and the land is called the

tata (shore), but the place that touches the ocean is actually nothing

but land, so where is the shore? The tata is the line of distinction

separating the ocean and the land, and it is so fine that it

cannot be seen with the gross eyes. If we compare the transcendental

realm to the ocean, and the material world to the land, then

tata is the subtle line that divides the two, and the jiva-sakti is situated

at the place where the two meet. The jivas are like the countless

atomic particles of light within the sunrays. Being situated in

the middle place, the jivas see the spiritual world on one side and

the material universe created by maya on the other. Just as

Bhagavan's spiritual sakti on one side is unlimited, maya-sakti on

the other side is also very powerful. The innumerable subtle

(suksma) jivas are situated between these two. The jivas are marginal

by nature because they have manifested from Krishna's tatasthasakti

(marginal potency).


Vrajanatha: What is the tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature)?


Babaji: It is the nature that enables one to be situated between

both worlds, and to see both sides. Tatastha-svabhava is the eligibility

to come under the control of either of the saktis. Sometimes

the shore is submerged in the river because of erosion, and then

again it becomes one with the land because the river changes its

course. If the jiva looks in the direction of Krishna - that is, towards

the spiritual world - he is influenced by Krishna sakti. He then enters

the spiritual world, and serves Bhagavan in his pure, conscious,

spiritual form. However, if he looks towards maya, he becomes

opposed to Krishna and is incarcerated by maya. This dual-faceted

nature is called the tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature).


Vrajanatha: Is there any material component in the jiva's original



Babaji: No, the jiva is created solely from the cit-sakti. He can be

defeated - that is, covered by maya - because he is minute by nature

and lacks spiritual power, but there is not even a scent of maya

in the jiva's existence.


Vrajanatha: I have heard from my teacher that when a fraction of

the conscious brahma is covered by maya, it becomes the jiva. He

explained the sky to be always the indivisible maha-akasa, but when

a part of it is enclosed in a pot, it becomes ghata-akasa. Similarly,

the jiva is originally brahma, but when that brahma is covered by

maya, the false ego of being a jiva develops. Is this conception correct?


Babaji: This doctrine is only Mayavada. How can maya touch

brahma? The Mayavadis propose that brahma has no sakti (luptasakti),

so how can maya - which is a sakti - possibly approach

brahma, if sakti is supposed to be non-existent? The conclusion is

that maya cannot possibly cover brahma and cause such a miserable

condition. Conversely, if we accept the transcendental sakti (parasakti)

of brahma, how can maya, which is an insignificant sakti,

defeat the cit-sakti and create the jiva from brahma? Besides, brahma

is indivisible, so how can such a brahma be divided? The idea that

maya can act upon brahma is not acceptable. Maya plays no role in

the creation of the jivas. Admittedly, the jiva is only atomic, but

even so, it is still superior as a tattva to maya.


Vrajanatha: Once another teacher said that the jiva is nothing but

a reflection of brahma. The sun is reflected in water, and similarly,

brahma becomes jiva when it is reflected in maya. Is this conception



Babaji: Again this is simply another example of Mayavada philosophy.

Brahma has no limits, and a limitless entity can never be reflected.

The idea of limiting brahma is opposed to the conclusions

of the Vedas, so this theory of reflection is to be rejected.


Vrajanatha: A dig-vijaya sannyasi once told me that in reality there

is no substance known as jiva. One only thinks of himself as a jiva

because of illusion, and when the illusion is removed, there is only

one indivisible brahma. Is this correct or not?


Babaji: This is also Mayavada doctrine which has no foundation

at all. According to sastra, ekam evadvitiyam: "There is nothing apart

from brahma." If there is nothing except brahma, where has the

illusion come from, and who is supposed to be in illusion? If you

say that brahma is in illusion, you are saying that brahma is not

actually brahma; rather, it is insignificant. And if you propose that

illusion is a separate and independent element, you negate the

undivided oneness (advaya-jnana) of brahma.


Vrajanatha: Once an influential brahmana pandita arrived in

Navadvipa, and in a conference of intellectuals, he established that

only the jiva exists. His theory was that this jiva creates everything

in his dreams, and it is because of this that he enjoys happiness

and suffers distress. Then, when the dream breaks, he sees that he

is nothing but brahma. To what extent is this idea correct?


Babaji: This is, again, Mayavada. If, as they say, brahma is undifferentiated,

how can it possibly produce the jiva and his dreaming

state? Mayavadis use examples, such as, 'the illusion of seeing

mother-of-pearl in an oyster shell as gold' and 'the illusion of taking

a rope to be a snake,' but their philosophy cannot provide a

consistent basis for advaya-jnana.


Vrajanatha: So maya has nothing whatever to do with creating

the svarupa of the jivas - this has to be accepted. At the same time,

I have also clearly understood that the jiva is by nature subject to

the influence of maya. Now I want to know, did the cit-sakti create

the jivas and give them their tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature)?


Babaji: No, the cit-sakti is paripurna-sakti, the complete potency

of Krishna, and its manifestations are all eternally perfect substances.

The jiva is not nitya-siddha, although when he performs sadhana,

he can become sadhana-siddha and enjoy transcendental happiness

like the nitya-siddhas, eternally perfect beings. All the four

types of Shrimati Radhika's sakhis are nitya-siddha, and they are direct

expansions (kaya-vyuha) of the cit-sakti, Shrimati Radhika

Herself. All the jivas, on the other hand, have manifested from Shri

Krishna's jiva-sakti. The cit-sakti is Shri Krishna's complete sakti, whereas

the jiva-sakti is His incomplete sakti. Just as the complete tattvas

are all transformations of the complete potency, similarly innumerable

atomic, conscious jivas are transformations of the incomplete



Shri Krishna, being established in each of His saktis, manifests His

svarupa according to the nature of that sakti. When He is situated

in the cit-svarupa, He manifests His svarupa as Shri Krishna and also

as Narayana, the Lord of Paravyoma; when He is situated in the

jiva-sakti, He manifests His svarupa as His vilasa-murti of Vraja,

Baladeva; and being established in the maya-sakti, He manifests

the three Vishnu forms: Karanodakasayi, Ksirodakasayi and

Garbhodakasayi. In His Krishna form in Vraja, He manifests all the

spiritual affairs to the superlative degree. In His Baladeva svarupa

as sesa-tattva, He manifests nitya-mukta-parsada-jivas, eternally liberated

associates, who render eight types of service to Krishna sesitattva-

svarupa, the origin of sesa-tattva. Again, as sesa-rupa

Sankarsana in Paravyoma, He manifests eight types of servants to

render eight kinds of services as eternally liberated associates of

sesi-rupa Narayana. Maha-Vishnu, who is an avatara of Sankarsana,

situates Himself in the jiva-sakti, and in His Paramatma svarupa,

He manifests the jivas who have the potential to be involved in

the material world. These jivas are susceptible to the influence of

maya, and unless they attain the shelter of the hladini-sakti of the

cit-sakti by Bhagavan's mercy, the possibility of their being defeated

by maya remains. The countless conditioned jivas who have been

conquered by maya are subordinate to the three modes of material

nature. Bearing all this in mind, the siddhanta is that it is only the

jiva-sakti, and not the cit-sakti, that manifests the jivas.


Vrajanatha: You said earlier that the cit world is eternal, and so

are the jivas. If this is true, how can an eternal entity possibly be

created, manifested or produced? If it is created at some point of

time, it must have been non-existent before that, so how can we

accept that it is eternal?


Babaji: The time and space that you experience in this material

world are completely different from time and space in the spiritual

world. Material time is divided into three aspects: past, present

and future. However, in the spiritual world there is only one undivided,

eternally present time. Every event of the spiritual world is

eternally present.


Whatever we say or describe in the material world is under the

jurisdiction of material time and space, so when we say - "The jivas

were created," "The spiritual world was manifested," or "There is

no influence of maya in creating the form of the jivas," - material

time is bound to influence our language and our statements. This

is inevitable in our conditioned state, so we cannot remove the

influence of material time from our descriptions of the atomic jiva

and spiritual objects. The conception of past, present and future

always enters them in some way or another. Still, those who can

discriminate properly can understand the application of the eternal

present when they comprehend the purport of the descriptions

of the spiritual world. Baba, be very careful in this matter.

Give up the inevitable baseness, or the aspect of the description

that is fit to be rejected, and have spiritual realization.


All Vaishnavas say that the jiva is an eternal servant of Krishna,

that his eternal nature is to serve Krishna, and that he is now bound

by maya, because he has forgotten that eternal nature. However,

everyone knows that the jiva is an eternal entity, of which there

are two types: nitya-mukta and nitya-baddha. The subject has been

explained in this way only because the conditioned human intellect

being controlled by pramada (inattentiveness), is unable to

comprehend a subject matter. Realized sadhakas, though, experience

transcendental truth through their cit-samadhi. Our words

always have some material limitation, so whatever we say will have

some mayika defects. My dear son, you should always endeavor to

realize the pure truth. Logic and argument cannot help at all in

this regard, so it is futile to use them to try to understand inconceivable

subject matters.


I know that you will not be able to understand these subjects in

a moment, but as you cultivate these transcendental moods within

your heart, you will realize chinmaya-bhava more and more. In other

words, all the transcendental moods will manifest themselves in

the core of your purified heart. Your body is material, and all the

activities of your body are also material, but the essence of your

being is not material; you are an atomic conscious entity. The more

you know yourself, the more you will be able to realize how your

svarupa is a tattva superior to the world of maya. Even if I tell you,

you will not realize it, or simply be hearing you will not attain it.

Cultivate the practice of chanting hari-nama as much as possible.

As you go on chanting hari-nama, these transcendental bhavas will

begin to manifest in your heart automatically, and to the degree

that they do so, you will be able to realize the transcendental world.

Mind and speech both have their origin in matter, and they cannot

touch the transcendental truth, even with the greatest endeavor.

The Vedas say in Taittiriya Upanisad (2.9)


yato vaco nivartante aprapya manasa saha


The speech and the mind return from brahma, being unable

to attain Him.


I advise you not to inquire about this matter from anyone, but

to realize it yourself. I have just given you an indication (abhasa).


Vrajanatha: You have explained that the jiva is like a spark of a

burning fire, or an atomic particle in the rays of the spiritual sun.

What is the role of jiva-sakti in this?


Babaji: Krishna, who in these examples is compared to the blazing

fire or the sun, is a self-manifest tattva. Within the compass of that

blazing fire or sun - in other words, Krishna - everything is a spiritual

manifestation, and the rays spread far and wide beyond its

sphere. These rays are the fractional function (anu-karya) of the

svarupa-sakti, and the rays within that fractional function are

paramanu (atomic particles) of the spiritual sun. The jivas are compared

to this very localized, atomic tattva. Svarupa-sakti manifests

the world within the sphere of the spiritual sun, and the function

outside the sphere of the sun is carried out by jiva-sakti, which is

the direct partial representation of cit-sakti. Therefore, the activities

related to the jiva are those of jiva-sakti. Parasya saktir vividhaiva

sruyate (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8), "That acintya-sakti is called

para-sakti. Although it is one, this innate potency (sva-bhavikisakti)

has manifold varieties based on jnana (spiritual knowledge),

bala (spiritual strength), and kriya (spiritual activities)." According

to this aphorism of sruti, the cit-sakti is a manifestation of the

para-sakti. It emanates from its own sphere - the spiritual realm -

as the jiva-sakti, and in the marginal region between the spiritual

and the material worlds, it manifests innumerable, eternal jivas,

who are like atomic particles in the rays of the spiritual sun.


Vrajanatha: A burning fire, the sun, sparks, and the atomic particles

of sunshine - these are all material objects. Why has a comparison

been made with these material objects in the discussion

of cit-tattva?


Babaji: As I have already said, inevitably there are material defects

in any material statements we make about cit-tattva, but what alternative

do we have? We are obliged to use these examples, because

we are helpless without them. Therefore, those who know

tattva try to explain cid-vastu by comparing it to fire or the sun. In

reality, Krishna is far superior to the sun; Krishna's effulgence is far

superior to the radiance of the sun; and Krishna's rays and the atoms

in them - that is the jiva-sakti and the jivas - are far superior

to the rays of the sun and the atomic particles in the rays. Still,

these examples have been used because there are many similarities

within them.


Examples can explain some of the spiritual qualities, but not

all. The beauty of the sun's light and the ability of its rays to illuminate

other objects are both qualities that compare with the cittattva,

for it is the quality of spirit to reveal its own beauty and to

illuminate other objects. However, the scorching heat in the

sunrays has no counterpart in the cid-vastu, nor does the fact that

the rays are material. Again, if we say, "This milk is like water," we

are only considering the liquid quality of water in the comparison;

otherwise, if all the qualities of water were present in milk,

why would the water not become milk? Examples can explain certain

specific qualities of an object, but not all of its qualities and



Vrajanatha: The spiritual rays of the transcendental Krishna-sun and

the spiritual atoms within those rays are non-different from the

sun, yet at the same time they are eternally different from it. How

can both these facts be true simultaneously?


Babaji: In the material world, when one object is produced from

another, either the product is completely different from its source,

or else it remains a part of it. This is the nature of material objects.

For example, an egg becomes separate from the mother bird once

it is laid, whereas a person's nails and hair remain part of the body

until they are cut, even though they are produced from his body.

However, the nature of cid-vastu is somewhat different. Whatever

has manifested from the spiritual sun is simultaneously one with

it, and different from it. The rays of the sun and the atomic particles

in the rays are not separate from the sun, even after they

have emanated from it. Similarly, the rays of Krishna's svarupa, and

the atoms in those rays - that is jiva-sakti and the jivas - are not

separate from Him, even though they are produced from Him. At

the same time, although the jivas are non-different from Krishna,

they are also eternally different and separate from Him, because

they have their own minute particle of independent desires. Therefore,

the jiva's difference and non-difference from Krishna is an eternal

truth. This is the special feature of the cit realm.


The sages give a partial example from our experience of inert

matter. Suppose you cut a small piece of gold from a large piece,

and use it to make a bangle. From the perspective of the gold, the

bangle is not different from the original piece of gold; they are nondifferent.

However, from the perspective of the bangle, the two

are different from each other. This example is not a completely

correct representation of cit-tattva, but it illustrates an important

aspect: from the point of view of cit-tattva, there is no difference

between Isvara and the jiva, whereas from the perspective of state

and quantity, these two are eternally different. Isvara is complete

cit, whereas the jiva is atomic cit. Isvara is great, whereas the jiva is

insignificant. Some people give the example of ghata-akasa and

maha-akasa (the sky in a pot, and the unlimited sky) in this regard,

but this example is completely inconsistent with regard to



Vrajanatha: If transcendental entities and material objects belong

to completely different categories, how can material objects be

used as appropriate examples for understanding transcendental



Babaji: There are different categories of material objects, and the

panditas of the Nyaya school consider them eternal. However,

there is no such categorical difference between the cit (transcendental)

and jada (material). I have already said that cit is the only

reality, and jada is simply its transformation (vikara). The vikara is

different from the original source, but it is still similar to the pure,

original object in many respects. For example, ice is a transformation

of water, and it becomes different from water through this

transformation, but the two remain similar in many of their qualities,

such as coldness. Hot and cold water do not both have the

quality of coldness, but their quality of fluidity is the same. Therefore,

the transformed object certainly retains some similarity to

the pure object. According to this principle, the transcendental

(cit) world can be understood to some extent with the help of material

examples. Again, by adopting the logic of arundhati-darsana1,

one can use material examples to understand something about the

spiritual nature.


Krishna's pastimes are completely spiritual, and there is not even

the slightest scent of a material mood in them. The vraja-lila

described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam is transcendental, but when the

descriptions are read in an assembly, the fruits of hearing them are

1 Arundhati is a very small star, which is situated close to the Vasistha

star in the Saptarsi constellation (the Great Bear). In order to view

it, its location is first determined by looking at a bigger star beside

it, then if one looks carefully one can see Arundhati close

by."Similarly, the madhyama-adhikari, although taking help from the

senses and the language of the material world in describing the

spiritual world, realizes and sees the aprakrta-tattva after having applied

the anjana, ointment, of prema to the eyes of bhakti."

different according to the respective qualifications of the various

listeners. Appreciating the ornamental figures of speech from the

mundane perspective, those who are absorbed in material sense

gratification hear it as a story of an ordinary hero and heroine. The

madhyama-adhikaris take shelter of arundhati-darsana-nyaya, and experience

the transcendental pastimes, which are similar to mundane

descriptions. And when the uttama-adhikari bhaktas hear the

descriptions of those pastimes, they become absorbed in the rasa of

pure transcendental cid-vilasa, which is above all mundane qualities.

The Absolute Truth is aprakrta-tattva, so how can we educate

the jivas about it without taking help of the principles that I have

just described? Can the conditioned jiva understand a subject that

renders the voice dumb and stops the working of the mind? There

doesn't appear to be any method of explaining these subjects other

than the principle of similarity, and the logic of arundhati-darsana.


Material objects can be either different or non-different from

each other, so difference and non-difference are not visible in them

at one and the same time, but this is not the case with paramatattva.

We have to accept that Krishna is simultaneously different

and non-different from His jiva-sakti and from the jivas in it. This

bhedabheda-tattva (simultaneous difference and oneness) is said to

be acintya (inconceivable) because it is beyond the limit of human



Vrajanatha: What is the difference between Isvara and the jiva?


Babaji: First you should understand the non-difference between

Isvara and the jiva, and after that, I will explain their eternal difference.

Isvara is the embodiment of knowledge (jnana-svarupa),

the knower (jnata-svarupa), one who considers or reflects (mantasvarupa)

and the enjoyer (bhoktr-svarupa). He is self-effulgent (svaprakasa)

and He also illuminates others (para-prakasa). He has His own

desires (iccha-maya), and He is the knower of all (ksetra-jna). The jiva,

too, is the form of knowledge, the knower, and the enjoyer; he too, is

self-effulgent, and he illuminates others; and he too, has desires, and

is the knower of his own field (ksetra-jna). From this perspective,

there is no difference between them.


However, Isvara is omnipotent, and by dint of this omnipotence,

He is the basis of all these qualities, which are present in Him in

full. These qualities are also present in the atomic jiva, but only to

a minute degree. Thus, the nature and form of Isvara and the jiva

are eternally different from each other because one is complete

and the other is minute; and at the same time, there is a lack of

distinction between Isvara and the jiva because of the similarity

between their qualities.


Isvara is the Lord of svarupa-sakti, jiva-sakti and maya-sakti because

of the completeness of the internal potency (atma-sakti).

Sakti is His maidservant, and He is the Lord of sakti, who is activated

by His desire; this is the svarupa of Isvara. Though the qualities

of Isvara are present in the jiva to a minute degree, the jiva is

nonetheless under the control of sakti.


The word maya has been used in Dasa-mula not only to indicate

material maya, but also to indicate svarupa-sakti. Miyate anaya

iti maya, "Maya is that by which things can be measured." The word

maya refers to the sakti that illuminates Krishna's identity in all the

three worlds, namely, the cit-jagat, acit-jagat, and jiva-jagat. Krishna

is the controller of maya and the jiva is under the control of maya.

Therefore, it is said in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (4.9-10):


asman mayi srjate visvam etat

tasmims canyo mayaya sanniruddhah

mayan tu prakrtim vidyan mayinan tu mahesvaram

tasyavaya-bhutais tu vyaptam sarvam idam jagat


Paramesvara is the Lord of maya, He has created the entire

world wherein the jivas are bound in the illusion of material

identification. It should be understood that maya is His

prakrti, and He is Mahesvara, the controller of maya. This

entire world is pervaded by His limbs.


In this mantra, the word mayi is used to indicate Krishna, the controller

of maya, and prakrti is used to indicate the complete sakti.

His great qualities and nature are the special characteristics of

Isvara; they are not present in the jiva, and he cannot attain them,

even after liberation. It is stated in Brahma-sutra (4.4.17), jagatvyapara-

varjjam prakaranasannihitatvat, "The creation, maintenance

and control of the entire transcendental and inert world is

the work of brahma only, and no one else." Except for this activity

in relation to the cit and acit worlds, all other activities are possible

for liberated jivas. The sruti states, yato va imani bhutani jayante

(Taittiriya Upanisad 3.1): "He is that by which all the jivas are created

and maintained, and into which they enter and become

unmanifest at the time of annihilation." These statements have

only been made in relation to brahma, and they cannot be applied

to the jiva by any amount of manipulation, because there is no

reference to liberated jivas here. The sastras state that it is only

Bhagavan, and not the liberated jiva, who performs activities of

creation, maintenance and annihilation. One may suppose that

the jiva can also perform these activities, but this gives rise to the

philosophy of many isvaras (bahv-isvara-dosa), which is defective.

Therefore, the correct siddhanta is that the jiva is not qualified for

the above-mentioned activities, even when liberated.


This establishes the eternal difference between the jiva and

Isvara, and all learned people support this. This difference is not

imaginary, but eternal; it does not disappear in any state of the

jiva. Consequently, the statement that the jiva is an eternal servant

of Krishna should be accepted as a fundamental statement



Vrajanatha: If one can only prove the eternal difference between

Isvara and the jiva, how can one accept the oneness? Another point

is that, if there is oneness, do we have to accept a state of merging

with Isvara (nirvana)?


Babaji: No, not at all. The jiva is not one with Krishna at any stage.


Vrajanatha: Then why have you spoken about acintya-bhedabheda

(inconceivable oneness and difference)?


Babaji: From the qualitative perspective of cid-dharma, there is

oneness between Krishna and the jivas, but from the quantitative

perspective of their essential nature and individual personalities

(svarupa), there is eternal difference between them. Despite the

eternal oneness, it is the perception of difference that is eternally

prominent. Though the abheda-svarupa is an accomplished fact,

there is no indication that any such state has independent existence.

Rather, it is the manifestation of nitya-bheda (eternal difference)

that is always prominent. In other words, where eternal difference

and eternal oneness are present simultaneously, the perception

of bheda is stronger. For example, let us say the owner of a

house is called Devadatta, his house is simultaneously a-devadatta

(independent of Devadatta) and sa-devadatta (identified with

Devadatta). Even though from some points of view it may be considered

independent of Devadatta, still its specific characteristic

of being identified with Devadatta eternally exists. Similarly, in

the case of Isvara and the jivas, non-difference, or oneness, is not

part of the essential identity, even at the stage of svarupa-siddhi,

just as the house can be called both a-devadatta and sa-devadatta.

From one perspective it may be viewed as a-devadatta, but still, the

real identity is sa-devadatta.


Let me give you another example from the material world. Sky

is a material element, and there is also a basis for its existence, but

even though the basis is present, only the sky is actually visible.

Similarly, even within the abheda existence, the distinctive nityabheda,

which is real, is found, and that is why nitya-bheda is the

only definitive characteristic of the essential reality (vastu).


Vrajanatha: Please explain the eternal nature of the jiva even more



Babaji: The jiva is atomic consciousness and is endowed with the

quality of knowledge and is described by the word aham ('I'). He

is the enjoyer, the thinker, and the one who comprehends. The

jiva has an eternal form which is very subtle. Just as the different

parts of the gross body, the hands, legs, nose, eyes and so on combine

to manifest a beautiful form when established in their respective

places, similarly a very beautiful atomic spiritual body

is manifest, which is composed of different spiritual parts. However,

when the jiva is entangled in maya, that spiritual form is

covered by two material bodies. One of these is called the subtle

body (linga-sarira) and the other is called the gross body (sthulasarira).

The subtle body, which is the first to cover the atomic

spiritual body, is unavoidable (apariharya) from the beginning of

the jiva's conditioned state until his liberation. When the jiva

transmigrates from one body to the next, the gross body changes,

but the subtle body does not. Rather, as the jiva leaves the gross

body, the subtle body carries all its karmas and desires to the next

body. The jiva's change of body and transmigration are carried

out through the science of pancagni (the five fires) which is delineated

in the Vedas. The system of pancagni, such as the funeral

fire, the fire of digestion and rain, has been described in the

Chandogya Upanisad and Brahma-sutra. The jiva's conditioned

nature in the new body is the result of the influences from his

previous births, and this nature determines the varna in which

he takes birth. After entering varnasrama, he begins to perform

karma again, and when he dies, he repeats the same process. The

first covering of the eternal spiritual form is the subtle body, and

the second is the gross body.


Vrajanatha: What is the difference between the eternal spiritual

body and the subtle body?


Babaji: The eternal body is the actual, original body, and it is atomic,

spiritual, and faultless. This is the real object of the ego - the real

'I'. The subtle body arises from contact with matter, and it consists

of three vitiated transformations, namely, of the mind, intelligence

and ego.


Vrajanatha: Are mind, intelligence, and ego material entities? If they

are, how do they have the qualities of knowledge and activity?




bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca

ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir astadha

apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param

jiva-bhutam maha-baho yayedam dharyate jagat

etad-yonini bhutani sarvanity upadharaya

aham krtsnasya jagatah prabhavah pralayas tatha

Bhagavad-gita (7.4-6)


My separated eight-fold apara or maya-prakrti consists of the

five gross elements - earth, water, fire, air and space - and

the three subtle elements - mind, intelligence and false ego.

Besides this, O mighty-armed Arjuna, I have a tatastha-prakrti,

which can also be called para-prakrti (superior nature). That

prakrti is in the form of consciousness, and the jivas. All the

jivas who have manifested from this para-prakrti make the

inert world full of consciousness. The jiva-sakti is called

tatastha because it is eligible for both worlds; the spiritual

world, which is manifest from My antaranga-sakti; and the

material world, which is manifest from My bahriranga-sakti.


Since all created entities are manifested from these two

types of prakrti, you should know that I, Bhagavan, am the

sole original cause of creation and destruction of all the

worlds of the moving and non-moving beings.


These slokas of Gita Upanisad describe the two types of prakrti

of sarva-saktiman Bhagavan. One is called para-prakrti (the superior

energy) and the other is called apara-prakrti (the inferior energy).

They are also known as jiva-sakti and maya-sakti respectively.


The jiva-sakti is called para-sakti, or srestha-sakti (the superior sakti),

because it is full of spiritual atomic particles. The maya-sakti is

called apara (inferior) because it is material and inert (jada).

The jiva is a completely separate entity from the apara-sakti,

which contains eight elements: the five gross elements - earth,

water, fire, air, and space - and the three subtle elements mind,

intelligence and ego. These last three material elements are special.

The aspect of knowledge that is visible in them is material,

and not spiritual. The mind creates a false world by basing its

knowledge of sensual objects on the images and influences that it

absorbs from gross subjects in the mundane realm. This process

has its root in mundane matter, not in spirit. The faculty that relies

on that knowledge to discriminate between real and unreal is

called buddhi, which also has its root in mundane matter. The ego,

or sense of 'I-ness' that is produced by accepting the above knowledge

is also material, and not spiritual.


These three faculties together manifest the jiva's second form,

which acts as the connection between the jiva and matter, and is

called 'the subtle body' (linga-sarira). As the ego of the conditioned

jiva's subtle body becomes stronger, it covers the ego of his eternal

form. The ego in the eternal nature in relationship to the spiritual

sun, Krishna, is the eternal and pure ego, and this same ego

manifests again in the liberated state. However, as long as the eternal

body remains covered by the subtle body, the material self-conception

(jada-abhimana) arising from the gross and subtle body

remains strong, and consequently the abhimana of relation with

spirit is almost absent. The linga-sarira is very fine, so that the

function of the gross body covers it. Thus, identification with the

caste and so on of the gross body arises in the subtle body because

it is covered by the gross body. Although the three elements -

mind, intelligence and ego - are material, the abhimana of knowledge

is inherent in them because they are vitiated transformations

of the function of the soul (atma-vrtti).


Vrajanatha: I understand the eternal svarupa of the jiva to be spiritual

and atomic in nature, and within that svarupa is a beautiful

body composed of spiritual limbs. In the conditioned state, that

beautiful spiritual body remains covered by the subtle body, and

the material covering of the jiva-svarupa in the form of the jadasarira

causes its material transformation (jada-vikara). Now, I want

to know whether the jiva is completely faultless in the liberated



Babaji: The atomic spiritual form is free from defect, but because

of its minute nature, it is inherently weak and therefore incomplete.

The only defect in that state is that the jiva's spiritual form

may be covered through association with the powerful maya-sakti.

It is said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.32),


ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas

tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah

aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah

patanty adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah


O lotus-eyed Lord, non-devotees, such as the jnanis, yogis

and renunciants, falsely consider themselves to be liberated,

but their intelligence is not really pure because they

lack devotion. They perform severe austerities and penances,

and achieve what they imagine to be the liberated

position, but they still fall from there into a very low condition

due to neglecting Your lotus feet.


This shows that the constitution of the jiva will always remain

incomplete, no matter how elevated a stage the liberated jiva may

achieve. That is the inherent nature of jiva-tattva, and that is why

it is said in the Vedas that Isvara is the controller of maya, whereas

the jiva remains eligable to be controlled of maya in all circumstances.