|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 15. Prameya: Jiva-Tattva|
C H A P T E R 15
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
THUS ENDS THE FIFTEENTH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,