NOTE: The following document was originally offered in October of 1992 to the then leaders of the ISKCON Vaishnava Community.
“Some devotees have requested me to write something more succinct in relation to the conclusions of the constitutional position of the Marginal potency of the Lord, or the Tatastha-jivas (living entities) as explained in the Tatastha-Shakti-Tattva publication. It is not very easy to try to present in a concise form a topic of such absolute tenor as the “origin” of the jiva, particularly when we are dealing with intelligent devotees who during long periods, or decades even, are inclined to believe that the jiva falls from Goloka. In any case, for the sake of satisfying those devotees’ request we are trying to present here in brief a logical and basic understanding of this subtle-most issue. The complete shastric elaboration of the following conclusions is found in the Tatastha-Shakti-Tattva publication, compiled and published on 1991, when it was originally copyrighted to then declared copyright-free by the author in 1992.
“It is stated in Chaitanya-Charitamrita (Adi-lila, 2.101-104) that the Lord possesses three basic energies: the internal spiritual energy or Antaranga shakti (also known as Chit-shakti or Svarupa-shakti); the external energy or Bahiranga-shakti, and the marginal energy or Tatastha-shakti. The external energy manifests the material world, which constitutes one fourth of the total spiritual creation. The mistress of the external energy Mayadevi, lives very far away from the spiritual domain of the Antaranga-shakti. She also cannot influence the Tatastha-shakti in the marginal neutral area, Tatastha or Viraja River, which divides the spiritual from the material world (Cc. Madhya-lila, 8.64). It is concluded by Srila Jiva Gosvamipada (Sri Tattva-Sandarbha, Vol. 6. Anuccheda 32) that in the spiritual realm there is no possibility of any influence from Mayadevi, nothing would impel the living entities —who in their eternal svarupa are personal associates of the Lord— to glance toward the material creation when it is, first, divided by the neutral curtain of the Tatastha area, and second, it is so far opposite and distant from where they live.
“The eternal associates of the Lord never feel any need to experience material existence neither the desire to lord it over, since everyone there is eternally self-satisfied as Krishna’s lovers and is protected by Him (Bhag. 1.14.33). If someone thinks that a person in the spiritual world has the independent will power to decide to reject his-her spiritual body to cover it with a material body, or to return to the shape of a spiritual spark, such a person is directing his-her intelligence toward impersonalism.
“The internal energy, or Antaranga-shakti, is superior to the marginal energy, or Tatastha-shakti; in turn the marginal energy is superior to the external energy, or Bahiranga-shakti (Cc. Adi-lila, 2.96). Although everything is ultimately ruled by the internal energy of the Lord, these energies have different functions and degrees of exaltations according to the desire of the Lord. The Lord generates His different expansions —out of which the jivas are His separated or vibhinnamsha expansions— for His ultimate pleasure (Bhag. 4.28.53). The Tatastha-shakti, or marginal energy of the Lord, generates the ordinary living entities (Purport Bhag. 3.7.9) through the Tatastha area, or intermediate area in between the spiritual and material worlds. The Tatastha-jiva begotten through the Tatastha area has the totally free independent option to lean toward one of the two worlds at both sides of the Tatastha (Jaiva Dharma, Ch. 15). Although the Tatastha-jiva is superior to the external energy, or Bahiranga-shakti, he can somehow become temporarily affected or influenced by the later (Bhagavata-Sandarbha, Vol. 1, Anuccheda 16, Tx.16-23).
“Due to the contact of the Tatastha, or Viraja River, with the Bahiranga-shakti—being the tatastha the intermediate neutral area between the spiritual and material worlds—and the living entities’ absolute freedom to execute their will, they may lean toward the material side and become bewildered by Maya. All jivas manifested from the Tatastha-shakti of the Lord have a constitutional identity as eternal servants of Krishna, and we cannot argue how from that pure Vasudeva consciousness (the slight perception of Krishna, when Krishna is without the company of His internal energy (see Purport Bhag. 3.26.21)) they can develop false ego and fall victims of Maya (see Purport Bhag. 3.26.23-24). The jivas may decide—out of curiosity—to lean toward the side of Maya, and then get caught in the total forgetfulness of their pure Krishna consciousness (which was only in the form of a dizzy or slight perception of the Lord), thus neglecting their inherent devotional service towards their Lord, which by constitution every jiva has. When analyzing the concept of “a pure state of Krishna consciousness only in the form of a slight perception of the Lord, or Vasudeva state,” we must be aware of the absolute characteristic of the infinite portions of the absolute (the jivas), who although being parts and parcels of Krishna by constitution, they manifest from the Tatastha with a “slight” perception of Him, only to allow them to execute their free will. This dizzy manifestation of their inherent full Krishna consciousness allows the jivas to exercise their eternal separate individualities unbiased. This subject matter is the source of another subtle-most topic described as chit-vilasa, which is the intrinsic principle of Rasa-tattva—the transcendental mellowness of the activities or wishes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“Maya does not even approach the borderline of the spiritual world (Sri Ishopanishad, Mantra 6-7), since she is far away separated from it by the Tatastha area (Cc. Madhya-lila 19.153). It is unreal for the liberated living entities already in the spiritual world to glance over to her (Cc. Madhya-lila, 20.269-270). The conclusion is that a liberated living entity in the personal company of the Lord never falls from the spiritual world. The Lord eternally protects the jivas who reached His above (Bhag. 1.14.33) having manifested their free will, either directly—at the time of their manifestation from the Tatastha—or after having gone from the Tatastha to the material world first.
“In synthesis, it can be stated that a living entity generated by the Tatastha-shakti of the Lord (Purport Bhag. 3.7.9), leaves its “original” status of being Krishna conscious (the Vasudeva state or Krishna consciousness the jiva has in the Tatastha) neglecting his devotional service toward his Lord, thus forgetting Him. From the conditioned state that the jiva puts itself while in the material side, it can reinstate his covered Vasudeva state of Krishna consciousness and then gradually uplift himself to the full-fledged Krishna conscious liberated state.”
6— DEMONS-EXTRACTION AND EX-POSITION (INTRODUCTION)
A strong and correct philosophical POSITION may DEMONS-TREATE how to EXTRACT demoniac doubts from one’s mind—if truly TREATED with the spiritual formula of guru-sadhu-shastra—forever leaving behind wrong EX (previous) POSITIONS.
NOTE: This deliberation was presented to the ISKCON Vaishnava community in January 2010. The fallacies contained in the ISKCON GBC Resolutions No. 79-80/1995—also entirely exposed at the end of this document—is thoroughly exposed below while analyzing its contents. These two ISKCON GBC Resolutions have established the wrong ISKCON siddhanta on Jiva-Tattva for decades by declaring that the jiva falls down (Fall-vada theory) from his/her direct personal engagement with the Lord in Krishnaloka or Vaikunthaloka. These two resolutions are based in Srila Prabhupada’s purport in SB. 4.28.54, and the dubious origin/nature of the “Crow And Tal-fruit Logic” paper, which is supposedly authored by Srila Prabhupada.
This analysis is purely based on Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta purports. We have tried herein NOT to become too intrusive with our commentaries. Nonetheless, to achieve our objective we have presented our deliberation in short notes within HDG Srila Prabhupada’s UNAMBIGUOUS Bhaktivedanta Purports.
While presenting Srila Prabhupada’s original purports in SB. 4.28.52-55 and conclude in SB. 2.9.10, we have stressed meanings of words in regular characters by making them into bold. We have underlined portions of the original text, made portions of the original text into capitals to stress its meaning, and also introduced our comments between brackets in capital letters for the purpose of easy identification. We resorted to introduce our brief comments in Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta purports in whole humility, SERVICE ATITTUDE and respect, just to HIGHLIGHT the homogeneity and interrelation of its CLEAR teachings, thus stressing its UNAMBIGUOUS transcendental contents.
It is our humble opinion that any apparent ambiguity found in Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta Purports, is merely transitory and has to be understood as our own ambiguity while attempting to fully understand them—product of our own duality (AMBIGUITY) as nitya-baddha-jivas.
In whole humility we have tried to offer further guidelines in understanding the subject of Jiva-Tattva WITHOUT mental interpretation. We have applied the transcendental formula of guru-sadhu-shastra to avoid mental speculation, thus strictly following the siddhanta that Srila Prabhupada IS explaining in Srimad Bhagavatam. We have avoided any trace of mundane ambiguity based in circumstantial considerations of time, place and circumstances, by fully relying on the conclusions of guru-sadhu-shastra—which are eternal, and unambiguously absolute.
7—DEMONS-EXTRACTION - EXTRACTING DEMONS-LIKE DOUBTS FROM OUR MINDS (DEMONSTRATION)
The following verses and purports by Srila Prabhupada set the basis of the Vaishnava siddhanta on Jiva-Tattva, which conclusively declares that, “from Vaikuntha no-BODY falls down.”
Cc. Madhya 20.270
“‘In the spiritual world, there is neither the mode of passion, the mode of ignorance nor a mixture of both, nor is there adulterated goodness, the influence of time or maya herself. Only the pure devotees of the Lord, who are worshiped both by demigods and by demons, reside in the spiritual world as the Lord’s associates.’
PURPORT BY SRILA PRABHUPADA:
“This verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.9.10) [SEE IT RIGHT BELOW] was spoken by Srila Shukadeva Gosvami. He was answering the questions of Parikshit Maharaja, who asked HOW the living entity FALLS DOWN into the material world. Shukadeva Gosvami explained the cream of Srimad-Bhagavatam in four verses, which had been explained to Lord Brahma at the end of the severe austerities he performed for one thousand celestial years. At that time, Brahma was shown the spiritual world and its transcendental nature.”
SB 2.9.10 “In that personal abode of the Lord, the material modes of ignorance and passion do not prevail, nor is there any of their influence in goodness. There is no predominance of the influence of time, so WHAT TO SPEAK of the illusory, external energy; it CANNOT enter that region. Without discrimination, both the demigods and the demons worship the Lord as devotees.” BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT:
“The kingdom of God, or the atmosphere of the Vaikuntha nature, which is called the tripad-vibhuti, is three times bigger than the material universes and is described here, as also in the Bhagavad-gita, in a nutshell. This universe, containing billions of stars and planets, is one of the billions of such universes clustered together within the compass of the mahat-tattva. And all these millions and billions of universes combined together constitute only one fourth of the magnitude of the whole creation of the Lord. There is the spiritual sky also; beyond this sky are the spiritual planets under the names of Vaikuntha, and all of them constitute three fourths of the entire creation of the Lord. God's creations are always innumerable. Even the leaves of a tree cannot be counted by a man, nor can the hairs on his head. However, foolish men are puffed up with the idea of becoming God Himself, though unable to create a hair of their own bodies. Man may discover so many wonderful vehicles of journey, but even if he reaches the moon by his much advertised spacecraft, he cannot remain there. The sane man, therefore, without being puffed up, as if he were the God of the universe, abides by the instructions of the Vedic literature, the easiest way to acquire knowledge in transcendence. So let us know through the authority of Srimad-Bhagavatam of the nature and constitution of the transcendental world beyond the material sky. In that sky the material qualities, especially the modes of ignorance and passion, are completely absent. The mode of ignorance influences a living entity to the habit of lust and hankering, and this means that in the Vaikunthalokas the living entities are free from these two things. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, in the brahma-bhuta [SB 4.30.20] stage of life one becomes free from hankering and lamentation. Therefore the conclusion is that the inhabitants of the Vaikuntha planets are all brahma-bhuta living entities, as distinguished from the mundane creatures who are all compact in hankering and lamentation. When one is not in the modes of ignorance and passion, one is supposed to be situated in the mode of goodness in the material world. Goodness in the material world also at times becomes contaminated by touches of the modes of passion and ignorance. In the Vaikunthaloka, it is unalloyed goodness only.
The whole situation there is one of freedom from the illusory manifestation of the external energy. Although illusory energy is also part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, illusory energy is differentiated from the Lord. The illusory energy is not, however, false, as claimed by the monist philosophers. The rope accepted as a snake may be an illusion to a particular person, but the rope is a fact, and the snake is also a fact. The illusion of water on the hot desert may be illusion for the ignorant animal searching for water in the desert, but the desert and water are actual facts. Therefore the material creation of the Lord may be an illusion to the non-devotee, but to a devotee even the material creation of the Lord is a fact, as the manifestation of His external energy. But this energy of the Lord is not all. The Lord has His internal energy also, which has another creation known to be the Vaikunthalokas, where there is no ignorance, no passion, no illusion and no past and present. With a poor fund of knowledge one may be unable to understand the existence of such things as the Vaikuntha atmosphere, but that does not nullify its existence. That spacecraft cannot reach these planets does not mean that there are no such planets, for they are described in the revealed scriptures.
As quoted by Srila Jiva Gosvami, we can know from the Narada-pancharatra that the transcendental world or Vaikuntha atmosphere is enriched with transcendental qualities. These transcendental qualities, as revealed through the devotional service of the Lord, are distinct from the mundane qualities of ignorance, passion and goodness. Such qualities are not attainable by the non-devotee class of men. In the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, it is stated that beyond the one-fourth part of God's creation is the three-fourths manifestation. The marginal line between the material manifestation and the spiritual manifestation is the Viraja River, and beyond the Viraja, which is a transcendental current flowing from the perspiration of the body of the Lord, there is the three-fourths manifestation of God's creation. This part is eternal, everlasting, without deterioration, and unlimited, and it contains the highest PERFECTIONAL stage of living conditions. In the Sankhya-kaumudi it is stated that unalloyed goodness or transcendence is just opposite to the material modes. All living entities there are eternally associated WITHOUT ANY BREAK,and the Lord is the chief and prime entity. In the Agama Puranas also, the transcendental abode is described as follows: The associated members there are free to go everywhere within the creation of the Lord, and there is no limit to such creation, particularly in the region of the three-fourths magnitude. Since the nature of that region is unlimited, there is no history of such association, nor is there end of it.
The conclusion may be drawn that because of the complete absence of the mundane qualities of ignorance and passion, there is no question of creation nor of annihilation. In the material world everything is created, and everything is annihilated, and the duration of life between the creation and annihilation is temporary. In the transcendental realm there is no creation and no destruction, and thus the duration of life is eternal unlimitedly. In other words, everything in the transcendental world is everlasting, full of knowledge and bliss WITHOUT DETERIORATION. Since there is no deterioration, there is no past, present and future in the estimation of time. It is clearly stated in this verse that the influence of time is conspicuous by its absence. The whole material existence is manifested by actions and reactions of elements which make the influence of time prominent in the matter of past, present and future. There are no such actions and reactions of cause and effects there, so the cycle of birth, growth, existence, transformations, deterioration and annihilation—the six material changes—ARE NOT EXISTENT THERE. It is the unalloyed manifestation of the energy of the Lord, without illusion as experienced here in the material world. The whole Vaikuntha existence proclaims that everyone there is a follower of the Lord. The Lord is the chief leader there, WITHOUT ANY COMPETITION FOR LEADERSHIP, and the people in general are all followers of the Lord. It is confirmed in the Vedas, therefore, that the Lord is the chief leader and all other living entities are SUBORDINATE to Him, for only the Lord satisfies all the needs of all other living entities.”
SB 1.14.33 “Also, Shrutadeva, Uddhava and others, Nanda, Sunanda and other leaders of liberated souls who are CONSTANT companions of the Lord are protected by Lord Balarama and Krishna. Are they all doing well in their respective functions? Do they, who are all ETERNALLY bound in friendship with us, remember our welfare?” BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: “The constant companions of Lord Krishna, such as Uddhava, are all liberated souls, and they descended along with Lord Krishna to this material world to fulfill the mission of the Lord. The Pandavas are all liberated souls who descended along with Lord Krishna to serve Him in His transcendental pastimes on this earth. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita (4.8), the Lord and His eternal associates, who are also liberated souls like the Lord, come down on this earth at certain intervals. The Lord remembers them all, but His associates, although liberated souls, forget due to their being tatastha-shakti, or marginal potency of the Lord. That is the difference between the vishnu-tattva and jiva-tattva. The jiva-tattvas are infinitesimal potential particles of the Lord, and therefore they require the protection of the Lord at all times. And to the eternal servitors of the Lord, the Lord is pleased to give all protection at all times. The liberated souls never, therefore, think themselves as free as the Lord or as powerful as the Lord, but they always seek the protection of the Lord in all circumstances, both in the material world and in the spiritual world. This dependence of the liberated soul is constitutional, for the liberated souls are like sparks of a fire that are able to exhibit the glow of the fire along with the fire and not independently.”
NOTE: The following are the analysis and the exposition of Srimad Bhagavatam verses from 4.28.52 to 55, including verse 54, which is the main verse quoted in the ISKCON GBC Resolution No. 79/1995 used to substantiate the fall-vada (patanavada) theory.
8— EX-POSITION (EXPOSING AN OBSOLETE PHILOSOPHICAL POSITION)
MOST IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE LORD”S ENERGIES
Mayavada philosophers deny the Lord's energies altogether—including Him. The Vaishnava philosophy acknowledges the various energies of the Lord. In Vaishnavism, ENERGIES originate from PERSONS. The PERSON behind the spiritual potency is KRISHNA. His spiritual energy (antaranga-shakti) pervades ALL other energies, which sprout from Him. Thus, the FIELD OF ACTIVITIES of SRI KRISHNA through His spiritual energy is the complete creation, either spiritual or material.
The PERSON behind Krishna's external energy is MAYADEVI, and she NEVER is in the personal presence of her Lord since she NEVER enters Krishnaloka or the Vaikunthalokas. Krishna’s external energy (bahiranga-shakti) pervades ONLY The Lord's external energy. Thus the FIELD OF ACTIVITIES of MAYADEVI is exclusively the material world.
The PERSON behind Krishna's marginal potency or tatastha-shakti (which comprises the living entities or tatastha-jivas) is Shankarshana. He is known as the Presiding Deity of all JIvas, and sometimes id also designated as "Jiva." This energy (tatastha-shakti) pervades the tatastha area of the Viraja River, which is dividing the spiritual from the material worlds. Thus one FIELD OF ACTIVITIES of Shankarshana is the marginal area between the spiritual and material worlds. It is from here that the jivas ENACT their constitutional and natural propensity to be "functional" since from Krishna's body in the spiritual world they are CONSTITUTIONALLY manifested in shata-rasa as Krishna's Brahman effulgence, in a spiritual spark identity that encloses their svarupa or eternal spiritual bodies.
The conclusion is that the baddha-jivas NEVER were engaged in a direct personal service with Krishna in Krishnaloka or the Vaikunthalokas. Another reason for such assertion is that Shankarshana manifest the FIELD OF ACTIVITIES for the jivas far distant from Krishnaloka, since He is the Predominating Deity of the tatastha-shakti, and thus is situated between the spiritual and material worlds.
The principle of the jivas enactment of activities is that is NEVER performed in Krishnaloka or besides the personal presence of Krishna, since it occurs from the Tatastha area, while in the threshold of spirit and matter. The jivas NEVER spring from the Lord with their svarupa fully manifested, since they manifest with a spiritual spark-shape form.
The Lord's internal and Marginal energies are different manifestations of the same spiritual nature. To contemplate the theory that the antaranga-shakti and the tatastha-shakti are somehow AMALGAMATED into ONE in the spiritual world—wherefrom the tatastha-jivas then fall down to the material world is MAYAVADA philosophy. This concept then leads to the consequent misconception that the external energy is NOT real in essence, due to the solid existence of the internal and marginal energies in just ONE FIELD OF ACTIVITIES. The incapacity to recognize the FIELD OF ACTIVITIES of the Lord's energies comprising a SEPARATED STATE OF EXISTENCE, promotes the concept of a SOLID HOMOGENEOUS identity between His energies that denies spiritual diversity or variegatedness —thus evolving into MAYAVADA philosophy.