Jiva-tattva as it is


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This is a quotation from the Vishnu Purana (1.12.69).

Cc. Madhya. 6.158

sach-chid-ananda-maya haya ishvara-svarupa

tina amshe chich-shakti haya tina rupa
“’The Supreme Personality of Godhead in His original form is full of eternity [sat], knowledge [chit] and bliss [ananda]. The spiritual potency in these three portions assumes three different forms.


According to the verdict of all Vedic literature, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the living entity and the illusory energy (this material world) constitute the subject matter of knowledge. Everyone should try to understand the relationship between them [sambhanda, abhideya, and prayojana-jnana]. First of all, one should try to understand the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. From the shastras we understand that the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the sum total of eternity, bliss and knowledge. As stated in verse 154 (vishnu-shaktih para prokta), the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of all potencies, and His potencies are all spiritual. [Then one should engage in devotional activities (abhideya), thus immediately perceiving its blissful results (prayojana), provided such activities are executed in the real knowledge that brings forward the mood of goodness (shuddha-sattva)].

Cc. Madhya. 6.159

anandamse `hladini,' sad-amse `sandhini'

chid-amse `samvit;, yare jnana kari mani
“The three portions of the spiritual potency are called hladini [the bliss portion], sandhini [the eternity portion] and samvit [the knowIedge portion]. We accept knowledge of these as full knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

To acquire knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one must take shelter of the samvit [knowledge] potency of the Supreme Lord.

Cc. Madhya. 6.160

antaranga--chic-shakti, tatastha--jiva-shakti

bahiranga--maya,--tine kare prema-bhakti



“The spiritual potency of the Supreme PersonaIity of Godhead [or chit potency, which is composed of the pleasure potency hladini, the potency of eternality sandhini, and the potency of knowledge sandhini] aIso appears in three phases—internal, marginal and externaI. These are all engaged in His devotional service in Iove.” [i.e., the internal, marginal and external potencies, known as antaranga-shakti, tatastha-shakti and bahiranga-shakti respectively, are all constitutionally engaged in His devotional service in love. This is so since as potencies of the Lord constitutionally serve Him in either direct or indirect love. Although maya, the presiding deity of the bahiranga-shakti, and the tatastha-jivas, or the constituent members of the tatastha-shakti, NEVER manifest activities in the personal presence of their Lord from their CONSTITUTIONAL identities—as the presiding Deity of His maya-shakti for maya-devi, or the spiritual sparks constituents of His tatastha-shakti as the tatastha-jivas that conform His Brahman effulgence—, their constitutional love is already established as integrally connected with Him.]



The spiritual potency of the Lord is manifested in three phases—the internal or spiritual potency, the marginal potency, which is the living entities, and the external potency, known as maya-shakti. [As well as the internal and external potencies have an area of action, which are known as the spiritual and material worlds respectively, the marginal or intermediate potency also has its own area of action, known as the tatastha area or Viraja. Although each of these areas belong to the spiritual chit potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and are implemented through the agency of the antaranga-shakti, the tatastha-shakti and the bahiranga-shakti respectively, there is no influence whatsoever of any of them over the other and vice-versa,] We must understand that in each of these three phases the original spiritual potencies of pleasure, eternity and knowledge remain intact. When the potencies of spiritual pleasure and knowledge are both bestowed upon the conditioned souls, the conditioned souls can escape the clutches of the external potency, maya, which acts as a cover obscuring one’s spiritual identity. When freed, the living entity awakens to Krishna consciousness and engages in devotional service with love and affection.
Cc. Madhya. 6.161

sad-vidha aishvarya--prabhurachich-chakti- vilasa

hena shakti nahi mana,--parama sahasa
“In His spiritual potency, the Supreme Lord enjoys six kinds of opulence. You do not accept this spiritual potency, and this is due to your great impudence.



The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full with six opulences [i.e., He is Bhagavan Sri “Krishna”, the all-attractive since He has all beauty, strength, fame, wealth, knowledge, and renunciation]. All of these potencies are on the transcendental platform. To understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead as impersonal and devoid of potency [as when suggesting that any of His direct personal associates in their already unfolded spiritual bodies or svarupa-siddhi, overcome His power of attraction and leave His personal company from Krishnaloka or the Vaikunthalokas] is to go completely against Vedic conclusions.

Cc. Madhya. 6.162

`ma yadh isa' `ma ya- vasa'--ishvare-jive bheda

hena-jive ishvara-saha kaha ta' abheda


“The Lord is the master of the potencies [the pleasure potency, the potency of eternality and the potency of knowledge, previously mentioned in Text 157], and the living entity is the servant of them [as well as maya-devi, although she never personally meets Her adorable Lord]. That is the difference between the Lord and the living entity. However, you declare that the Lord and the living entities are one and the same [as you proclaim that the living entities can reject the Lord’s “all attractive” potency, thus suggesting that they have individual capacity of power to avoid the Lord’s attractive nature, thus able to repel the Lord’s personal beauty as they wish, which once manifested as envy promoted their fall down].


The Supreme Personality of Godhead is by nature the master of all potencies. By nature, the living entities, being infinitesimal [spiritual sparks or tatastha-jivas, also known as Brahman], are always under the influence of the Lord's potencies [named the internal, marginal or external potencies]. According to the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.1-2):
dva suparna sayuja sakhaya

samanam vriksam parisha-svajate

tayor anyah pippalam svadv atty

anasnann anyo'bhicakasiti

samane vrikse purusho nimagno

'nishaya sochati muhyamanah

justam yada pasyaty anyam isham

asya mahimanam eti vita-shokah
The Mundaka Upanishad completely distinguishes the Lord from the living entities. The living entity is subjected to the reactions of fruitive activity [while under the spell of maya-shakti], whereas the Lord simply witnesses such activity and bestows the results. According to the living entity’s desires, he is wandering from one body to another and from one planet to another, under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramatma. However, when the living entity comes to his senses by the mercy of the Lord, he is awarded devotional service. Thus he is saved from the clutches of maya. At such a time he can see his eternal friend, the Supreme Personality of Godhead [who is accompanying it as Paramatma since time immemorial], and become free from all lamentation and hankering. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.54), where the Lord says, brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati: "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything." Thus it is definitely proved that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of all potencies and that the living entities are always subjected to these potencies. That is the difference between mayadhisha and maya-vasa [or the Lord of Maya-devi (the deity of maya-shakti) and the nitya-baddha-jivas (who are the members of the tatastha-shakti, that willingly or independently from the Supreme Will of their Lord became covered by maya once decided to leave the viraja area by leaning towards the bahiranga-shakti’s side)].

Cc. Madhya. 6.163

gita-shastre jiva-rupa `shakti' kari' mane

hena jive `bheda' kara ishvarera sane

“In Bhagavad-gita the living entity is established as the marginal potency of the Supreme PersonaIity of Godhead. Yet you say that the living entity is completely different from the Lord.


The Brahma-sutra states that according to the principle of shakti-shaktimator abhedah, the living entity is simultaneously one with and different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Qualitatively the living entity and the Supreme Lord are one, but in QUANTITY they are different. According to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s philosophy (achintya-bhedabheda-tattva), the living entity and the Supreme Lord are accepted as one and different at the same time.

Cc. Madhya. 6.164

bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh / kham mano buddhir eva ca

ahankara itiyam me / bhinna prakritir ashtadha
“‘Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego are My eightfold separated energies.
Cc. Madhya. 6.165

apareyam itas tv anyam / prakritim viddhi me param

jiva-bhutam maha-baho / yayedam dharyate jagat
“‘Besides these inferior energies, which are material [bahiranga-shakti], there is another energy, a spiritual energy, and this is the living being [tatastha-shakti], O mighty-armed one. The entire material world is sustained by the living entities.’

Verses 164 and 165 are quotations from the Bhagavad-gita (7.4–5).

Cc. Madhya. 6.166

ishvarera shri-vigraha sach-chid-anandakara

se-vigrahe kaha sattva-gunera vikara
“The transcendental form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is complete in eternity, cognizance and bliss. However, you describe this transcendental form as a product of material goodness.
Cc. Madhya. 6.167

sri-vigraha ye na mane, sei ta’ pashandi

adrishya asprishya, sei haya yama-dandi
“One who does not accept the transcendental form of the Lord is certainly an agnostic. Such a person should be neither seen nor touched. Indeed, he is subject to be punished by Yamaraja.


According to the Vedic instructions, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has His eternal, transcendental form, which is always blissful and full of knowledge. Impersonalists think that “material” refers to the forms within our experience and that “spiritual” refers to an absence of form. However, one should know that beyond this material nature is another nature, which is spiritual. Just as there are material forms in this material world, there are spiritual forms in the spiritual world. This is confirmed by all Vedic literature. The spiritual forms in the transcendental world have nothing to do with the negative conception of formlessness. The conclusion is that a person is an agnostic when he does not agree to worship the transcendental form of the Lord.

Actually, at the present moment all systems of religion deny the worship of the form of the Lord due to ignorance of His transcendental form. The first-class materialists (the Mayavadis) imagine five specific forms of the Lord, but when they try to equate the worship of such imaginary forms with bhakti, they are immediately condemned. Lord Sri Krishna confirms this in the Bhagavad-gita (7.15), where He says, na mam dushkritino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah. Bereft of real knowledge due to agnosticism, the Mayavadi philosophers should not even be seen by the devotees of the Lord, nor touched, because those philosophers are liable to be punished by Yamaraja, the superintendent demigod who judges the activities of sinful men. The Mayavadi agnostics wander within this universe in different species of life due to their non-devotional activities. Such living entities are subjected to the punishments of Yamaraja. Only the devotees, who are always engaged in the service of the Lord, are exempt from the jurisdiction of Yamaraja.

Cc. Madhya. 6.168

veda na maniya bauddha haya ta’ nastika

vedaçraya nastikya-vada bauddhake adhika
“The Buddhists do not recognize the authority of the Vedas; therefore they are considered agnostics. However, those who have taken shelter of the Vedic scriptures yet preach agnosticism in accordance with the Mayavada philosophy, are certainly more dangerous than the Buddhists.



Although the Buddhists are directly opposed to Vaishnava philosophy, it can easily be understood that the Shankarites are more dangerous because they accept the authority of the Vedas yet act contrary to Vedic instruction. Vedashraya nastikya-vada means “agnosticism under the shelter of Vedic culture” and refers to the monistic philosophy of the Mayavadis. Lord Buddha abandoned the authority of the Vedic literature and therefore rejected the ritualistic ceremonies and sacrifices recommended in the Vedas. His nirvana philosophy means stopping all material activities. Lord Buddha did not recognize the presence of transcendental forms and spiritual activities beyond the material world. He simply described voidism beyond this material existence. The Mayavadi philosophers offer lip service to Vedic authority but try to escape the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. They concoct some idea of a transcendental position and call themselves Narayana, or God. However, God’s position is completely different from their concoction. Such Mayavadi philosophers consider themselves above the influence of karma-kanda (fruitive activities and their reactions). For them, the spiritual world is equated with the Buddhist voidism. There is very little difference between impersonalism and voidism. Voidism can be directly understood, but the impersonalism enunciated by Mayavadi philosophers is not very easily understandable. Of course, Mayavadi philosophers accept a spiritual existence, but they do not know about the spiritual world and spiritual beings [Patanavadi philosophers accept the existence of Krishna, however ignore the essence of the science of loving relationships, thus deride the all-attractive feature of the Lord by suggesting that maya enters the Lord’s eternal above to persuade envy in the Lord’s parikaras]. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.32):
ye ’nye ’ravindaksha vimukta-maninas

tvayy asta-bhavad avishuddha-buddhayah

aruhya kricchrena param padam tatah

patanty adho ’nadrita-yushmad-anghrayah
The intelligence of the Mayavadis is not purified; therefore even though they practice austerities for self-realization, they cannot remain within the impersonal brahmajyoti. Consequently, they fall down again into this material world.

The Mayavadis’ conception of spiritual existence is almost identical to the negation of material existence. The Mayavadis believe that there is nothing positive in spiritual life. As a result, they cannot understand devotional service or the worship of the Supreme Person, sach-chid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. The Mayavadi philosophers consider Deity worship in devotional service to be pratibimba-vada, or the worship of a form that is the reflection of a false material form. Thus the Lord’s transcendental form, which is eternally blissful and full of knowledge, is unknown to Mayavadi philosophers. Although the term “Bhagavan” is explicitly described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, they cannot understand it. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti shabdyate: “The Absolute Truth is called Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan.” (SB 1.2.11) The Mayavadis try to understand Brahman only, or, at the most, Paramatma. However, they are unable to understand Bhagavan. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, says, mayayapahrita-jnanah [Bg. 7.15]. Because of the temperament of the Mayavadi philosophers, real knowledge is taken from them. Because they cannot receive the mercy of the Lord, they will always be bewildered by His transcendental form. Impersonal philosophy destroys the three phases of knowledge—jnana, jneya and jnata. As soon as one speaks of knowledge, there must be a person who is the knower, the knowledge itself and the object of knowledge. Mayavada philosophy combines these three categories; therefore the Mayavadis cannot understand how the spiritual potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead act. [similarly, Patanavadis don’t understand the laws of parinamavada or the transformation of the Lord’s energies, and are forced to concoct diverse theories to prove their purported envy of the parikaras of the Lord]. Because of their poor fund of knowledge, they cannot understand the distinction in the spiritual world between knowledge, the knower and the object of knowledge. Because of this, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu considers the Mayavadi philosophers more dangerous than the Buddhists.

Cc. Madhya. 6.169

jivera nistara lagi’ sutra kaila vyasa

-bhashya shunile haya sarva-nasha
“Srila Vyasadeva presented the Vedanta philosophy for the deliverance of conditioned souls, but if one hears the commentary of Shankaracarya, everything is spoiled.


Factually, the devotional service of the Lord is described in the Vedanta-sutra, but the Mayavadi philosophers, the Shankarites, prepared a commentary known as Shariraka-bhashya, in which the transcendental form of the Lord is denied. The Mayavadi philosophers think that the living entity is identical with the Supreme Soul, Brahman. [The Patanavadi philosophers recognize the transcendental form of the Lord, however minimize His all-attractive nature by using the same “Original Sin” Biblical theory of falling from His grace due to disobeying Him while in Krishnaloka]. Their commentaries on the Vedanta-sutra are completely opposed to the principle of devotional service. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu therefore warns us to avoid these commentaries. If one indulges in hearing the Shankarite Shariraka-bhashya, he will certainly be bereft of all real knowledge.

The ambitious Mayavadi philosophers desire to merge into the existence of the Lord, and this may be accepted as sayujya-mukti. However, this form of mukti means denying one’s individual existence. [The ambitious Patanavadi philosopher proposes to have similar features and FULL independent behavior in the personal company of the Lord even in the spiritual world, thus in the material world such patanavadi ALSO acts as a Vaishnava prakrita-sahajiya or prakrita-bhakta]. In other words, it is a kind of spiritual suicide. This is absolutely opposed to the philosophy of bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga offers immortality to the individual conditioned soul. If one follows the Mayavadi philosophy, he misses his opportunity to become immortal after giving up the material body. The immortality of the individual person is the highest perfectional stage a living entity can attain. [Since prakrita-shajiyas are potential devotees, also Patanavadis may correct their mistakes by associating with the Vaishnava siddhanta through proper philosophical understanding, and personal association with advanced Vaishnavas].

Cc. Madhya. 6.170

‘parinama-vada’—vyasa-sutrera sammata

achintya-shakti ishvara jagad-rupe parinata
“The Vedanta-sutra aims at establishing that the cosmic manifestation has come into being by the TRANSFORMATION of the inconceivable potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

For a further explanation of parinama-vada, refer to Adi-lila, Seventh Chapter, verses 121–133.

Cc. Madhya. 6.171

mani yaiche avikrite prasabe hema-bhara

jagad-rupa haya ishvara, tabu avikara
“The touchstone, after touching iron, produces volumes of gold without being changed. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests Himself as the cosmic manifestation by His inconceivable potency, yet He remains unchanged in His eternal, transcendental form.



According to the commentary of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the purpose of the janmady asya verse in the Vedanta-sutra is to establish that the cosmic manifestation is the result of the transformation of the potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Lord is the master of innumerable eternal energies, which are unlimited. Sometimes these energies are manifested, and sometimes they are not. In any case, all energies are under His control; therefore He is the original energetic, the abode of all energies. [The Patanavadi philosopher fails to understand that all three energies: antaranga, tatastha and bahiranga act together under the loving service of the Lord and therefore are one with Him. However, they cannot understand that the tatastha-shakti is LITERALLY marginal, or His INTERMEDIATE energy LOCATED in the region between the spiritual (antaranga) and material (bahiranga) worlds. Thus they ignore the qualities of the tatastha-jivas (as CONSTITUENTS of the tatastha-shakti), which CONSTITUTIONALLY manifest as pure Vasudeva conscious spiritual sparks in shanta-rasa (and endowed with a dormant eternal svarupa to be unfolded in any of the four main rasas, ONLY after freely choosing to use their POSITIVE free will, to eternally and lovingly serve their CONSTITUTIONAL Lord in Krishnaloka or Vaikunthaloka)].

A common brain in the conditioned state cannot conceive of how these inconceivable energies abide in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, how He exists in His innumerable forms as the master of both spiritual and material energies, how He is the master of both manifest and potential powers, and how contradictory potencies can abide in Him. As long as the living entity is within this material world, in the condition of illusion, he cannot understand the activities of the inconceivable energies of the Lord. Thus the Lord’s energies, though factual, are simply beyond the power of the common brain to understand.

When the atheistic philosophers or the Mayavadis, being unable to understand the inconceivable energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, imagine an impersonal void, their imagination is only the counterpart of materialistic thinking. Within the material world, there is nothing inconceivable. High-thinking philosophers and scientists can tackle the material energy, but not being able to understand the spiritual energy, they can simply imagine an inactive state, such as the impersonal Brahman. This is simply the negative side of material life. By such imperfect knowledge, the Mayavadi philosophers conclude that the cosmic manifestation is a transformation of the Supreme. Thus they must necessarily also accept the theory of the illusion of the Supreme (vivarta-vada). However, if we accept the inconceivable potencies of the Lord, we can understand how the Supreme Personality of Godhead can appear within this material world without being touched or contaminated by the three modes of material nature.

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