Jaiva Dharma - The Nature Of The Soul (Part I)

by Sriman Prema Prayojana Dasa

World Tour 2002 - 30 May 2002

San Jose, California

In spiritual life, we must first take shelter of Sri Guru. Adau guru mukhat srutah. First of all, we will have to hear from the lips of Sri Guru so we can develop a clear conception of the answers to fundamental questions: "Who am I? What is the goal of life? And what is the process to attain it?" Kanistha adhikari, the neophyte devotee, is ka-nistha: that means no nistha, not steady. His mind is wandering everywhere and he cannot decide which ideas are correct or what is actually siddhanta. And because of this, he lacks confidence in the process of bhakti, in the chanting of Harinama, and in the anugatya of Guru and Vaisnavas.

Therefore, it is very difficult for him to make progress. Kanistha is unsteady because he has so many anarthas. Anarthas include unwanted desires and also philosophical misconceptions, Svarupa Bhrama. There are some mistaken ideas in regard to the tattva of guru, jiva, maya, bhakti, and harinama. So it is very important in the beginning to sit and very patiently hear from Guru and Vaisnavas so that these misconceptions and the shifting sand of changing ideas will go away. Then one will have great confidence and a clear understanding of reality as explained by our acaryas. For this reason, our Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami gave the following advice:

siddhanta baliya citte na kara alasa
iha haite krsna lage sudrdha manasa
(C.C. Adi-lila 2.117)
Don't be lazy when it comes to understanding siddhanta. Try very hard; it will be worthwhile. Whatever effort you put in will bring great rewards, thousands and thousands of times over. Why? Because, iha haite krsna lage sudrdha manasa, when your mind is very sure about the conclusions of bhakti, then you will become fixed and attached to Krsna. The mind will not wander here and there at the time of sadhana bhajana. So learning siddhanta is very worthwhile. Our acaryas appeared in this world and explained many of our siddhantas. Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave these in seed form to Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. Later, their disciples expanded and explained them in more detail. Because these siddhantas are somewhat complex, there was always something leftover to be further clarified.

After many acaryas had descended to this world, Saptama Gosvami Saccidananda Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote his great masterpiece, Jaiva Dharma, for the modern age. And here, he clarified all ideas. His clear explanations of siddhanta were unprecedented, making them accessible to ordinary people, and at the same time, not less profound than what had been written by previous acaryas. In addition, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura included some ideas which had been left untouched by even his predecessors. Thus, Jaiva Dharma is quite a long book, more than 1,000 pages. Perhaps all of you have it; perhaps you have read it a few times. Once I was sitting with Srila Gurudeva and asked him a very hard question. He gave the answer with ease and he was smiling because he saw my amazement at the depth of his knowledge. He had explained a very profound point. Smiling, he said, "I have read Jaiva Dharma many, many times. This is why my siddhanta is so strong."

So, over the next few days, I would like to spend some time extracting some of the essential ideas from Jaiva Dharma. And you will see how this phrase 'Jaiva Dharma' is like a key which causes all other siddhantas, which were somewhat out of focus, vague or hazy, to become quite clear. If we will understand Jaiva Dharma, then guru-tattva, sakti-tattva, nama-tattva, bhakti-tattva, sraddha-tattva, will all become crystal clear. Everything will come into focus. So when the anartha of misunderstanding in regard to the philosophy of Gaudiya Vaisnavism is removed, then the devotee can chant and remember and enter into madhyama adhikari, the intermediate stage. Madhayama adhikara is not a simple thing. There is a very high class of understanding and realization in this stage.

Once Gurudeva said, "When I begin to speak about Bhaktivinoda Thakura, I become so excited. It is just as if I am speaking about Rupa Gosvami." Srila Rupa Gosvamipada is the prana, the life, of our sampradaya. We are Rupanuga. If we have a chance to remember Srila Rupa Gosvamipada, or speak anything about him, it is a matter of great excitement. So now I also feel like that, according to my limited capacity, as I begin to recite the words of the Seventh Gosvami.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has entitled this book Jaiva Dharma. So, first we should know what is jaiva and what is dharma. Jaiva means 'of the jiva'. Dharma means 'religion'. This is a general idea. But the meaning of the word dharma is very deep. It comes from the Sanskrit verbal root 'dhr datu'. It means to hold. 'Dhr dhatu man pratyaya', with the suffix man, it becomes this word 'dharma'.

There is a nature or a quality which is held by something-always-and it never lets go of that. That quality which a substance never gives up, by which it can be identified, is called its dharma. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has gone to great lengths just to explain some concepts in relationship to dharma. We should try to assimilate them, and apply them to the understanding of our own soul. The consequence of doing so may produce something wonderful.

Thakura Bhaktivinoda is saying that any substance is called 'vastu'. The word vastu means substance. There are so many substances. Those that are eternal are called 'vastava vastu', factual substances. And those substances that are manifest for some time and then dissolve forever are called 'avastava vastu', non-factual substances. Vastava vastu is the real substance; and the non-factual substance which disappears forever is called avastava vastu. It is vastava vastu, the real substance that has been discussed in Srimad-Bhagavatam.

dharma projjita-kaitavo'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
Srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadhyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat
(SB 1.1.2)
This is the second verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam, part of the mangalacaranam, or auspicious introduction. Here it is stated: dharma projitakaitavo 'tra. All kinds of cheating religion have been rejected from Bhagavatam. That means dharma, artha, kama, and moksa. Parama nirmatsaranam satam: the subject can only be understood by Paramahamsas who are not envious of anyone, who have forgiveness for everyone because their hearts are very soft. Only those possessed of such a nature can understand vedyam (to know) vastavam, the factual substance. Well, what is the use of that? Sivadam: it is very auspicious to know these things. Tapa-trayonmulanam: this knowledge uproots all problems. We have so many problems and we try to cut them down, but the roots are still there, so they grow back. Therefore, Bhagavatam is saying, if you know the vastava vastu, the factual substance, then your problems will be taken out by the root, and they will never come back.

So vastu, 'vas dhatu tu pratyaya', vas means abiding; thus vastava vastu refers to a truly abiding substance, something which has existence and will not go away. This includes Brahma, Jiva and Maya-the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the living entity and the material nature-these are the real substances, vastava vastu. And avastava vastu, non-factual substance, refers to the parinama, or the transformations, which come out from the material energy. The substances which are caused by the endless permutations and mutations of the material energy are called dravya. They have some qualities also, called guna. Dravya and guna mean the material objects and their qualities-they are not vastava vastu, they are not factual substance. All the things that we see look very real, but they are avastava vastu; they are not truly abiding substances. They will appear like smoke, taking a shape for a moment, change and then depart forever. We see that all material knowledge, even Sankhya philosophy, is only for analyzing dravya and guna. Thus all such knowledge, being only knowledge of avastava vastu, the non-permanent substance, has no benefit for the living entity.

Srimad-Bhagavatam gives knowledge of vastava vastu, the factual substance, along with its svabhava, its eternal nature. It is very important to understand this. Where does this svabhava come from? It comes from ghatana. Ghatana refers to the very construction of that vastu. The substance itself is constructed in a particular way, and the svabhava of that vastu arises naturally as a concomitant factor due to its very construction. The svabhava, the nature of a vastu, does not have to be acquired by that vastu; it does not have to be practiced by that vastu; it does not have to be learned. Rather, it arises naturally from the very construction (ghatana) of the vastu. That is called svabhava. For example, if you take a ball and you put it on a slope, what will happen? It will start to roll. Why? Because by construction, the ball is round. Therefore, you don't have to teach the ball, "OK, pay attention. This is your first lesson. Today we are going to learn how to roll." No, it is not learned or acquired. It is its nature due to its very construction.

In the language of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, what is dharma? Dharma is the svabhava of vastava vastu which arises from its ghatana. Translated into English, real religion is the nature of a truly abiding substance which arises from its internal constitution. Take the simple example of graphite in a pencil-it is very soft-so soft that when you drag it against a page, it just starts to fall off, leaving a line on the page. This is how it works. Why? Because all the atoms in the graphite are arranged in hexogen shapes which are in layers that are not connected. So when you rub it, the layers just slide off each other. It is only made of carbon, but because of the way it is constructed, it is really soft and the layers of atoms just slide off each other. On the other hand, a diamond is also only carbon, but if you will try to draw a line on a page with a diamond, you will cut your page in half. Actually, you can cut steel with a diamond, it is so hard. Why? Because it's not arranged in layers-every atom is joined with four other atoms in tetrahedral shapes. It is bonded in such a way that no atom will budge from the rigid formation, and thus, it is extremely hard. Where are the softness and hardness coming from? They are not acquired or learned. They are coming from the structure.

In the same way, one should understand dharma. What is the dharma of the jiva?

jivera 'svarupa' haya--krsnera 'nitya-dasa
krsnera 'tatastha-sakti' 'bhedabheda-prakasa
(CC Madhya 20.108)
We have been speaking some theory. Now we will apply it practically. What is the dharma of the jiva? To serve Krsna. The service of Krsna is not something that you will have to practice. It is not something that you will have to get from anywhere else and learn. It is the very nature of the jiva, because the jiva has a subtle spiritual form, with face, eyes, everything, all ornaments. How? Especially, those who come in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Rupa Gosvami have a soul's body like a Brijabasi-a very sweet and beautiful teenage form. Everything is there in the jiva. The service of Krsna is not a religion or faith. It is the dharma arising from the construction of the jiva. But then someone can make a very strong argument and say, "If you don't acquire this service from anywhere else, you don't have to learn it, and it is natural, then why is it that in this world no one doing it naturally? And when I try to do it, it doesn't seem very natural to me. I've been practicing for years and I still can't get it right, and I still don't understand it." So then how can the service of Krsna be jaiva dharma? How is it possible?

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has pondered all these things and also he has disposed of all of these questions in a wonderful way. If you want to find the answer to this dilemma, then we have to come to another idea. Every substance has svabhava, nature-that is his dharma. So the svabhava of the jiva is its dharma-that is called Prema Dharma, Bhagavat Dharma, Sanantana Dharma, Vaisnava Dharma. These are all names for the same thing. But if a substance, a vastu, comes in contact with another energy or another substance, it may be that the proximity or the influence of that substance causes 'vikara'. Vikara means transformation. This contact causes a transformation in that vastu, and then the vastu takes on an acquired nature. Consequently, its dharma, or svabhava, goes into a latent position. This is very easy to understand. Take the example of water-pure water is liquid. If you put it into a very extreme condition, such as a refrigerator, the water undergoes vikara, a transformation. The water is still water; nothing has been added or taken away. Yet still, the water, which was liquid, has now become hard. Its liquidity, that is called taralata, the tendency to flow here and there, has disappeared. And if the water is solid for a very long time, having become ice, you may think that water's nature is only to be hard. But the liquidity, the svabhava of the water, is present there in a latent condition. If it is returned to its natural environment, its hardness will go away, and again taralata, the softness, will manifest. Its dharma, its svabhava (nature), appears from the latent position and manifests again.

When a substance is put in an extreme condition and takes on an acquired nature, remaining like that for a long time, he thinks that this is my real nature. That is called nisarga, acquired nature. So two things: one is svabhava, real nature, that is the jiva's dharma; and the other is the acquired nature, called nisarga. When the jiva comes into the proximity of the material nature, vikara takes place. At that time the jiva acquires nisarga, it takes on an acquired nature and his svabhava, his dharma, goes into a latent position.

The jiva by nature is a servant of Krsna, but due to the influence of the material energy, some vikara takes place in the jiva. His jaiva dharma becomes latent now in the presence of his acquired nature (nisarga). When this acquired nature is present, what does he do? Instead of serving Krsna, he does karma, jnana and yoga. He engages in fruitive activities. He does something to get something in return. This is what almost everyone in this world is doing. Why? This is their nisarga. By contact with the material energy, now they have an acquired nature. They do this naturally. You don't have to teach people to do fruitive activities. They know, "That's who I am. I am the doer. I am the enjoyer of the fruit of my activity." It is their nature now. They don't learn it, it is automatic. But that is not the svabhava of their soul; it is only their nisarga, their acquired nature.

That acquired nature is reflected in the material elements, mind and false ego. So the atma-vrtti, the function of the soul, which has acquired nisarga, is reflected in mano-vritti, the tendency of the mind. Thus, the jivas are engaged in working hard to enjoy the fruits of their activities. When they become frustrated in doing that because it's really disappointing, gradually they think, "I quit! I want mukti. I want out." So in order to get out of the situation, they turn to jnana, trying to analyze everything by philosophy. They will think, "If I could know the nature of illusion, then I could get out of it and be liberated. If I can just get out, that's fine by me. I just want to get out. I don't want to hear about anything else." So then they have the desire for mukti, liberation.

Alternatively, he makes a plan to control material nature by following the path of yoga. He thinks that "if I were to have mystic power, then the material energy would not continually slap me in the face." So somehow or other, when the jiva comes in contact with the material energy and vikara takes place, his nature to serve Krsna becomes dormant. He has an acquired nature, nisarga, and he engages in these three paths. He has no idea of who he is, where to go, and what is his real good fortune and path of auspiciousness. How will he know? Only when he meets pure Vaisnavas he can have a chance.

First of all, I wanted to establish the definitions of dharma, vastu, vastava vastu, avastava vastu, svabhava, ghatana, nisarga and vikara. This is also supported by Patanjali in his Yoga-Sutra. All those who do astanga yoga also observe Patanjali Yoga-Sutra. Mainly, they think that the goal of life is mukti, liberation, and impersonalism. But in the very last sutra, Patanjali has said,

purusartha-sunyanam gunanam pratiprasavah
kaivalyam svarupa-pratistha va citi-saktir iti
(Yoga-sutra 3.34)
He is saying, "No, when you attain perfection, you go beyond dharma, artha, kama and moksa. The perfection is beyond liberation. When, gunanam pratiprasavah-the material energy is no longer acting on the soul. Then kaivalyam svarupa-pratistha-the jiva becomes established in his svarupa, his real nature. Va citi-saktir iti-When the moods of the material nature are no longer causing vikara, or transformation of the soul, he becomes established in his svabhava, that is, service of Krsna. Patanjali also accepts this philosophy, called atma-guna-vikara, the transformation of the soul's qualities. This is a dilemma in many devotees' minds because they always think, "Oh, wait a minute. Souls are transcendental and the material energy is material. So how can the soul, being always on the transcendental position, be entangled in the material modes of nature?

This was the discussion between Rahugana and Jada Bharat. Jada Bharat told him, "If you take a pot of water, add some rice and put it on the fire, what will happen? The rice will cook. The rice never touched the fire, but still the rice was cooked." But Rahugana Maharaja said, "Just see! The rice never touched the fire but the fire touched the pot and the pot touched the water, and the water touched the rice. So in this way, there is some contact. But the soul is transcendental, spiritual energy, and matter is material. So how is it that the soul can be conditioned in this world? How is it possible?" What did Jada Bharat tell King Rahugana?

rahuganaitat tapasa na yati
na cejyaya nirvapanad grhad va
na cchandasa naiva jalagni-suryair
vina mahat-pada-rajo-'bhisekam
(SB 2.3.23)
"If you follow all the Vedas and study the religious principles very strictly, even if you take sannyasa or perform very severe austerities, if you meditate under the ice in the winter or you meditate surrounded by fire in the blazing sun midday in the summer, still you would not be able to understand. The only way you will understand is if you smear your entire body with the foot dust of a Maha-bhagavata. Then you will understand."
This was his answer. The material mind cannot understand this. Although a jiva never touches the gross material elements, the proximity of the modes of material nature causes vikara in the jiva, transformation of the jiva's qualities. Then this acquired nature is reflected in the manovrtti. The atma-vrtti is pure, but there is atma-guna-vikara, transformation. That distorted tendency is reflected in the subtle body, and then the subtle body controls the material body in this plane. This is a very difficult thing to understand, but here we do not see that the soul is contaminated by matter. Rather, because the jiva is very tiny and the guna-mayi Maya (the modes of material nature) is very powerful, by being close to guna-mayi Maya, the jiva under goes vikara. Just like when water becomes ice, it doesn't become impure water. It does not become contaminated. Only due to its environment vikara occurs in its qualities. In the case of the soul, this phenomenon is called atma-guna-vikara.

Next, Srila Bhaktivinoda asks in Jaiva Dharma, "What is a jiva?" Where does this jiva come from and why? Krsna is the Supreme Absolute Truth. We should know that the absolute Personality of Godhead, according to the sakti with which He is consorting, will manifest Himself in a particular way. Thus, when Krsna is situated in His jiva-sakti, He becomes Baladeva. Then, from Baladeva come unlimited jivas. When Baladeva is the predominating deity of that jiva-sakti, those jivas are called nitya-mukta parsada, eternally liberated associates. They are not called nitya-siddha. Nitya-siddha refers only to Radhika's kaya-vyuha. Even those jivas who have manifested directly from Baladeva and are always in the spiritual world, though they are eternally perfect, are not called nitya siddha.

They are not called nitya siddha because they are not complete in the same way that Krsna's own expansions or Radharani's own kaya-vyuha are complete. Krsna and His expansions are purna, and Radhika and Her kaya-vyuha are also purna, but the emanations from jiva-sakti are not purna. Yet they are called nitya-mukta parsada jiva. Who are they? Like Nanda Maharaja, all the cows, the sakhas-Subala, Sridama, Dama, Vasudama, Arjuna, Stoka Krsna, Madhumangala, Ujjvala-so many friends. They are all nitya mukta parsada jivas coming from Baladeva. If Krsna will situate Himself in His maya-sakti, then He will manifest His form as purusa-avatara, Maha-Visnu. And if Maha-Visnu will then situate Himself in jiva-sakti, uncountable millions of jivas come. They are called jagatgata jivas. This refers to the jivas from the tatastha position, who have the opportunity to go to the spiritual world or to the material world. They can go to the spiritual world by correctly using their independence, their free will. And those who want to enjoy independently from Krsna come into the material world.

All jivas come from jiva-sakti, but the jivas who manifest when Balarama is the adhistatri devata of the jiva-sakti are nitya mukta parsada. And the jivas who manifest when Maha-Visnu is the adhistatri devata in the form of Paramatma (Ksirodaksayi Visnu) have a chance to come into this world. These jivas are weak, while those who manifested in Goloka Vrndavana, having the support of svarupa-sakti, are very strong and can never fall down. Nevertheless, the jivas coming from Paramatma are essentially the same as the other jivas. Just as nitya-mukta jivas are associates, these jivas are also potentially associates. But because they are weak, because they are not manifested in the shelter of svarupa-sakti in the spiritual world, they have the possibilility of being over powered by the material energy.

To understand the nature of all these jivas, a very important analysis has been given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Krsna is called sat-cit-ananda vigraha. He is the embodiment of sat-cit-ananda (eternity, knowledge, and bliss). His svarupa-sakti comes from His svarupa. That sakti which has come from His svarupa and which is non-different from His svarupa is called svarupa-sakti. So Krsna is sat-cit-ananda vigraha. His svarupa is sat cit ananda. This svarupa-sakti has three vrttis.

There is only one energy of Krsna, svarupa-sakti. How many energies does Krsna have? Only one. Some people say three. Some people say unlimited. No. Only one sakti-that is para-sakti or svarupa-sakti. But depending on the activities performed by that one energy, we give it so many names. And also within the svarupa-sakti there are three vrttis, or functions. One is called hladini-vrtti, one is called samvit-vrtti, one is called sandhini-vrtti. Sandhini-vrtti means existence potency-eternal existence. Samvit-vrtti means knowledge potency-conciousness, cognizance, feeling. And hladini-vrtti means ananda-joy, pleasure, happiness. In sastra these terms have been given: sat, cit and ananda. Otherwise, they are called sandhini, samvit and hladini; or they are called bala, jnana and kriya; or satyam, sivam, sundaram. Many phrases have been used in the sastras but they are all speaking of the same thing. Sat cit ananda/ sandhini, samvit, hladini/ bala, jnana, kriya/ or satyam, sivam, sundaram-they all refer to the existence function, the cognizance function and the bliss function, respectively.

There is only one energy, svarupa-sakti, and that one energy undergoes transformation. Because these three vrttis are present in the svarupa-sakti, when the svarupa-sakti transforms, then these three vrttis continue to be present in that energy, but in a state of vikara, in a transformed condition. Now I'll try to clarify. In svarupa-sakti, what does sandhini do? It makes existence. It makes the dhama, Vrndavan dhama; all the shapes and forms and bodies of living entities there. Every shape, everything that has existence, comes from sandhini-vrtti, that is, eternal existence. Then comes samvit, knowledge potency. In Vaikuntha, it manifests as knowledge-I am the eternal servant of God.

Narayana is the Supreme Lord. He is sarva-saktiman, the master of all potencies, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. But this samvit-sakti, knowledge potency, does not work in Vrndavana, where samvit is nourished by hladini-vrtti, the pleasure potency. There samvit becomes not knowledge of tattva, philosophy and the position of God, but it becomes sambandha-jnana only. The knowledge of Vrndavana is: you can ask Mother Yasoda, "Can you tell me the 258th sutra of Vedanta?" She doesn't know. What does she know? "O, Krsna is my lala." Actually, she knows Vedanta better than anyone else. Why? Because in beginning of Vedanta, it says, athato brahma jijnasa. What does it mean? Atah means therefore, and athah means tadanantara-afterwards. Therefore, after, one should make some inquiries about the absolute truth, brahma. After what?

After understanding that this world is a place of suffering, after understanding that money cannot save you, after understanding that the bodily relationships between men and women only end in disaster and abysmal suffering, after understanding that the demigods also cannot help you ultimately. Therefore, after understanding all of these things, now ask about the truth-brahma. So, Vedanta advises one to search for the Absolute Truth. But when Krsna wakes up in the morning, He rubs His eyes and cries, "Maiya, Maiya!" and He looks for Mother Yasoda here and there. So Mother Yasoda does not need to know Vedanta, because the Absolute Truth is searching for her. "O Maiya, Maiya, where are you?" This is Bhakti-Vedanta. In the spiritual world, jnana (samvit-sakti) gives relationship. Mother Yasoda knows, Krsna is my lala. He came from my womb. He cannot outsmart me, I know better than Him. Others think that Krsna is my friend, or my beloved. Hladini transforms in so many ways and becomes, prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava, mahabhava. It is the pleasure potency which transforms up to madanakhya mahabhava, and gives all pleasure to Krsna.

When this svarupa-sakti is acting within the mandala of cit-jagat, that means just as this universe is called the solar system (surya-mandala), in the same way, the cit-jagat is one mandala. Krsna is the sun, krsna--surya-sama; maya haya andhakara (CC Madhya 22.31)-in the cit-jagat. Svarupa-sakti acts within the cit-jagat, which is the mandala, the solar system of the spiritual sun, Krsna.. But when that svarupa-sakti comes out from that mandala, it undergoes vikara, transformation. When it transforms, it is called tatastha-sakti. The svarupa-sakti has another vikara, which is of the nature of its shadow, and that is called maya-sakti. Because tatastha-sakti and maya-sakti are both the vikara or parinama, the transformation of svarupa-sakti, the three vrttis of svarupa-sakti must be present in tatastha-sakti and maya-sakti. They will be present in a transformed way. For example, if you speak, your voice sounds a particular way, but if you breathe some helium gas, what will happen? There will be vikara in your vocal cords. It will still be your voice, but transformed and so different; I'm just giving a material example. So in the same way, svarupa-sakti is one and it has three functions, sat, cit, and ananda. When it transforms, it has the same qualities but they are present in a different way. In what way are they different? What is the vrtti of sandhini, samvit and hladini in tatastha-sakti and maya-sakti?

The answer to this gives rise to many more questions. First I'll speak about maya-sakti. When the svarupa-sakti is transformed and has the nature of the shadow of itself, that is called maya-sakti. The transformations of sat-cit-ananda-sandhini, samvit and hladini-are present there. Sandhini (existence) makes all the shapes we see in this world. But what is the difference? These shapes do not last; they are temporary. We have one nose, two eyes-the spiritual body is also like that because the material body is a shadow of the spiritual body. All the things we see here have their origin there. All the rasas from there are manifest here-dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, madhurya rasa. They are similar, having the same appearance, but the quality is completely different. That is why Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura said, The material world is the dictionary of the spiritual world. What does that mean? In the dictionary, everything is there, everything you can think of you will find there, but it is only words, symbols representing the real thing. Radharani's complexion is golden, so here some complexions are golden. In this world, there is smiling, everything, but this is only like a symbol, a sign of the real thing which is there. Sandhini makes existence here, like a shadow or reflection of that world. That is the functioin of sandhini in maya-sakti.

Samvit-sakti is the knowledge or cognizance potency, the awareness potency which is present in svarupa-sakti in the cit jagat. When it comes in maya-sakti, it manifests in all the forms of material knowledge, including relationships. Maya-sakti is manifesting the idea of relationship-you are my husband, wife, mother, father, etc; or, this is my country. All these types of material knowledge are only the action of samvit-sakti reflected in maya-this is its vikara.

And what does hladini do? She metes out both happiness and distress, all the emotions which are felt by the jiva. This is explained is Visnu Purana:

hladini sandhini samvit
tvayy eka sarva-samsthitau
hlada-tapa-kari misra
tvayi no guna-varjite
The mixed happiness and distress of the material world is the function of hladini-sakti. This verse from Visnu Purana is quoted by Ramananda Raya to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The happiness and distress we feel in this world is also illusory. The knowledge potency makes us feel that we are related to this body and to our family members and so on. Because everything is temporary and changing, when we lose those things to which our body is related, we experience this loss as distress. We feel happiness when we meet with them and distress when we go away, but this happiness and distress is only the action of the material energy. It is not an action of the soul proper. The soul is only suffering due to identification with the material energy.

We have discussed the vrtti of samvit, sandhini and hladini in svarupa-sakti and maya-sakti. Now we come to the jiva, because we are discussing Jaiva Dharma. What is the nature of the jiva? Now, the discussion becomes very interesting. What is the function of sandhini in the jiva? We become very happy and overjoyed to discover that the function of sandhini in the jiva is the spiritual body. The suddha deha, the jiva's extremely subtle, pure form, is already there, but now it is covered over. When samvit and hladini-sakti are transformed in the tatastha sakti, the function of samvit (knowledge potency) is brahma-jnana, knowledge of brahma, nirvisesa-brahma. And the function of hladini in the tatastha-sakti is brahmananda, only the bliss of liberation, mukti, of realizing nirvisesa brahma. The jiva coming from tatastha, though he has existence, can undergo vikara.

Those jivas manifested from the jiva-sakti in the spiritual realm from Balarama can never undergo vikara by associating with material energy-they cannot associate with material energy; it is very far away from them. But the sandhini, the very existence, of those jivas who are close to maya-sakti is of the nature of a transformation of svarupa-sakti. Therefore, they can undergo vikara. The jiva-svarupa can be transformed-acquiring nisarga, his quality of being Krsna-dasa becomes become latent, and therefore he naturally engages in karma, jnana and yoga.

If he will give up all karma and become perfect in either jnana or yoga, then by his austerities, he can detach his senses from the effects of the modes of material nature, and the vikara, his acquired nature, starts to go away. The transformation starts to be reversed by his very hard austerities. When the vikara has gone away completely by his knowledge and hard austerities, he is no longer in a distorted position, and he is no longer affected by the modes of material nature. Now he is mukta, liberated, and he can realize brahma-jnana and brahmananda-only. Because that is the vrtti of samvit and hladini in the tatastha-sakti. When devotees learn this fact for the first time, they panic, Only brahma-jnana and brahmananda are in me? This is a very great mystery. We will delve into this mystery tomorrow.

Try to understand the constitution of the jiva and that he has come from tatastha-sakti. Try to understand the nature of tatastha-sakti, and how the vrttis of svarupa-sakti are present in tatastha-sakti in a transformed way-in the form of the jivas and brahma-jnana and brahmananda. And therefore, whatever the jiva does to become free from nisarga, his acquired nature, even if he is free, his potential is only as far as understanding brahma-jnana and brahmananda. What a drag. Oh, but don't worry. There's a secret, When this mystery of the secret potential of the jiva has been unlocked, then every single tattva-guru-tattva, vaisnava-tattva, diksa, what is sadhu sanga, how much sadhu sanga we need, why we need it, what is nama-tattva, bhakti-tattva-all tattvas at once will become clear, but only when this secret has been unlocked. We will do this tomorrow.

Question: What is karma yoga? And is it the same as bhakti?Answer: Gita explains what is the difference between karma yoga and bhakti. If you are following all religious principles given in the Vedas, but doing this only for your own sake, this is karma. If you are just acting independently of sastric injunctions, it is vikarama, against the Vedas. And if you are neglectful of your duty, it is akarma. Akarma and vikarama are dangerous. So you should do your duty in life-that is called karma. However, if you are doing your duty in life, but only because God has ordained that we must perform our duties, and you are giving up the results of your labor without wanting to enjoy the fruit, this will be called karma yoga. The result of karma yoga is that the avidya potency, the ignorance potency of maya, will recede and the vidya-sakti of maya will manifest in the form of knowledge. Then you can understand intuitively, I am not this body; this world is temporary, and all kinds of siddhantas related to atma-tattva and brahma-jnana will be realized automatically.

Even a simple person doing their duty everyday without attachment will automatically realize, I am not this body. But there is one point worthy of our consideration-we see that everyone is working in this world, so how is it that by doing the work which is prescribed in the Vedas, one becomes purified? The reason is that every activity has a particular quality. The activities of varnasrama dharma come from the Vedas, which, in turn, have emanated from the breathing of the Lord. Visnu is called yajna, so to perfrom prescribed duties is also called yajna.

yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra
loko 'yam karma-bandhanah
tad-artham karma kaunteya
mukta-sangah samacara
(BG 3.9)
Work performed as a sacrifice for Visnu must be done. Otherwise it causes bondage in this material world. But if you do your duty only for yajna, for Visnu, then you'll become liberated. Why? Visnu is transcendental, and prescribed duties have come from Him, so there is a potency in them, a quality, which is of the same nature as Visnu.

brahmarpanam brahma havir
brahmagnau brahmana hutam
brahmaiva tena gantavyam
Krsna stated in the fourth chapter of Bhagavad Gita (verse 24): If a person will perform those activities which are imbued with the quality of Visnu, then gradually the modes of material nature will go away, and he becomes liberated. But prescribed duties of karma yoga have come from Visnu, and no jiva in the whole universe is eternally related to Visnu. No jiva svarupa has any eternal relationship with the purusa-avataras, from whom the prescribed duties and all the rules of karma yoga have come. Paramatma is in your heart, but when you go to Goloka Vrndavana, He will not go with you. Paramatma is Ksirodaksayi Visnu He stays in this world to monitor everything. Thus, even though the prescribed duties come from Visnu and even though they are liberating, they are not svarupa-anubandhi. That means that they have no connection with jiva svarupa. The jiva, by svarupa (constitution) has a form and a role to play in the eternal pastimes of Krsna. Therefore, when Ramananda Raya told Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

purusena parah puman
visnur aradhyate pantha
nanyat tat-tosa-karanam
(Visnu Purana 3.8.8, CC Madhya 8.58)
You should observe the regulations of varnasrama dharma. Mahaprabhu replied, This is external. One might object, But it came from God, it is transcendental, it is liberating. That is true. Nevertheless, prescribed duty is not svarupa-anubandhi; it is not connected with the eternal occupational activity of the soul, which is to participate in Krsna's sweet pastimes in Vrndavana. Therefore, varnasrama dharma is external. It can never be a sadhana to manifest jiva-svarupa. Visnu is not visuddha-tattva. He is pure, but He has some connection with the temporary manifestation. Even names like Jagannatha, Isvara, Paramatma and so on are called gauna nama, secondary names. They have incredible power, but they cannot be compared to mukhya nama, names which are related directly to the nitya-lila.

Every jiva has free will. But those jivas in the spiritual realm, by nature, are called ragatmika jana. The raga or the thirst to serve Krsna is in their atma and it can never come out. So their free will is not manifested as, Will I serve Krsna or serve my senses? Rather, they manifest their free will, wondering, How will I serve Krsna? Should I massage His right foot first or His left foot? The jivas coming from tatastha-sakti have a special nature. But I will discuss that tomorrow. If I tell too much tonight, smoke may come out from your ears.

This is tattva-siddhanta. You should not be lazy to learn it. Today, I have only made a platform of interest-and frustration and a little bit of confusion. Because this is also Krsna's nature. He never gives anything directly. First He will drive you a little crazy. When you are really desperate and you don't know what to do, then He comes. Krsna saved Rukmini from Sisupala, but when? On the eve of her wedding day. This is His nature. Sri Krsna likes 'cliff-hangers'. Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-Gita to Arjuna in the middle of the battlefield when he was throwing his bow on the ground, and crying 'I can't go on.' Why didn't He tell him two weeks before the battle was to start? This is Krsna's nature-there's more rasa in this. Today I am only trying to make a disturbance and controversy. Then you'll all argue with each other until the next class. And when the clarification comes, oh, the harmonization is momentous and leaves a lasting impression.

Devotee: A doubt can come because the jiva has the tendency to become transformed when it comes in contact with material nature. Then someone can say, why isn't that same tendency in Krsna?

Maharaja: Yes, this question concerns ghatana, because all svabhava and nisarga depend on ghatana, the construction. Krsna, by His construction, is svarupa-sakti (sat-cit-ananda), but the jagatgata jiva is not of svarupa-sakti; he is a manifestation of tatastha-sakti. Those jivas who are manifest from svarupa-sakti are strong. But when svarupa-sakti comes out from the mandala of cit-jagat, it is transformed and the actions of samvit, sandhini and hladini become different. They become existence of the form, brahma-jnana, and brahmananda. So now he has a neutral nature. But there are some other secret things in the ghatana, in the construction of the jiva, which will explain why he is prone to go into maya. This we will discuss tomorrow.

If you read Jaiva Dharma once, you may not understand what I am saying. But if you read it again and again, then an understanding can come. I am taking ideas from here and there in the book and putting the conception together. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has made such a remarkable contribution. When the topic is clarified, then we can appreciate it. Now we may feel anxiety, Is it that in my heart there is only brahma-jnana and brahmananda? No wonder I always wanted to be liberated. No wonder I don't really feel like serving. So this is something serious, but the situation can change.

Once Gurudeva was telling so much complex siddhanta in Italy. He saw that many devotees were falling asleep, because in Italy, they eat pasta three times a day. So Gurudeva said, Hey, you have no taste in siddhanta. If you have no taste in siddhanta, you will not have taste in rasa-tattva also. If really you have taste for those things, then you will have taste in this first. So if you will understand these fundamental ideas, you will find them to be very valuable for making a strong platform.

We want to hear the sweet pastimes of Krsna, Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari, but how strong is our digestion? If we'll hear, sometimes the mind and body also experience some vikara or disturbance. Why? Because our platform is not strong; our digestion is not strong enough. Hearing tattva-siddhanta makes the digestion very strong. This creates a platform for hearing the sweet pastimes of Radha and Krsna so that they will be accepted in purity without any mixture of the mind. We should hear Their lilas without the interference of ku-samskara, the interruption of unfavorable impressions arising from our material experience. This is very important.

Gaura premanande!

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