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Questions asked by devotees and answered by Bhakti Charu Swami

“Born first as Brahma”

Not everything written in scripture need be taken literally. For example, Sri Jiva Goswami writes that when scripture tells us that the earth or the ocean spoke, this refers to the presiding deities of those regions, not the ground or the water itself. Similarly, in Govinda Bhasya, Baladeva Vidyabhusana says that the description of Paramatma as within the heart the size of one’s thumb is for the purpose of conceptualization in the practice of meditation. He mentions this to emphasize that the Paramatma is unlimited and cannot be restricted by material conceptions.

In this case when scripture says that the jiva is born first as Brahma, this refers to the samasti-jiva, the reservoir of conditioned jiva souls who appear through the lotus flower of Lord Brahma. This is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam SB 3.20.16 —sarva-jivanikayauko yatra svayam abhut svarat. It is also explained in SB 11.3.12, where the samasti-jiva is referred to as the vairaja-purusa. The purport of this verse says, “According to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, the word vairajah in this verse indicates the totality of the individual conditioned souls who originally take birth from Brahma and are amalgamated back into him at the time of annihilation.”

Here Lord Brahma represents the collective of jivas, only in this sense are the countless materially conditioned jivas born first as Brahma. Of course, a jiva can be born as a Brahma, but it is not that all jivas take birth first as Lord Brahmas–Creator of Universes, and then fall down to populate the universe as germs, worms, blades of grass and so forth.

Brahma Das (ACBSP)

» Posted By Brahma Das On Aug 18, 2006 @ 2:47 am

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