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Comments Posted By Japa Jim

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The Kirtan Book — Part Two?

I haven’t read the book, but I would just like to make a comment about the kirtan talent of Uttamasloka prabhu. I was in the Chicago mandir during the heyday of Uttamasloka prabhu. I remember a time when I came down from kitchen duty to the downstairs temple room in the old Chicago temple in Evanstan to join the kirtan in the temple room on a festival day. When I got to the doors of the temple rooms I just stopped and was shocked at the power that was emanating from the temple room. I struck me like there was some kind of nuclear reactor of kirtan inside the temple room. The power of that kirtan was just totally awesome. I was partial to playing the gong in the kirtans of Uttamasloka prabhu, years before I became a fairly decent mridanga player myself.
Wow, Uttamasloka prabhu? I always felt he was some demigod who had come down to Earth to join the movement of Srila Prabhupada.
I still believe that to this day.
He was truly one of the greatest kirtan leaders in the history of ISKCON.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Sep 30, 2008 @ 11:10 pm

Bhagavad Gita Class – Part 2

I think it is a little improper and unfair that the author of an article published on this website becomes the first person to respond to the article.
The author should just stand back and let the response from the devotee community come on it’s own.
Hare Krishna.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Sep 23, 2008 @ 11:50 pm

Remembering Sadaputa Prabhu

Is there some reason why we are never given any explanation of how or why a Godbrother has passed away. Why is it that in these announcements of deaths that there is never given any explanation of how it happened. Is there something wrong with an explanation of how it happened?

» Posted By Japa Jim On Sep 20, 2008 @ 12:26 am

Constitutional position of the soul

The last two paragraphs were not in quotation marks. As such they are not presented as quotes of Srila Prabhupada but are the words of the person who wrote the article.
Please note the quotation marks around the quotes from Sri Caitanya Caritamrita. There is also a third paragraph not in quotation marks.
However, all of the comments of the author of the article simply emphasize the points being made in the two verses and purports that were quoted. Nothing extra was added.
There was no deception intended in the article.
Anyone who knows rules of grammar should be able to know what quotation marks or the lack thereof indicate.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Sep 16, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

Our constitutional body is eternal, could it be that we are presently dreaming?

Srila Prabhupada addressed the origins question in this purport and gives what he calls the conclusion.

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.30.5:

“The conclusion is that the origin of all life is the bodily effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

end quote.

Thus, the conclusion to the origin debate is given by Srila Prabhupada.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Nov 4, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

Akruranatha says:
“Sometimes I try to read books like H.H. Sivarama Swami’s “Krsna-sangati”. The actual answers are probably in books like that. I have dipped into such books but I do not feel ready to seriously study such things. If someone asked, I would probably tell them to ask Sivarama Swami or someone else with very advanced realizations and understanding of this sort of issue.”

Sivarama Swami has written:

“The sadhana-siddhas are novices to Sri Krsna’s pastimes and have truly not met Him. Their purva-raga is a consequence of associating with the eternal associates.” (Venu Gita p.52 by Sivarama Swami)

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 30, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur writes in “Brahmana and Vaisnava” , Harijana-khanda:

“”Before acquiring material designations, the living entity is supremely pure. EVEN THOUGH HE IS NOT ENGAGED IN SERVING THE SUPREME LORD, he remains situated in the neutral position of santa-rasa due to his marginal nature. Though the living entity born from the marginal potency does not at that time exhibit a taste for serving the Lord due to a LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF SELF REALIZATION, his direct propensity of serving the Supreme Lord nevertheless remains within him in a dormant state. Though the indirect propensity of material enjoyment, which is contrary to the service of the Lord, is not found in him at that time, indifference to the service of Hari and the seed of material enjoyment, which follows that state of indifference, are nevertheless present within him.”

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 28, 2007 @ 1:27 am

Chapter 5: Hymn to the Absolute Truth

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrī Brahma-saḿhitā 5.21

sa nityo nitya-sambandhaḥ

prakṛtiś ca paraiva sā


saḥ — that (jīva); nityaḥ — eternal; nitya-sambandhaḥ — possessing an eternal relationship; prakṛtiḥ — potency; ca — and; parā — spiritual; eva — certainly; sā — that.


The same jīva is eternal and is for eternity and without a beginning joined to the Supreme Lord by the tie of an eternal kinship. He is transcendental spiritual potency.


Just as the sun is eternally associated with his rays so the transcendental Supreme Lord is eternally joined with the jīvas. The jīvas are the infinitesimal particles of His spiritual effulgence and are, therefore, not perishable like mundane things. Jīvas, being particles of Godhead’s effulgent rays, exhibit on a minute scale the qualities of the Divinity. Hence jīvas are identical with the principles of knowledge, knower, egoism, enjoyer, meditator and doer. Kṛṣṇa is the all-pervading, all-extending Supreme Lord; while jīvas have a different nature from His, being His atomic particles. That eternal relationship consists in this that the Supreme Lord is the eternal master and jīvas are His eternal servants. Jīvas have also sufficient eligibility in respect of the mellow quality of the Divinity. Apareyam itas tv anyāḿ prakṛtiḿ viddhi me parām. By this verse of the Gītā it is made known that jīvas are His transcendental potency. All the qualities of the unalloyed soul are above the eightfold qualities such as egotism, etc., pertaining to His acit potency. Hence the jīva potency. though very small in magnitude, is still superior to acit potency or Māyā. This potency has another name, viz., taṭasthā or marginal potency. being located on the line demarcating the spheres of the spiritual and mundane potencies. He is susceptible to the influence of the material energy owing to his small magnitude. But so long as he remains submissive to Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Māyā, he is not liable to the influence of Māyā. The worldly afflictions, births and rebirths are the concomitants of the fettered condition of souls fallen into the clutches of the deluding potency from a time that has no beginning.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 26, 2007 @ 1:38 am

The “svarupa” of the jiva is perfectly explained by Lord Chaitanya in his teachings to Srila Rupa Goswami.
Despite some ideas that the original svarupa of the jiva was a spiritual body as an associate of Krishna in Goloka/Vaikuntha, Lord Chaitanya describes the “svarupa” of the jiva as being a spirit spark 1/10,000th the size the tip of a hair.

Here is Lord Chaitanya’s definitive and unambiguous pronouncement on the “svarupa” of the living entity.

Chapter 19: Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Instructs Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 19.139

keśāgra-śateka-bhāga punaḥ śatāḿśa kari

tāra sama sūkṣma jīvera ‘svarūpa’ vicāri


keśa-agra — from the tip of a hair; śata-eka — one hundred; bhāga — divisions; punaḥ — again; śata-aḿśa — one hundred divisions; kari — making; tāra sama — equal to that; sūkṣma — very fine; jīvera — of the living entity; svarūpa — the actual form; vicāri — I consider.


“The length and breadth of the living entity is described as one ten-thousandth part of the tip of a hair. This is the original subtle nature of the living entity.

end quote.

Lord Chaitanya instructed Srila Rupa Goswami that the original svarupa of the jiva and the original subtle nature of the jiva was as a spirit spark 1/10,000th the size the tip of a hair.

The theory that we have a spiritual form in Goloka that we have lost remembrance of necessitates that maya penetrated the svarupa-shakti of Vaikuntha/Goloka and influenced the jiva to forget Krishna.
Maya cannot influence the liberated devotees of Krishna in the spiritual world.
Maya cannot enter there to do her work.


Chapter 9: Answers by Citing the Lord’s Version

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.9.10

pravartate yatra rajas tamas tayoḥ

sattvaḿ ca miśraḿ na ca kāla-vikramaḥ

na yatra māyā kim utāpare harer

anuvratā yatra surāsurārcitāḥ


pravartate — prevail; yatra — wherein; rajaḥ tamaḥ — the modes of passion and ignorance; tayoḥ — of both of them; sattvam — the mode of goodness; ca — and; miśram — mixture; na — never; ca — and; kāla — time; vikramaḥ — influence; na — neither; yatra — therein; māyā — illusory, external energy; kim — what; uta — there is; apare — others; hareḥ — of the Personality of Godhead; anuvratāḥ — devotees; yatra — wherein; sura — by the demigods; asura — and the demons; arcitāḥ — worshiped.


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.

end quote.

So, considering that maya cannot enter the spiritual world and tempt the devotees, we have to conclude that the theory of the dormant spiritual body in the spiritual world cannot be factual.

A fall from Goloka necessitates that maya has penetrated the svarupa-shakti and put devotees into illusion.

According to the shastric siddhanta this is an impossibility.

Mahaprabhu has properly narrated the svarupa of the jiva as being a spirit spark 1/10,000 the size the tip of a hair.
Anything beyond this idea is speculation that cannot be verified by shastra.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 25, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

Chapter 31: The Supreme Perfection

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Teachings of Lord Caitanya

When spiritual energy is overwhelmed by ignorance, it is called marginal energy.

end quote

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.3.34


yenedam akhilaḿ tatam


tasmai bhagavate namaḥ


ananta-avyakta-rūpeṇa — by the unlimited, unmanifested form; yena — by which; idam — this; akhilam — total aggregate; tatam — expanded; cit — with spiritual; acit — and material; śakti — potency; yuktāya — unto he who is endowed; tasmai — unto him; bhagavate — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; namaḥ — I offer my respectful obeisances.


Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme, who in his unlimited, unmanifested form has expanded the cosmic manifestation, the form of the totality of the universe. He possesses external and internal energies and the mixed energy called the marginal potency, which consists of all the living entities.

end quote.

So, it appears from these two references that marginal energy is when spiritual energy is overwhelmed by ignorance and becomes a mixture of internal and external energy.

This condition does not apply to the liberated devotees of Vaikuntha/Goloka, so it seems that we cannot really apply the “marginal” designation to them.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 24, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

According to Srila Prabhupada in Krishna Book, we have not yet had association with Krishna, because he says that if a devotee becomes perfect he gets to take birth in a universe where Krishna’s pastimes are being manifest and at that time gets his FIRST OPPORTUNITY to associate with Krishna.

Obviously, the statement that “first opportunity” indicates that we have never before had an opportunity to associate with Krishna.

As such, there is no possibility of falling from Krishna’s service and association if we are still waiting for our “first opportunity” to associate with Krishna in Gokula Vrindavan as it is being manifest in a material universe.

If we already have a body in Goloka that is in a coma then we would be able to go straight back to that body. Since we don’t already have a body in Goloka as some person is saying, then we have to take birth in Gokula Vrindavan to establish our spiritual relationship with Krishna and attain a spiritual body which we don’t presently have at this time.

Krishna Book ch. 28
[QUOTE]The fact is, those who are always engaged in Krsna consciousness and mature, pure devotional service are given the chance, after death, to gain Krsna’s association in the universes within the material world. Krsna’s pastimes are continually going on, either in this universe or in another universe. Just as the sun globe is passing through many places across this earthly planet, so Krsna-lila, or the transcendental advent and pastimes of Krsna, are also going on continually, either in this or another universe. The mature devotees, who have completely executed Krsna consciousness, are immediately transferred to the universe where Krsna is appearing. In that universe the devotees get their first opportunity to associate with Krsna personally and directly.[/QUOTE]

so, yes, we have not fallen down from Goloka.
We have never been in Goloka to fall from there.

There is no falling from Goloka.
The pure devotees of Krishna are infallible as Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 23, 2007 @ 1:05 am

Krishna Book – Ch. 89 , The Superexcellent Power of Krishna:

“”My dear Arjuna, the glaring effulgence, the transcendental light which you are seeing, is My bodily rays. O chief of the descendants of Bharata, this brahmajyoti is Myself.” As the sun disc and the sunshine cannot be separated, similarly Krsna and His bodily rays, the brahmajyoti, cannot be separated. Thus Krsna claimed that the brahmajyoti is He Himself. This is clearly stated in the Harivamsa, when Krsna says, “aham sah.” The brahmajyoti is a combination of the minute particles known as spiritual sparks, or the living entities known as citkana. The Vedic word so’ham, or “I am the brahmajyoti,” can also be applied to the living entities, who can also claim to belong to the brahmajyoti. In the Harivamsa, Krsna further explains, “This brahmajyoti is an expansion of My spiritual energy.”

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati says in the purport to Brahma-samhita 5.16:

“The innumerable jivas as spiritual particles emanating from the oversoul in the form of pencils of rays of effulgence, have no relation with the mundane world when they come to know themselves to be the eternal servants of the Supreme Lord. They are then incorporated into the realm of Vaikuntha. But when they desire to lord it over Maya, forgetting their real identity. the egotistic principle Sambhu entering into their entities makes them identify themselves as separated enjoyers of mundane entities.”

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 19, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

Srila Prabhupada:
“Our Knowledge Is Not Knowledge”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.03
Bombay, December 15, 1974

“So, so long the sun is there, the sunshine is there. Sunshine means the combination of the bright molecules, molecular part. Similarly, we are parts of the brahmajyoti. Brahmajyoti means combination of unlimited living entities. Svayam-jyotih, it is said. Svayam-jyotir visvam. Svayam-jyotir visvam yena samanvitam. That jyoti is spread all over the universe, all over the universe. So the living entities are there just like sunshine is spread all over the universe. And what is the sunshine? A combination of small bright particles. Similarly, we are also bright, jyoti. And that is realization, aham brahmasmi, that “I am also small particle jyoti, and the Supreme Brahman is also jyoti…” Yasya prabha [Bs. 5.40]. And what is this prabha, this prabha, this jyoti? It is Krsna’s bodily rays.”

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 19, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

Srila Prabhupada says in Krishna Book: Ch. 20, Description of Autumn;

“The brahmajyoti–spiritual effulgence–is just like the sunshine; as the sunshine is full of molecular shining particles, so the brahmajyoti is full of minute portions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Out of that unlimited expansion of minute portions of the Supreme Lord, some are covered by the influence of material nature, whereas others are free.”

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 19, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

Akruranatha says:

“The passage quoted describes a history of the origins of jivas that our Srila Prabhupada did not describe for us.”

That is not true.

Read this purport from Sri Isopanisada text 17,

Sri Isopanishad 17 purport,
“As we have learned from previous mantras, the brahmajyoti emanating from the transcendental body of the Lord is full of spiritual sparks that are individual entities with the full sense of existence. Sometimes these living entities want to enjoy their senses, and therefore they are placed in the material world to become false lords under the dictation of the senses.”

So, there you have it.
Srila Prabhupada didn’t manufacture anything new.
He taught the same thing that the Vedas have been teaching for thousands of years.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 19, 2007 @ 1:52 am

Akruranatha says:

“Srila Prabhupada has said over and over again that jivas remain “marginal” and “fragmental” even in the liberated condition.”

Fragmental yes.
Nowhere have I seen Srila Prabhupada say this.

Please don’t take “fragmentary” and try to equate that with “marginal”.
They are not synonymous.

I don’t think you can produce one verifiable reference where Srila Prabhupada says that liberated souls remain “marginal” after liberation.

You are trying to win the debate by making false comparisons between “fragmental” and “marginal”.

If you have to resort to such tactics to win the debate, then that just shows that you aren’t playing fair and are more interested in winning a debate than in understanding siddhanta.

Krishna says that by a fragment of himself he creates and maintains the whole material creation.
So, a fragment of Krishna can be unlimitedly powerful, unlike the marginal conditioned jivas who make their stand in the land of maya.

If you think that a fragment of Krishna is the same as a conditioned jiva, then you have no concept of the potential power of a fragment of Krishna.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 16, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 20.117 purport,
“The living entity is called the marginal energy because by nature he is spiritual but by forgetfulness he is situated in the material energy. Thus he has the power to live either in the material energy or in the spiritual energy, and for this reason he is called marginal energy. Being in the marginal position, he is sometimes attracted by the external, illusory energy, and this is the beginning of his material life.”

So, it is quite obvious that “marginal” means that the living entity is situated in the material energy due to forgetfulness of Krishna.
The liberated devotees are neither situated in the material energy or forgetful of Krishna.
As such, they are not “marginal” jivas caught in the web of illusion.

Read the purport.
The living entity is called marginal because “by forgetfulness he is situated in the material energy”.

The liberated pure devotees do not fit this description.
Therefore, they cannot be classified along with the forgetful marginal jivas caught in the illusory energy.

The liberated pure devotees are internal energy, not marginal energy.
Marginal means a spirit soul is caught up in illusion.
It means he is spiritual but caught up in the material energy.
That is what marginal means.

Parishads of Krishna with bodies made of sandhini and hladini shakti are not marginal jivas.

There has to be a difference between liberated jivas in pure devotional service and conditioned jivas in illusion.
The difference is that the conditioned jivas are marginal potency and the liberated jivas are internal spiritual potency.

Shastra makes it clear that the associates of Krishna are manifested by hladini and sandhini shaktis.
Krishna’s intimate associates and devotees are NEVER marginal jivas.
They are internal devotees.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 16, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

Siva says:
“Tathastha does not refer to a place, it does not possess a locatice meaning in the sense of being in a particular spot. Tatastha has an ontological meaning. The jiva is a sakti of the Lord, it exists as neither Cit Sakti nor as Maya Sakti, we exist in between these two categories of saktis, therefore we are called Tatastha. The place where water, as in a river an ocean or lake, where it meets the land, that is called tata. The Cit Sakti is represented by the water and the Maya Sakti us represented by the land. Since we are neither the Maya Sakti nor the Cit Sakti, neither the water or the land, we are called tatastha, or the inbetween the water and the land. The tide can cause us to be submerged in water or the tide can retreat and we can become left on the land. The jiva can be influenced and come under the dominion of the Cit Sakti or of the Maya Sakti. Either was the constitutional position of the jiva is tatastha sakti, the marginal potency, on the margin or border between 2 other potencies.”
end quote:

I would have to disagree with that analysis.
Tatastha-shakti is called tatastha-shakti because it was begotten in the Viraja as Maha-Vishnu lies there in that causal ocean in his yoga-nidra.

In Brahma-Samhita we find the purport:

Śrī Brahma-saḿhitā 5.44 purport,
“When jīvas begotten of the marginal potency (taṭasthā śakti) forget the service of Kṛṣṇa they are confined in the mundane prison house, the citadel of Durgā.”

The marginal potency of Krishna is manifested in the marginal plane of the Viraja.
That is why it is called marginal potency, because it is employed in the marginal realm of the Viraja.

This Viraja is described as having a marginal nature in shastra.

“Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 21.50


antare virajā nadī


toyaiḥ prasrāvitā śubhā


pradhāna-parama-vyomnoḥ antare — between the material world and the spiritual world; virajā nadī — is a river known as Virajā; veda-ańga — of the transcendental body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sveda-janitaiḥ — produced from the perspiration; toyaiḥ — with water; prasrāvitā — flowing; śubhā — all-auspicious.


“‘Between the spiritual and the material world is a body of water known as the river Virajā. This water is generated from the bodily perspiration of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Vedāńga. Thus the river flows.”

This description exactly corresponds that what is said in this verse about the marignal nature of the jiva.

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 20.108-109 purport,
“You belong to Kṛṣṇa’s marginal potency. There are two worlds — the spiritual world and the material world — and you are situated between the material and spiritual potencies. You have a relationship with both the material and the spiritual world; therefore you are called the marginal potency.”

So, it is quite obvious that tatastha-shakti refers to the jivas that are manifested by Maha-Vishnu from within the Viraja.
That is the whole idea of tatastha-shakti.
The jivas that inhabit this material energy were manifested in the Viraja and it was from there where they made their first mistake in judgement to turn to maya and away from the Lord.
Since the Viraja is spiritual and the jivas being manifested there are potentially pure, it is a falldown for the jiva to chose maya over the Lord from that marginal position.

To say that the tatastha-shakti has nothing to do with a place or a realm of existence is just wrong.
I know, Shiva says that even the liberated devotees of Goloka are also marginal potency.
I don’t accept that in the way some others do.
Maybe they WERE tatastha-shakti before they became loving servants of Krishna and for that reason they can also be referred to as marginal potency.

When a jiva attains the infallible position of liberation in devotional service, I just don’t see how and why they can be lumped-in with all the conditioned jivas that are begotten by the marginal potency for the purpose of inhabiting the material worlds.
Something about that just doesn’t set right with me.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 16, 2007 @ 12:21 am

Gauragopala das says:

“The foremost meaning of the word ‘marginal’ is the ability for one to use their free will and choose to remain either Krishna Conscious as their endless Svarupa body in Vaikuntha, or material conscious in counterfeit bodily vessels in the material creation or mahat-tattva.”

That is your definition.
Marginal is the English transliteration of the word “tatastha”

A Vedabase search only produces two results in all of Srila Prabhupada’s books where “tatastha” (marginal) appears in the original text in terms of the jiva.

1.taṭasthā — the marginal potency; CC Madhya 6.160
2.taṭasthā — marginal; CC Madhya 20.108-109

In both cases tatastha is translated as marginal.

It is never stated to mean anything except “marginal”.

Anyone who things that the liberated devotees of Krishna in Gokula are “marginal” has a serious misconception going on.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 12, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

I don’t think I can keep up with the discussion here very well. These issues have been dealt with by much more qualified persons than myself on other discussion forums. The format of this website is more article oriented and doesn’t lend itself well to detailed debates or discussions. Forum websites serve that purpose much better.

So, I might not be able to reply very regularly or completely to the different points of issue that this discussion is attempting to deal with.

However, with the limited time I have available for this reply, I would like to address a couple of points in the discussion.

Akruranatha says:
“This statement appears to me to be saying that the jiva, by its essential nature, is situated between the material and spiritual potencies. It never at any time becomes the “spiritual potency” or the “material potency”. Whether situated in the spiritual world or the material world, it always remains “marginal potency,” by its very nature. Therefore, it has a relationship with both the material and spiritual world.”

I cannot agree with that assessment.

I do not accept that internal devotees, the parishads of Krishna in Vrindavan are marginal potency by the definition Mahaprabhu gave to Srila Rupa Goswami.
I don’t agree as you say that the “essential nature” of the jiva is tatastha shakti.
Srila Prabhupada has written that the jiva is by quality internal potency.
I already submitted that quote, but I think you have passed over it without giving due attention to the quote.

Here it is again:
“Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 2.96 purport.

“These three energies of the Absolute Truth are also described in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, where it is said that the living being is equal in quality to the internal potency.”

The “essential nature” of the jiva is that of being internal energy of Krishna.
The marginal condition of the jiva is due to being situated in a position between the material and spiritual energies.
The liberated devotees of Goloka are not situated between the two energies as the conditioned jivas of the material world are.
They are totally and absolutely isolated from the material energy because of being fully integrated into the internal plane of Goloka.
They are not marginal jivas.
They are internal jivas in the same broader category as the shaktis.
Jivas are living beings. Shaktis serve with love and devotion.
If the jiva comes to serve Krishna with love and devotion, then the jiva is within the category of the shaktis in quality but not in quantity.

Marginal does not describe the internal devotees of Krishna.
It describes conditioned jivas that are stuck between the material and spiritual energies.

Mahaprabhu teaches:
“You have a relationship with both the material and the spiritual world; therefore you are called the marginal potency.”

So, it is quite clear than marginal potency refers to jivas that are in between the material and spiritual energies.
The liberated parishads of Krishna in Goloka are not in between.
They are securely situated in the internal energy of devotional service.

So, I think we should know the difference between a marginal jiva and a liberated jiva situated in the internal energy of which the jiva is by nature the same as in quality.

If we accept the definition of “tatastha-shakti” as given by Mahaprabhu, then we cannot apply that same designation to the internal devotees of the totally and absolutely internal realm of Goloka and Vaikuntha.

So, anyway, Akruranatha is asking me for exact and specific quotes for everything I say.
But, I see him offering his views and opinions without exacting shastric reference, so there is no way to discuss things properly with a double standard as this.

I offer quotes and he replies with opinions and paraphrase.
This kind of discussion is a one way street.

Here is his opinionated response to my shastric references.

“This statement appears to me to be saying that the jiva, by its essential nature, is situated between the material and spiritual potencies. It never at any time becomes the “spiritual potency” or the “material potency”. Whether situated in the spiritual world or the material world, it always remains “marginal potency,” by its very nature. Therefore, it has a relationship with both the material and spiritual world.”

May I ask for shastra to support your opinions that the “essential nature of the jiva is to be marginal potency”.
I thought the essential nature of the jiva was love of Krishna?
What is marginal about that?

Can you show shastric support to prove that liberated devotees of Goloka are marginal jivas?
I would love to see it.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 10, 2007 @ 3:59 am

Response to Akruranatha:

You say: “The position you are taking sounds different to me from what Srila Prabhupada teaches”.

First of all, Srila Prabhupada doesn’t teach anything different than what is in the Gaudiya shastra. Srila Prabhupada never claimed to be or wanted to be seen as saying anything that is not in the Gaudiya shastra. Sometimes devotees present Srila Prabhupada as an independent authority above and beyond sadhu and shastra. He never wanted to be presented in such a light. So, Srila Prabhupada made a great effort to provide English translations of the Gaudiya shastra for western people.

You say Shiva always substantiates his views with authoritative reference. Well, he presents a lot of quotes but not really quotes that exactly and precisely support his claim that Radha is a plenary expansion of Krishna or that the parshadas of Krishna in Goloka are marginal jivas.

In my view it appears something like a smokescreen or a blurring of the issues with so many quotes that he appears to know what he is talking about. His quotes do not support either of his erroneous claims that Radha is a plenary expansion of Krishna or that the eternally liberated devotees of Krishna in Goloka are marginal jivas.

So, you say it is not tedious, but it is very tedious to try and cut through long held and cherished misconceptions of western devotees.

On the first issue of his claiming that Radha is a plenary expansion of Krishna, I would say the ball is in his court to prove that. I have nothing to prove concerning that issue. Radha is not a plenary expansion of Krishna or she would be a male personality and predominating of shaki as are all the expansions of Krishna.

I don’t think anyone other than Shiva is going to argue that Radha is a plenary expansion of Krishna as Shiva says.
“The plenary expansions of God, either male or female, are all still that same one person, although they display different quantity and quality of all of God’s personal characteristics, they still are all the same person.”

His idea is that Shaktiman is having an affair with Shaktiman rather than Shakti.
Maybe he really knows better but he is just not expressing himself properly in words.
Shiva is an old friend of mine and I personally like him and admire him.
But, on this issue I think he has made a bad choice of words.
On the issue of marginal potency, I think he is just clinging to personal conceptions that he has erroneously read into shastric statements. I think he is more interested in supporting his personal conceptions with shastra than trying to actually understand the deeper and broader meanings of shastra beyond the views he imbibed in his early years in ISKCON.

I am not much for long and tedious dissertations, so I will be as brief and concise as possible.

First, we must understand that jivas are by constitution internal energy.
Srila Prabhupada explains.

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 2.96 purport.

“These three energies of the Absolute Truth are also described in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, where it is said that the living being is equal in quality to the internal potency.”

Next, I would like to show that the marginal condition of the jiva is in terms of his being manifested as marginal potency of Maha-Vishnu and that the marginal condition is not insurmountable.

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 2.96 purport.

kṛṣṇera svarūpa, āra śakti-traya-jñāna
yāńra haya, tāńra nāhi kṛṣṇete ajñāna

“The external and marginal potencies are so called under various conditions, but in the original, internal potencies there are no such conditions, nor is it possible for the conditions of the external potency to exist in the marginal, or vice versa.”

So, the marginal condition of the jiva is a condition that does not exist in the original internal potency as exhibited in Goloka Vrindavan. Marginal shakti is manifested by Maha-Vishnu from the Viraja where he lies down and casts his glance over Prakriti.

Next, I would like to show that, for example, all the gopis of Vrindavan are expansions of Radha and not marginal shakti of Maha-Vishnu.

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 4.74-75

kṛṣṇa-kāntā-gaṇa dekhi tri-vidha prakāra

eka lakṣmī-gaṇa, pure mahiṣī-gaṇa āra

vrajāńganā-rūpa, āra kāntā-gaṇa-sāra

śrī-rādhikā haite kāntā-gaṇera vistāra


kṛṣṇa-kāntā-gaṇa — the lovers of Lord Kṛṣṇa; dekhi — I see; tri-vidha — three; prakāra — kinds; eka — one; lakṣmī-gaṇa — the goddesses of fortune; pure — in the city; mahiṣī-gaṇa — the queens; āra — and; vraja-ańganā — of the beautiful women of Vraja; rūpa — having the form; āra — another type; kāntā-gaṇa — of the lovers; sāra — the essence; śrī-rādhikā haite — from Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī; kāntā-gaṇera — of the lovers of Kṛṣṇa; vistāra — the expansion.


The beloved consorts of Lord Kṛṣṇa are of three kinds: the goddesses of fortune, the queens, and the milkmaids of Vraja, who are the foremost of all. These consorts all proceed from Rādhikā.

So, all the gopis proceed from Radha.
If a jiva attains svarupa-siddhi as a milkmaid of Krishna and attains Goloka, then such a jiva is manifested in Vrindavan via the expansion of Radha as hladini-shakti as opposed to being tatastha-shakti of Maha-Vishnu from the plane of Viraja.

The other devotees of Krishna in Goloka as manifested via sandhini-shakti.

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 4.65

mātā, pitā, sthāna, gṛha, śayyāsana āra

e-saba kṛṣṇera śuddha-sattvera vikāra


mātā — mother; pitā — father; sthāna — place; gṛha — house; śayya-āsana — beds and seats; āra — and; e-saba — all these; kṛṣṇera — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; śuddha-sattvera — of the śuddha-sattva; vikāra — transformations.


Kṛṣṇa’s mother, father, abode, house, bedding, seats and so on are all transformations of śuddha-sattva.


“Lord Kṛṣṇa’s father, mother and household affairs are all displayed in the same viśuddha-sattva existence. A living entity situated in the status of pure goodness can understand the form, qualities and other features of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa consciousness begins on the platform of pure goodness. Although there is a faint realization of Kṛṣṇa at first, Kṛṣṇa is actually realized as Vāsudeva, the absolute proprietor of omnipotence or the prime predominating Deity of all potencies. When the living entity is situated in viśuddha-sattva, transcendental to the three material modes of nature, he can perceive the form, quality and other features of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through his service attitude. The status of pure goodness is the platform of understanding, for the Supreme Lord is always in spiritual existence.

Kṛṣṇa is always all-spiritual. Aside from the parents of the Personality of Godhead, all the other paraphernalia of His existence are also essentially a manifestation of sandhinī-śakti, or a transformation of viśuddha-sattva. To make this more clear, it may be said that this sandhinī-śakti of the internal potency maintains and manifests all the variegatedness of the spiritual world. In the kingdom of God, the Lord’s servants and maidservants, His consorts, His father and mother and everything else are all transformations of the spiritual existence of sandhinī-śakti. The existential sandhinī-śakti in the external potency similarly expands all the variegatedness of the material cosmos, from which we can have a glimpse of the spiritual field.”

Mahaprabhu explained to Sanatan Goswami what it means tatastha-shakti.

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 20.108-109

jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya — kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’
kṛṣṇera ‘taṭasthā-śakti’ ‘bhedābheda-prakāśa’
sūryāḿśa-kiraṇa, yaiche agni-jvālā-caya
svābhāvika kṛṣṇera tina-prakāra ‘śakti’ haya

jīvera — of the living entity; svarūpa — the constitutional position; haya — is; kṛṣṇera — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; nitya-dāsa — eternal servant; kṛṣṇera — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; taṭasthā — marginal; śakti — potency; bheda-abheda — one and different; prakāśa — manifestation; sūrya-aḿśa — part and parcel of the sun; kiraṇa — a ray of sunshine; yaiche — as; agni-jvālā-caya — molecular particle of fire; svābhāvika — naturally; kṛṣṇera — of Lord Kṛṣṇa; tina-prakāra — three varieties; śakti — energies; haya — there are.

“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa because he is the marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Kṛṣṇa has three varieties of energy.

“Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura explains these verses as follows: Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī asked Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, “Who am I?” In answer, the Lord replied, “You are a pure living entity. You are neither the gross material body nor the subtle body composed of mind and intelligence. Actually you are a spirit soul, eternally part and parcel of the Supreme Soul, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore you are His eternal servant. You belong to Kṛṣṇa’s marginal potency. There are two worlds — the spiritual world and the material world — and you are situated between the material and spiritual potencies. You have a relationship with both the material and the spiritual world; therefore you are called the marginal potency. You are related with Kṛṣṇa as one and simultaneously different. Because you are spirit soul, you are one in quality with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but because you are a very minute particle of spirit soul, you are different from the Supreme Soul. Therefore your position is simultaneously one with and different from the Supreme Soul. The examples given are those of the sun itself and the small particles of sunshine and of a blazing fire and the small particles of fire.” Another explanation of these verses can be found in Ādi-līlā, Chapter Two, verse 96.”

For emphasis I will repeat:
“You belong to Kṛṣṇa’s marginal potency. There are two worlds — the spiritual world and the material world — and you are situated between the material and spiritual potencies. You have a relationship with both the material and the spiritual world; therefore you are called the marginal potency.”

The liberated nitya-siddha devotees of Krishna in Goloka are not between the material and spiritual potencies.
They are manifested in Vrindavan via hladini-shakti as consorts or sandhini-shakti in the other rasas with Krishna.

Tatastha-shakti is the jiva who is exposed to the material energy with the potential to transfer to the spiritual internal energy.
The pure devotees of Krishna in Goloka are not in that situation.

So, the marginal condition of the jiva is only applicable unless and until the jiva attains to pure devotional service.
Srila Prabhupada mentions the transformation of energy in this purport.

Sri Isopanishad 5 purport,
“Because He is full of inconceivable potencies, God can accept our service through any sort of medium, and He can convert His different potencies according to His own will.”

So Krishna can convert external potency to internal potency and also remove the marginal condition of the jiva who is already by constitution internal potency.

So, enough for this post.
It is long enough.
I can follow up again later.

All glories to Sri-Sri Guru and Gauranga.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 9, 2007 @ 12:19 am

Akruranatha says:
“I just wanted to leave a short message for Japa Jim. Of course Srimati Radharani is energy of the energetic, shakti of the shaktiman, prakrti of the purusa, predominated, feminine. Shiva certainly knows that.

One point Shiva was making is that the infinitesimal jivas, who are also shakti, are quite different from the Lord’s shaktis such as Radha, Rukmini, and Laksmidevi.”

Japa Jim replies:
Shiva has stated several times on different web sites that Radha is a plenary expansion of Krishna. That is categorically incorrect and ontologically erroneous. I think it is a mistaken notion on his part that is not shastrically verifiable.

As far as jivas being “quite different” from the shaktis, I would also have to say that in perfection, self-realization and the attainment of madhurya-rasa, the jivas are non-different from the shaktis as an expansion of shakti.
All the gopis are expansions of Radha.
They are not jiva-shakti expansions of Paramatma at that stage.
If and when a living entity gets the bhakti-lata-bjia and cultivates it to the culmination of perfection, such a jiva attains Goloka as an expansion of Radha and as bhakta-tattva is in the same category as the shaktis.
Such souls are “mahatma” (great souls) and bhakta-tattva.
They are no longer in the category of marginal tatastha jivas.
Tatastha-shakti is manifested by Maha-Vishnu in the border realm between the material and spiritual worlds.
The eternal associates of Krishna in Vrindavan are not tatastha-shakti as there is no marginal situation or exposure to the material atmosphere there.

Shiva is confused on a few of the detailed points of siddhanta.
He thinks Radha is a plenary expansion of Krishna and that the liberated pure devotees of Krishna in Goloka Vrindavan are marginal energy.
He is incorrect on both counts.
He fled this discussion on another forum when his misconceptions were exposed with shastric siddhanta.
It’s a tedious topic and very difficult to discuss when others aren’t willing to accept anything other than their cherished beliefs that sometime contradict Gaudiya siddhanta.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 8, 2007 @ 3:07 am

Shiva says:
“In lila they act as dominator and dominated, but really they are both the same Supreme Lord.”

I think that is little off the mark.
The energy and the energetic source are one yet different.
(acintya bhedabheda tattva)

Radha is the energy of Krishna, not a plenary expansion of the shaktiman.
The way you say it it sounds like Radha is just a plenary expansion of the shaktiman.
She is not.
She is energy of the energetic.
There is a comparative difference.

Radha is the feminine energy of Krishna.
She is not a plenary expansion of shaktiman.

She is not the supreme controller.
Radha is not the “same supreme Lord” as you say.
She is not Lord.
She is non-different from Krishna in the sense of being his energy.
Please don’t make a God out of the Goddess.

Shiva says: “The plenary expansions of God, either male or female, are all still that same one person”.

Can you present a shastric reference to show that Radha is a plenary expansion of Krishna?
I don’t think you can.
I think you have some mixed-up ideas that need refined.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 7, 2007 @ 3:02 pm

Maintaining the authority of a spiritual institution in the modern age

I would just like to add that the GBC was appointed managerial authority in ISKCON, yet also the GBC during the time of Srila Prabhupada had spiritual authority to teach and guide new devotees, perform like siksha gurus and essentially approve initiations of new devotees. When a GBC member recommended a devotee for initiation it was automatically accepted by Srila Prabhupada. They had much spiritual authority and empowerment as well as the managerial authority over the corporate structure of ISKCON.
On the legal level they were managers. On the spiritual level they were delegated representatives of Srila Prabhupada.
I don’t think the idea of the GBC having only managerial authority actually corresponds to the facts of how they served and represented Srila Prabhupada in ISKCON. The GBC definitely had great spiritual authority as well as the managerial authority over the legal affairs of ISKCON.
The move to reduce GBC authority down to simple managers has changed the actual structure that Srila Prabhupada has built up in ISKCON with the GBC authority.

The GBC are meant to be direct representatives of Srila Prabhupada’s authority, not just managers of money and properties.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Nov 4, 2006 @ 2:19 am

Yoga Mart

Danavir Maharaja makes a good point. It really cannot be challenged. But, if grhastas prefer to practice some hatha-yoga at their home, then I think that is quite alright.
When I was in ISKCON I did some hatha-yoga in private in a closet-like situation.
I was never ridiculed or criticised for that. It helped me with controlling the flickering mind and focusing on my japa. Especially, I found the inversion postures to be good for concentration and focus.
I agree that ISKCON temples should not officially offer or sponsor any yoga classes. That should be a private and personal practice of devotees if they feel a benefit from doing it.
Senior devotess told me that Srila Prabhupada told his disciples that if they wanted to do hatha-yoga that they had to take time out from sleep to do it and that is should not cut into any time for doing service. That is what I have always believed. I still do.

Even the yoga teachings tell us that yoga should be done in private and secretly.
Its something akin to passing stool. It relieves one and reduces stress. Public yoga is a farce by the codes of the yoga shastra.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Sep 28, 2006 @ 12:23 am

If we referred to hatha-yoga as “pysical therapy” for back pains, arthritis and infirmity, would that be more acceptable to you Maharaja?
We know hatha-yoga is not viable for self-realization in this age, but physical pains and stress can be reduced with this hatha-yoga, which is actually no more than ghatastha-yoga or “pysiological yoga”.
Having physical issues can be a distraction to bhajan. So, if physiological yoga helps reduce that, could it not be useful for a devotee?

How about thsi reference in Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu?
“In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement about remembering the activities of the Lord: “A person who is always engaged in meditation on the sweet pastimes and wonderful activities of the Lord surely becomes freed from all material contamination.”

In some of the Purāṇas the evidence is given that if someone is simply meditating on devotional activities, he has achieved the desired result and has seen face to face the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this connection, there is a story in the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa that in the city of Pratiṣṭhānapura in South India there was once a brāhmaṇa who was not very well-to-do, but who was nevertheless satisfied in himself, thinking that it was because of his past misdeeds and by the desire of Kṛṣṇa that he did not get sufficient money and opulence. So he was not at all sorry for his poor material position, and he used to live very peacefully. He was very openhearted, and sometimes he went to hear some lectures delivered by great realized souls. At one such meeting, while he was very faithfully hearing about Vaiṣṇava activities, he was informed that these activities can be performed even by meditation. In other words, if a person is unable to actually perform Vaiṣṇava activities physically, he can meditate upon the Vaiṣṇava activities and thereby acquire all of the same results. Because the brāhmaṇa was not very well-to-do financially, he decided that he would simply meditate on grand, royal devotional activities, and he began this business thus:

Sometimes he would take his bath in the River Godāvarī. After taking his bath he would sit in a secluded place on the bank of the river, and by practicing the yoga exercises of prāṇāyāma, the usual breathing exercises, he would concentrate his mind. These breathing exercises are meant to mechanically fix the mind upon a particular subject. That is the result of the breathing exercises and also of the different sitting postures of yoga. Formerly, even quite ordinary persons used to know how to fix the mind upon the remembrance of the Lord, and so the brāhmaṇa was doing this. When he had fixed the form of the Lord in his mind, he began to imagine in his meditations that he was dressing the Lord very nicely in costly clothing, with ornaments, helmets and other paraphernalia. Then he offered his respectful obeisances by bowing down before the Lord. After finishing the dressing, he began to imagine that he was cleaning the temple very nicely. After cleansing the temple, he imagined that he had many water jugs made of gold and silver, and he took all those jugs to the river and filled them with the holy water. Not only did he collect water from the Godāvarī, but he collected from the Ganges, Yamunā, Narmadā and Kāverī. Generally a Vaiṣṇava, while worshiping the Lord, collects water from all these rivers by mantra chanting. This brāhmaṇa, instead of chanting some mantra, imagined that he was physically securing water from all these rivers in golden and silver waterpots. Then he collected all kinds of paraphernalia for worship — flowers, fruits, incense and sandalwood pulp. He collected everything to place before the Deity. All these waters, flowers and scented articles were then very nicely offered to the Deities to Their satisfaction. Then he offered ārati, and with the regulative principles he finished all these activities in the correct worshiping method.

He would daily execute similar performances as his routine work, and he continued to do so for many, many years. Then one day the brāhmaṇa imagined in his meditations that he had prepared some sweet rice with milk and sugar and offered the preparation to the Deity. However, he was not very satisfied with the offering because the sweet rice had been prepared recently and it was still very hot. (This preparation, sweet rice, should not be taken hot. The cooler the sweet rice, the better its taste.) So because the sweet rice had been prepared by the brāhmaṇa very recently, he wanted to touch it so that he could know whether it was fit for eating by the Lord. As soon as he touched the sweet rice pot with his finger, he immediately was burnt by the heat of the pot. In this way, his meditation broke. Now, when he looked at his finger, he saw that it was burnt, and he was wondering in astonishment how this could have happened. Because he was simply meditating on touching the hot sweet rice, he never thought that his finger would actually become burnt.

While he was thinking like this, in Vaikuṇṭha Lord Nārāyaṇa, seated with the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, began to smile humorously. On seeing this smiling of the Lord, all the goddesses of fortune attending the Lord became very curious and asked Lord Nārāyaṇa why He was smiling. The Lord, however, did not reply to their inquisitiveness, but instead immediately sent for the brāhmaṇa. An airplane sent from Vaikuṇṭha immediately brought the brāhmaṇa into Lord Nārāyaṇa’s presence. When the brāhmaṇa was thus present before the Lord and the goddesses of fortune, the Lord explained the whole story. The brāhmaṇa was then fortunate enough to get an eternal place in Vaikuṇṭha in the association of the Lord and His Lakṣmīs. This shows how the Lord is all-pervading, in spite of His being locally situated in His abode. Although the Lord was present in Vaikuṇṭha, He was present also in the heart of the brāhmaṇa when he was meditating on the worshiping process. Thus, we can understand that things offered by the devotees even in meditation are accepted by the Lord, and they help one achieve the desired result.”

this devotee used pranayama and setting postures to meditate on the Lord and he attained perfection.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Sep 26, 2006 @ 12:22 am

Is Jiva Gosvami’s philosophy the same as Sri Caitanya’s?

The thesis is a rather odd mix of academic research balanced against commentaries of the Vaishnavas. Views and opinions from outside the parampara system are being presented as noteworthy.
Most usually this type of research creates ambiguous conclusions that open up doubts and confusion.
In the end the author has reached the proper conclusion, but in the process takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through a litany of academic postulations on the presumption that they are viable views worthy of mention.
Can the academic world ever be rectified by comparative study and corrective measures?
Probably not.
The conclusion is that one ends up preaching to choir, as the academics who need most to read such a thesis are not of an open mind.

» Posted By Japa Jim On Oct 7, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

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