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Comments Posted By Murali Das

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Is bhakti predestined?

Thank you Romapada Swami for this wonderful article.

It occurs to me, though, that if we were originally living in Goloka and were engaging in bhakti then why is it said that we need to get the bhakti-lata-bija from a Vaisnava since we are already bhaktas? ISKCON teaches that we are bhaktas who are forgetful of the eternal relationship with Krishna. It is taught that we can awaken from Maya and resume our engagement in bhakti - is it not so?

If we have never engaged in bhakti at any time in the past then it makes sense to say that we need to get the seed of bhakti from a Vaisnava. Indeed the scriptures say we need to get the seed of bhakti, so doesn’t this necessarily indicate that we have been in material existence since “time immemorial”, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says we have been in Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 20.117?

Comment Posted By Murali Das On 18.06.2007 @ 23:11

The "Savior-Guru" syndrome

My understanding is that a disciple must completely surrender and serve Krishna and his reprentative (Gurudev) if he wants to make progress to a higher stage of devotion. However if the disciple has a Guru who is a kanistha Vaishnava (See NOI purport to verse 5) then progress will be difficult.

Srila Prabhupada wrote: “A neophyte Vaiṣṇava or a Vaiṣṇava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikārī as a spiritual master.”

Comment Posted By Murali Das On 11.06.2007 @ 23:47

In the final paragraph of his purport to Nectar of Instruction verse 5 His Divine Grace says:

“Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikārī Vaiṣṇava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaiṣṇavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikārī. A neophyte Vaiṣṇava or a Vaiṣṇava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikārī as a spiritual master.”

Unfortunately many people do not seek to find a highly advanced Guru but instead the accept someone who is popular or regarded as “advanced” within their region. Sometimes the disciple also thinks that by sadhana he can make advancement, or that by associating with many Vaishnavas he will get their blessings and make advancement. What then might happen, hypothetically speaking, if someone takes diksa from a kanistha Vaishnava who is doing a good imitation of being a Vaishnava on a higher level? Might the disciple later regret that he accepted the person who his friends said was “advanced”? Do things like this happen, ever?

Comment Posted By Murali Das On 10.06.2007 @ 04:44

On the fairness of falldown

Suhotra Prabhu concludes his article with these two paragraphs:

Perhaps you still have a doubt about how a soul comes to think himself independent. It can be postulated that before he assumed the post of Brahma, that soul must have been with Krishna in His pastimes within the eternal realm of Goloka. How is it that this particular soul goes from there to the post of Brahma?

The answer is that Krishna’s pastimes are expansive. As Krishna expands His pastimes, so also the souls expand within Him into further realms of His divine lila or play. The creation of the material world is one more expanded lila. Thus the Lord Himself personally enters the material world, and so also do His devotees. Even the eternal residents of Goloka Vrindavan enter the material world at the time Krishna personally descends Himself, as He did 5000 years ago in Bhauma Vrindavan (the Vrindavan on earth, in India, 90 miles south of New Delhi). Some of these residents assume forms different than their Goloka identities. Narada Muni, for instance, the sage who preaches bhakti throughout the 3 worlds, is originally Madhumangala, a friend of Krishna’s in Goloka. And Narada is the son of Brahma. Brahma is a role a jiva can get in the Lord’s pastime of creation if that jiva is interested in participating in the creation-lila from a position apparently as independent as that of God Himself. This particular position (Brahma) is the one from which a soul *may* fall (it is not guaranteed he will) from the Lord’s association into enmeshment in creation. In other words, rather than simply participating in creation from a transcendental position (as do the residents of Vrindavan and Narada Muni), such a soul, by attachment to his lordly position, becomes *part* of the creation… life after life.

The implication of the idea above expressed by Suhotra Prabhu is that the jiva souls, indeed the entire jiva tattva, have been manifest from the cit-shakti. In the scenario outlined by Suhotra Prabhu an eternal resident of the spiritual world will become a fallen jiva soul. However:

krsnera svarupa ara sakti traya jnana
yanra haya, tanra nahi krsnete ajnana
cic-chakti svarupa-sakti antaranga-nama
tahara vaibhava ananta vaikunthadi dhama
maya sakti bahiranga jagat-karana
yahara vaibhava ananta brahmandera gana
jiva sakti tatasthakya nahi yara anta
mukhya tina sakti tara vibheda ananta
ei ta’ svarupa gana ara tina sakti
sabara asraya krsna, krsne sabara sthiti

One who knows the real feature of Sri Krsna and His three different energies cannot remain ignorant about Him. The cit sakti, which is also called svarupa sakti or antaranga sakti, displays many varied manifestations. It sustains the kingdom of God and its paraphernalia. The external energy, called maya sakti, is the cause of innumerable universes with varied material potencies. The marginal potency, which is between these two, consists of the numberless living beings. These are the three principal energies, which have unlimited categories and subdivisions.

C.C.Adi. 2.96, 101-104

In regard to the proposition that souls depart from the cit-sakti and become jivas, because of some bad attitude or bad desire or whatever, there is the following teaching given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Jaiva Dharma, Chapter Fifteen:

Vrajanatha: The individual soul is not created by maya. That I accept. Maya has the power to dominate the individual soul. That I understand. This is my question: Does the spiritual potency (cit-shakti) place the individual soul on the border (tatastha) of matter and spirit?

Babaji: No. The cit-shakti is the full manifestation of Lord Krishna’s potency. Whatever she creates is eternally perfect (nitya-siddha). The individual spirit souls are not eternally perfect. By engaging in the activities of devotional service (sadhana) they may become perfect (sadhana-siddha) and thus enjoy spiritual bliss exactly like that enjoyed by the eternally perfect (nitya-siddha) beings. The four kinds of gopi-friends (sakhi) of Srimati Radharani are eternally perfect beings (nitya-siddha). They are manifested from the form of Srimati Radharani, who is the cit-shakti Herself. All the individual spirit souls are manifested from Lord Krishna’s jiva-shakti. The cit-shakti is Lord Krishna’s complete potency (purna-shakti). The individual souls (jiva-shakti) are counted among Lord Krishna’s incomplete potencies (apurna-shakti). From the complete potency complete and perfect things are manifested. From the incomplete potency all the individual souls, who are atomic fragments of consciousness, are manifested. Lord Krishna manifests different kinds of entities according to the different kinds of potencies He employs to create them. When He is manifested in His cit-shakti, He appears as Krishna and as Narayana, the master of Vaikuntha. When He is manifested in the jiva-shakti, He appears as Baladeva, His pastime form (vilasa-murti) in Vraja. When He is manifested in the maya-shakti, He appears as the three forms of Karanodakasayi Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Ksirodakasayi Visnu. In Vraja He appears in His original form, as Krishna, a form manifested by His complete potency. Appearing as Baladeva, He manifests His sesa-tattva (nature of Lord Sesa). In this way He manifests the eight kinds of services the eternally liberated associates offer to Him. Again in Vaikuntha He appears as Sesa-Sankarsana and manifests the eight kinds of service His eternal associates offer to Lord Narayana. Lord Sankarsana incarnates as Maha-Visnu. He becomes the resting-place of the jiva-shakti and appears as the Supersoul in the hearts of all the individual souls residing in the material world. All these individual souls are attracted to maya. As long as they do not attain the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and take shelter of the Lord’s spiritual hladini-shakti, they are defeated by Maya. Numberless souls are defeated by Maya and cast into Her prison. They are the followers of Maya’s three modes. The conclusion is this: the individual souls are manifested by the jiva-shakti. They are not manifested by the cit-shakti.

Jivas are not manifested by the cit-shakti. Jivas originate from Mahavishnu’s rays of Brahman effulgence.

Comment Posted By Murali Das On 13.04.2007 @ 22:18

A jiva perspective

According to one theory, all the souls in this world are supposed to have fallen down into this world from Vaikuntha. Another point of view is given by Srila Prabhupada in the Isopanisad verse 16: “The all-pervading feature of the Lord — which exists in all circumstances of waking and sleeping as well as in potential states and from which the jiva-sakti (living force) is generated as both conditioned and liberated souls — is known as Brahman.”

This point of view is what is expressed by the previous Acharyas in their writings.

I have never, ever, anyhwhere, seen any quote of any previous Acharya saying anything else besides this.

For example:

In Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s English translation of Sri Brahma Samhita. Text 21:

sa nityo nitya-sambandhah prakrtis ca paraiva sa

TRANSLATION: The same jiva 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.

PURPORT: Just as the sun is eternally associated with his rays so the transcendental Supreme Lord is eternally joined with the jivas. The jivas are the infinitesimal particles of His spiritual effulgence and are, therefore, not perishable like mundane things. Jivas, being particles of Godhead’s effulgent rays, exhibit on a minute scale the qualities of the Divinity. Hence jivas are identical with the principles of knowledge, knower, egoism, enjoyed, meditator and doer. Krishna is the all-pervading, all-extending Supreme Lord; while jivas 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 jivas are His eternal servants. Jivas have also sufficient eligibility in respect at the mellow quality of the Divinity. Apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param. By this verse of the Geeta it is made known that jivas 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 jiva potency, though very small in magnitude, is still superior to acit potency or Maya. This potency has another name, viz., tatastha 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 Krsna, the Lord of Maya, he is not liable to the influence of Maya. 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.

Note Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s statements here. “jivas are the infinitesimal particles of His spiritual effulgence”; and that these jiva souls are fallen “into the clutches of the deluding potency from a time that has no beginning”.

If we started off in Brahman (the spiritual sky) then fell into Maya, then Krishna has not abandoned any devotees and let the devotees suffer in Maya. The suffering souls in Maya were never devotees. They have never engaged in devotional activities in Vaikuntha-Goloka. We are simply fallen souls searching for Our Sweet Lord.

If we become Krishna Conscious we can surpass our original state of God Consciousness (Brahman) and become conscious of the higher state of God-consciousness called Bhagavan.

Comment Posted By Murali Das On 30.03.2007 @ 22:14

quote:
At some point the jiva somehow desired to enjoy separate of krsna, this was detected by krsna and krsna’s internal energy yoga maya. Yoga maya removed the jiva from krsna’s association and placed the jiva into the Brahma-Jyoti braman.

Antaryami Dasa Prabhu, if Krishna allows his eternal associate in the spiritual world to get into Maya and find themselves in a situation where they are suffering mental anguish for millions of illusory lifetimes, then this would mean that Krishna’s statement in the Gita “My devotee will never perish” is untrue.

Think about that.

Comment Posted By Murali Das On 29.03.2007 @ 07:07

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