Friday, 2000, Badger (New Braja) California, USA
Hari-katha Readers, As we mentioned in a previous hari-katha
mail-out, upon Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja's request
we are preparing a publication of some of his lectures on the
truths of the spirit soul. In the course of preparing the
individual discourses, we are sharing them with you. As usual,
we look forward to your feedback.
discourse below, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja discusses a
conversation between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Sanatana
Gosvami, from Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami's book, Sri
Caitanya-caritamrta. Srila Sanatana Gosvami is playing the role
of a conditioned soul who is seeking divine self-awareness and
freedom from material miseries. He has inquired about his own
true identity, beyond the body.]
Crest Jewel of Enquiry
Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Srila Sanatana Gosvami
inquired from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "I have come to this
world, but I do not know who I am. Who am I?"
from the translations and purports of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami
reads:] Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya-lila, chapter 20, text
'ke ami', 'kene
amaya jare tapa-traya'
iha nahi jani--'kemane hita haya'
'sadhya'-'sadhana'-tattva puchite na jani
krpa kari' saba tattva kaha ta' apani"
by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: "In this verse
Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada is inquiring from Sri Caitanya
Mahaprabhu, ‘Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries always give
me trouble? If I do not know this, how can I be benefited?
Actually, I do not know how to inquire about sadhya, the goal of
life, and sadhana, the process for obtaining it. Being merciful
upon me, please explain all these truths.'"
Narayana Maharaja:] Why did Srila Sanatana Gosvami ask this
question? He asked for our spiritual benefit. Actually, none of
us know who we are by spiritual constitution. Someone may think,
"I am Isa Prabhu," another may think, "I am Kesava Prabhu," and
others may consider themselves to be this or that person.
replied to Sanatana Gosvami, "You know everything, but you are
questioning for the upliftment of others. Although a sadhu, a
saintly person, knows everything, he remains very humble and
tries to confirm his statement by inquiring from the higher
dhara tumi, jana tattva-bhava
jani' dardhya lagi' puche,-sadhura svabhava
possess Lord Krsna's potency, you certainly know these things.
However, it is the nature of a sadhu to inquire. Although he
knows these things, the sadhu inquires for the sake of
strictness." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 20.106)]
then said, "You are not really Sanatana, in the sense that you
are not this physical body."
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja translated?
reads:] Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.108-109:
‘svarupa' haya-krsnera ‘nitya-dasa'
krsnera ‘tatastha-sakti' ‘bhedabheda-prakasa'
suryamsa-kirana, yaiche agni-jvala-caya
svabhavika krsnera tina-prakara ‘sakti' haya
"It is the
living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant
of Krsna, because he is the marginal energy of Krsna - a
manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the
Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or spark of fire.
Krsna has three varieties of energy."
Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained, "Jivera
svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa." By spiritual constitution, all
those who have life - including human beings, birds, animals,
trees and creepers, and even very small worms and insects - are
eternal servants of Lord Krsna. There is no doubt of this, and
this also applies to us. *[See endnote 1]
said, "Krsnera tatastha sakti - all souls are transformations of
the Lord's marginal potency (tatastha-sakti)." *[See endnote 2]
They are not direct transformations of His pleasure potency (hladini-sakti)
or His knowledge potency (samvit-sakti), which are aspects of
the svarupa-sakti (His intrinsic internal potency), and
therefore they are not pure svarupa-sakti. *[See endnote 3]
Kinds of Souls
Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then said:
sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
ataeva maya tare deya samsara-duùkha
reads:] Mahaprabhu continued, "Forgetting Krsna, the living
entity has been attracted by the external feature from time
immemorial. Therefore, the illusory energy, maya, gives him all
kinds of misery in this material existence." (Sri
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.117)
Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] A question arises: if
all souls are eternal servants of Sri Krsna, when did they
become adverse (bahirmukha) to Him? When did they turn away from
Him? Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has explained this by
quoting the version of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: "Krsna bhuli'
sei jiva." Who is the jiva referred to in this verse? He is the
eternal servant of Sri Krsna, Krsna's marginal potency (tatastha-sakti).
This should be remembered always; the jiva is not a direct
manifestation of Sri Krsna's internal potency.
Svarupa-sakti, that is, Sri Krsna's complete spiritual, internal
potency, has three transcendental manifestations, namely hladini
(Krsna's potency of transcendental happiness), samvit (His
divine knowledge potency), and sandhini (His spiritual existence
potency). From svarupa-sakti Lord Nrsimha, Lord Rama, and other
incarnations manifest, and these incarnations are called svamsa,
personal expansions of Krsna. The vibhinnansa jiva, meaning the
separated, infinitesimal part and parcel of Sri Krsna, never
came directly from svarupa-sakti, and that is why he is called
vibhinnamsa. *[See endnote 4]
Why did the
jiva become adverse to Krsna? This is the question. If he is
Krsna's eternal servant, he must certainly be engaged in His
service. The answer is explained in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta,
Madhya-lila chapter 22, verses 10-13, beginning, "sei
sei vibhinnamsa jiva-dui ta' prakara
eka-‘nitya-mukta', eka-‘nitya samsara'
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.10)
entities, the jivas, are divided into two categories. Some are
nitya-mukta, eternally liberated, never having been conditioned,
and others are eternally conditioned (nitya-samsara)." [See
Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] What is the meaning of
‘eternally conditioned'? It does not mean ‘forever conditioned'.
It means that the time we have been conditioned is so vast that
it cannot be calculated.
‘nitya-mukta'-nitya krsna-carane unmukha
‘krsna-parisada' nama, bhunje seva-sukha
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.11)
are eternally liberated are always awake to Krsna consciousness,
and they render transcendental loving service at the feet of
Lord Krsna. They are to be considered eternal associates of
Krsna, and they are eternally enjoying the transcendental bliss
of serving Him."
Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] This verse conveys a
very important point. Those who are senior in bhakti will
greatly benefit by attentively hearing the meaning of this
verse. Those who are beginners may not be able to comprehend the
meaning, but they will profit by even trying to understand.
liberated jivas are eternal associates of Sri Krsna, always
engaged in serving Him and always tasting and relishing the
sweetness of their service. In the Lord's abode there is no maya
(the material potency, which bewilders the conditioned soul and
encourages him to identify with his body and bodily extensions).
Only yogamaya (the spiritual potency that nourishes the service
mood of liberated souls) is there. There is nothing in the
spiritual world to make one forget Krsna, and therefore the
Lord's associates there cannot forget Him or become adverse to
Him. The love and affection of these associates is always fresh
and ever-new. Even though, on one hand, there is no room for
their ever-fresh love to become still newer, it does so.
‘nitya-baddha'--krsna haite nitya-bahirmukha
‘nitya-samsara', bhunje narakadi duùkha
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.12)
the ever-liberated devotees, there are the conditioned souls,
who always turn away from the service of the Lord. They are
perpetually conditioned in this material world and are thus
subjected to the material tribulations brought about by
different bodily forms in hellish conditions."
maya-pisaci danda kare tare
adhyatmikadi tapa-traya tare jari' mare
(Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 22.13)
"Due to his
being opposed to Krsna consciousness, the conditioned soul is
punished by the witch of the external energy, maya. He is thus
ready to suffer the threefold miseries brought about by the body
and mind, the inimical behavior of other living entities, and
natural disturbances caused by demigods."
Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] The souls in the second category -
the conditioned souls - have never directly associated with
Krsna, nor have they tasted His service. Therefore, they are
called ‘perpetually conditioned' (nitya-bahirmukha). They have
been conditioned from beginningless time.
Why are they
being punished? What have they done wrong? Try to understand
this important point. They have done something wrong, and that
is why Lord Krsna's maya is punishing them. What is their
defect? They have chosen to turn away from Krsna. They have
chosen to look towards the material world for pleasures, and in
this way they are opposed to Krsna consciousness.
The souls in
this world are considered to be 'nitya-baddha', or eternally
conditioned, which actually means they are ‘anadi-baddha',
conditioned since beginningless time or time immemorial. Still,
although they have never relished the sweetness of serving Krsna
nor do they know anything about such service, they are eternal
servants by their constitutional position.
type of jiva has come from the spiritual world, either from
Baladeva in Goloka Vrndavana or from Baladeva's expansion known
as Maha Sankarsana (Lord Narayana) in Vaikuntha; but not all
jivas. Those jivas who manifest from Baladeva and Maha
Sankarsana are called nitya-unmukha. That is, they are always
tatastha-sakti jivas are servants by constitution, this second
kind of jiva have not come from Goloka Vrndavana. The
conditioned souls of this world have never been in Goloka
Vrndavana. This second kind of jiva is coming from
Karanodakasayi Visnu. *[See endnote 6]
Gosvami has clarified the understanding of the two kinds of
jivas. He states:
ananta eva jivakhyas tatasthah saktayah
tatra tasam varga-dvayam
eko vargo 'nadita eva bhagavad-unmukhah
anyas tv anadita eva bhagavat-paranmukhah
svabhavatas tadiya-jnana-bhavat tadiya-jnanabhavac ca
(Paramatma Sandarbha - Anuccheda 47 text 1)
Lord's marginal potency is comprised of individual spirit souls.
Although these individual spirit souls are limitless in number,
they may be divided into two groups: 1) the souls who, from time
immemorial, are favorable to the Supreme Lord; and 2) the
rebellious souls who, from time immemorial, are averse to the
Supreme Lord. One group is aware of the Lord's glories, and the
other group is not aware of them."]
unlimited jivas emanating from tatastha-sakti, and from there,
some have turned away from Krsna. They turned away from Krsna
and chose to enter the material world.
above, the conditioned souls are coming from Karanodakasayi
Visnu, from His divine light-filled glance. From that light, Sri
Krsna in His form as Sri Visnu, gives them the intelligence and
freedom to consider, "What should I do?" There is a very fine,
imaginary line between the transcendental world and the material
world. Krsna gave the jivas some freedom, saying, "From here you
can see this world of maya, and you can also see towards the
spiritual world. What you will choose depends upon you. I am
giving you a moment to choose."
jivas looked toward the spiritual world and were attracted.
Yogamaya at once gave them the power to go to the spiritual
world and serve the Lord there for eternity. Others looked
towards this world. They were attracted and decided to relish
material world is like a dream-place (svapna-sthana). Try to
understand this. It seems that we are now in full worldly
knowledge. It seems that we are awake and that someone else is
fast asleep without dreaming at all, but actually this place is
like a dream-place. We are seeing a dream. We are not in such
deep sleep that we are fully unconscious, because we are part of
the spiritual conscious substance (cid-vastu) even when we are
in the Divine Seed
constitution is such that everything of our spiritual identity
is already present in the soul, in seed form. In this regard an
analogy is given of a mango seed. *[See endnote 7]
If you plant
a mango seed in fertile land and give it water, gradually a
sprout will manifest. After a few days some leaves will come,
then some branches, and after a few years the plant will become
large. At that time there will be so many leaves, branches,
flowers, and manjaris (buds). Then, one day, mangos will begin
to appear, and after some time these mangos will ripen and
become sweet and juicy.
constitution, everything about the mango tree is present in the
mango seed. All the potencies of the tree's leaves, branches,
and fruits are present there. The number of leaves and the
sweetness or sourness of the fruits are already in the seed, but
they have not yet manifest.
the full form of the soul is present in his constitution.
Everything is there in the soul, even though the pure
transcendental form has not yet developed and was never
previously developed. The jivas were in the body of
Karanodakasayi Visnu in seed form, and when they came out
through His glance, some fell in maya. To understand these
truths clearly, kindly read Sri Brahma-samhita very carefully
under the guidance of a pure Vaisnava. You will be able to see
vividly all these truths there.
Eternal Message of the Guru-parampara
If the jiva
had fallen from there, from Goloka Vrndavana, Bhagavad-gita
would be false. How? Bhagavad-gita states, Yad gatva na
nivartante, tad dhama parama mama (Gita, 15.6). What is the
meaning? By practicing bhakti-yoga for thousands upon thousands
of births, one is liberated and has a chance to go to that
spiritual realm. And he will never return from there. The
transcendental souls who are serving Krsna there are eternally
liberated. Those from this world who are now liberated by
practicing bhakti-yoga are serving Him in Vaikuntha, in His
forms like Rama, Nrsimha, Kalki, or Vamana, or in Goloka as
Mathuresa or Krsna. They have no chance to return. Srila
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has also written this.
Someone may say, "Yes, we accept what Krsna spoke in the
Bhagavad Gita, that once going to Vaikuntha from this world, we
souls don't fall again. But we did fall the first time - before
we first came to this world."
Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] If that were true,
this principle as stated in the Gita and other scriptures would
still be a fallacy. For those souls who are already serving in
that realm, there is no maya at all. There is no chance of
becoming adverse to Krsna; no chance at all. Both for one who is
eternally there and for one who has gone there from here - there
is no maya in that realm.
We must try
to follow our tattva-acaryas, our disciplic line of spiritual
masters who have presented these truths; like Srila Jiva Gosvami,
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura,
and especially Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. If anyone has this
doubt, due to his misunderstanding the words of Srila
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, he will have to reconcile from
other very bona fide gurus. Jiva Gosvami is a bona fide guru in
established philosophical truths (tattva), especially in his
Sandarbhas. He has explained every subject without room for
doubt. We will have to read his books in order to understand.
especially essential to read the books of Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura, the Seventh Gosvami. He is also a bona fide guru. He
has clearly explained all this in Jaiva-dharma. There he has
written that innumerable eternal souls who are coming from
Baladeva Prabhu in Goloka Vrndavana, where Nanda Baba and all
the cowherd-men and boys reside. Regarding the gopis there, they
are all nitya-siddha kayavyuha-rupa (bodily manifestations) of
Srimati Radhika. Those gopis who are not bodily manifestations
of Radhika are jivas coming from Baladeva. They are also
eternally liberated and they are serving Krsna. This principle
is also true in Dvaraka, and also in Vaikuntha. In Dvaraka,
jivas are coming from Mula Sankarsana, and in Vaikuntha from
Maha Sankarsana. They are all serving in one of two ways: in
madhurya (Krsna's sweet, human-like pastimes) or in aisvarya (Krsna's
opulent pastimes as Dvarakadhisa or Narayana).
those jivas manifested from the tatastha or marginal line, from
Karanodakasayi Visnu, they also serve in madhurya or aisvarya
when they are liberated.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja has accepted this line of guru
parampara, and we have accepted the same. Also, he is a realized
soul. He does not differ from the previous acaryas. He will
never say anything that our guru parampara has not accepted.
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has accepted
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami
Maharaja has accepted his Gurudeva.
I pray to
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, that he may sprinkle his
mercy on all of his followers so they will know what he wanted,
and so that they will realize all truths. Any sincere devotee
will realize that Srila Swami Maharaja explained the same thing
that was told by our guru parampara. He has simply explained it
in English. It is his great contribution that he has explained
the same truths and nothing else.
"Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains these verses as follows:
Sri Sanatana Gosvami asked Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ‘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, Krsna. Therefore
you are His eternal servant. You belong to Krsna'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 Krsna as one and
simultaneously different from him. 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.' (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila
20.108-109 purport by Srila Prabhupada) "
"Lord Krsna naturally has three energetic transformations, and
these are known as the spiritual potency [cit-sakti], the living
entity potency [tatastha-sakti] and the illusory potency [maya-sakti]."
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 20.111)]
"Svarupa-sakti possesses three properties: hladini, samvit, and
sandhini. The transcendental loving exchanges created by the
hladini-sakti keep Sri Krsna captivated in bliss. The sublime
amorous desires flowing out of the samvit-sakti fan the erotic
moods, rasa, of Sri Krsna. The spiritual realm of Sri
Vrndavana-dhama, brilliant and pure, has been manifested by the
sandhini-sakti, as the arena for the eternal loving pastimes.
svarupa-sakti, or internal potency of Krsna, which is spiritual,
functioning as His own personal power, has manifested His
pastimes of Goloka. By Her grace individual souls who are
constituents of the marginal potency can have admission into
even those pastimes." (Sri Brahma-Samhita, purport to text 6)
Svarupa-sakti manifests the world within the sphere of the
spiritual sun, and the function outside the sphere of the sun is
carried out by jiva-sakti, which is the direct partial
representation of cit-sakti. Therefore, the activities related
to the jiva are those of jiva-sakti...According to this
scriptural aphorism, the cit-sakti is a manifestation of the
para-sakti. It emanates from its own sphere, the spiritual
realm. The jiva-sakti, in the marginal region between the
spiritual and the material worlds, manifests innumerable,
eternal jivas, who are like atomic particles in the rays of the
spiritual sun. (Jaiva-dharma, Ch.15)
"Thus the Lord's marginal potencies, who are called the
individual spirit souls, are limitless in number. Still, they
may be divided into two groups: 1. the souls who from time
immemorial are favorable to the Supreme Lord, and 2. the
rebellious souls who from time immemorial are averse to the
Supreme Lord. This is because one group is aware of the Lord's
glories and the other group is not aware of them. (from Srila
Jiva Gosvami's Sri Priti-sandarbha Anuccheda 7)."
tatastha-sakti has two divisions. One division is engaged in
devotional service to the Supreme Lord from beginningless time.
The other has been averse to Him since then. These two divisions
of jivas are endowed with knowledge of the Lord and the absence
of Him respectively. The first have received the favor of
antaranga-sakti, the internal potency, and are the Lord's
associates like Garuda. The second are conditioned souls, who
are defeated by the external energy maya because of their
indifference to the Lord. (Srila Jiva Gosvami's
Paramatma-Sandharba 47 texts 1,2)]
ananta vaikuntha-brahmande karena vihara
"So Krsna is both in the spiritual world and the material world.
Because we represent Krsna, we are in this brahmanda -
conditioned. But there are many living entities who are
eternally liberated. They never come to this world. How it is,
that? Just like the ocean and the rivers. In the river you will
find fishes and in the ocean you will find fishes. Sometimes it
may be that the fishes of the river may go to the ocean, but the
fishes of the ocean never come to the river - never come to the
river. There is no place for them.
"sei vibhinnamsa jiva-dui ta' prakara
eka-'nitya-mukta', eka-'nitya samsara'
"Now, this energy manifested as the living entities, they are
also of two kinds. What are they? Eka-nitya-mukta. One class of
living entities, they are eternally liberated. Just like the
fishes in the ocean. Take the ocean as the place of liberation.
That individuality is there, and that individuality is
reciprocated between Krsna and the individual souls. They are
called nitya-mukta, eternally liberated. And the other class,
who are just like fishes in the river, they are called
nitya-baddha. Their limited sphere is in the river or in the
pond or in the well.
(Lecture by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, NY Jan. 8,
1967, Cc Mad. 22.6)
"'nitya-mukta'-nitya krsna-carane unmukha
'krsna-parisada' nama, bhunje seva-sukha
"Yesterday we were discussing two kinds of living entities. One
class, nitya-mukta, eternally liberated; they never come to this
material world. They are eternally liberated. And another class,
just like we, are conditioned. We are eternally conditioned.
Eternally conditioned means we do not know when we have been
conditioned like this. It is not possible to trace out the
history because living entity, by nature, is not conditioned.
But actually we see that we are conditioned, and there is no
possibility to trace out the history. Many, many Brahma's lives.
Not only one Brahma; there are so many Brahmas changed, and we
are conditioned. So therefore we are called ‘eternally
"What is the difference between the two? Those who are eternally
free, liberated, they are godly. They are always ready to render
transcendental loving service to the Lord. They are satisfied in
that way. Just like mother is satisfied simply by loving child,
or friend is satisfied simply by loving. Of course, that sort of
love is not possible in this material world, but there are some
rare instances. At least we can get an idea. Similarly, the
eternal liberated souls are satisfied simply by loving Krsna.
That is their satisfaction."(Lecture on Cc Mad. 22. 11-15, NY
Jan 9, 67)]
categorization here is simply between those who are nitya mukta
(ie never baddha at any time) and nitya baddha (never in the
spiritual world at any time). Therefore, the nitya mukta
category will include nitya parikaras who come from Baladeva,
and also the jivas who came from Karanodakasayi Visnu and
fortunately ‘looked' toward Yogamaya rather than Mahamaya. -ed.]
"The Lord of
the mundane world, Maha-Visnu, possesses thousands of thousands
of avataras as His thousands of thousands of plenary portions.
He is the creator of thousands of thousands of individual
souls." (Sri Brahma-Samhita, text 11)]
innumerable jivas as spiritual particles emanating from the
Oversoul, in the form of pencil-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." (Sri Brahma
Samhita, purport to text 16)]
the name for the forgetfulness of the souls' essential nature
that, "I am Krsna's servant.' This avidya did not commence
within the course of the mundane time. That root of karma of the
jiva arose when he was in the tatastha position." (Jaiva Dharma
be understood that the jiva soul is neither produced of this
material world, nor created in the transcendental world. They
are originated from the marginal line between the transcendental
and mundane spheres" (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Bhakti-tattva
"In further reference to your question about the form of the
spirit soul of the conditioned living entity, there is a
spiritual form always, but it develops fully only when the
living entity goes back to Vaikuntha. This form develops
according to the desire of the living entity. Until this
perfectional stage is reached, the form is lying dormant, as the
form of the tree is lying dormant in the seed." (Letter to:
Rupanuga, Los Angeles 8 August, 1969).]
Editorial Advisors: Pujyapad Madhava
Maharaja, Sripad Brajanath dasa, and Sri Prema-prayojana dasa
Transcriber: Premanidhi dasi
Proofreader: Krsna-kamini dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Painting by Syamarani dasi, copyright Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.