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April 20, 1999   VNN3655   See Related VNN Stories

The Origin Of The Jiva


EDITORIAL, Apr 20 (VNN) — Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Jayatah!

The Origin of the Jiva has been a discussion for many years among the disciples of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Even entire books were dedicated to this subject. In the recently published Book called 'Brahmana and Vaisnava by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada (The conclusive comparison between Brahmanas and Vaisnavas- Vrajraja Press), the topic is very nicely explained.

Since the author is the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada as well as of Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Promod Puri Maharaj and as the Parama Guru for all the spiritual descendants from his disciplic succession this explanation could end the debate.

Praying for a more united Vaisnava world I am submitting these excerpts to all of you. The Committee of the World Vaisnava Association for Siddhanta and Guru Varga dignity tries to resolve different opinions about siddhanta by collecting quotes from the previous Acaryas and by asking Contemporary authorities in the Vaisnava world to shed their light on the topic.

Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti Coordinator of the WVA-VVRS Committee for Siddhanta- Guru Varga dignity.

In the second chapter, entitled Hari -jana kanda, of 'Brahmana and Vaisnava' page 86 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states:

"Who are the Harijanas, or Vaisnavas, and what makes them different from the nondevotees? I am quoting various evidence from the scriptures and sentiments of devotees in this Hari-jana-khanda to answer these questions.

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.

The living entity, who belongs to the marginal potency, cannot remain indifferent forever by subduing both devotional and nondevotional propensities. He therefore contemplates unconstitutional activities from his marginal position. As a sleeping person dreams that he is active in the physical world without actually being involved in activities, when the dormant indifferent living entity of the marginal potency exhibits even a little apathy to the service of the Supreme Lord and situates himself in a neutral, unchanging condition for even a little time, he is infected by impersonalism. That is why the conditioned soul desires to merge in the impersonal Brahman, thus exhibiting his mind's fickle nature. But due to neglecting the eternal service of the Lord and thereby developing the quality of aversion to the Lord, he cannot remain fixed in that position. In this way aversion to the Lord breaks his concentration of mind and establishes him as the master of this world of enjoyment.

Maya, the external energy of the Supreme Lord, then induces the marginal living entity to enjoy this world through her covering and throwing potencies and thus shows the living entity the reality of being averse to the Lord's service.

At that time the living entity considers himself the king of enjoyers, and being situated in the mode passion he takes the position of Brahma and creates progeny. The living entities who are born from Brahma, the grandfather of everyone, expand themselves in families of Aryans and brahmanas. In this world of duality, however, living entities who are covered and thrown under the control of the external energy naturally become envious . This enviousness further creates pride, illusion, greed, anger, and lust and induces the living entities to dance frantically in aversion to the Lord. At that time they forget both that they were born from Grandfather Brahma and the Lord 's instructions in the Vedas.

And on the platform of progress, if a living entity cultivates transcendental sound vibration and revives the process of remembering the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, he then achieves scientific spiritual knowledge. By this process, all anarthas are destroyed and he becomes situated in a

Supremely auspicious position.

The mood that arises when one is manipulating his senses is called vilasa, or enjoyment. The meaning of vairagya, or renunciation, is to become averse to the accumulation of sensual knowledge. The conditioned souls who are overwhelmed by the illusory energy of Hari become temporary enjoyers of this world under the control of Maya 's covering and throwing potencies. But if such persons fortunately meet devotees who are constantly remembering Krsna, then they can give up insignificant material enjoyment and receive the opportunity to attain transcendental knowledge.

Although due to forgetfulness of Krsna the perverted movement of the senses is considered temporary and adverse, when they are properly employed in eternal subjects their disease of transience is destroyed and they give up the desire to embrace such transient objects. Then that person appreciates the following verse from the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, which is the mercy of Sri Sanatana and compiled by Srila Gopala Bhatta, the disciple of Tridandipada Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati, who was a servant of Sri Gauranga and born in an Andhra brahmana family.

grhita-visnu diksako
visnu-puja-paro narah
vaisnavo 'bhihito 'bhijnair
itaro 'smad avaisnavah

"One who is initiated into Sri Visnu's mantras and who is devoted to worshipping Lord Visnu is called a Vaisnava by those who are learned. One who is devoid of these practices in not a Vaisnava."

Although the eternal living entity is constitutionally favorable inclined towards the Supreme Lord, due to his indifference towards the eternal service of the Lord he is eligible for being controlled by maya. When one tries to measure material objects with his sensual knowledge, he simply increases his enjoying propensity day after day. That he is eligible for achieving transcendental knowledge - this ancient memory he also often forgets. As a result of being covered and thrown and considering himself the enjoyer of this world, such a person has no power to discriminate between good and bad, rather he considers temporary and unreal subjects as permanent and favorable for his enjoyment.

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