Chapter 6 - The Jivas are Separated Parts of Krsna
There is much disagreement concerning the nature of the individual soul or jiva. According to his nature, each human being will hold a different conclusion about the jiva. Those under the influence of ignorance believe that the jiva is an object arising from material elements. According to them, the jiva arises in material nature along with the material body.
Those who are influenced by a mixture of ignorance and passion say that only human beings have souls or may be classified as jivas. Animals are less than jivas, and are meant for the enjoyment of humans. According to them, the associates of the Lord are a higher class than the jivas. They do not believe in previous or future bodies for the human being. They cannot say why one person for the first time attains a comfortable position in life and another person attains a miserable position.
Those in the mood of passion say that humans, animals and birds are all jivas and they believe in previous and future lives, but they do not believe in a pure spiritual destination beyond the gross material realm. Persons of mixed passion and goodness believe in elevation to higher planets but not the spiritual world. Those in the mode of goodness believe in the undifferentiated brahman beyond the material world as the goal of the jiva. Those bewildered by maya consider the jiva in this manner. Those who succeed in piercing the three gunas, and therefore can reason without prejudice, accept with devotion the words of Caitanya Caritamrta.
mayavasa isvare jive bheda
The Lord is the master of the potencies, and the living entity is the servant of them. That is the difference between the Lord and the living entity. However, you declare that the Lord and the living entities are one and the same. In Bhagavad Gita the living entity is established as the marginal potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet you say that the living entity is completely non-different from the Lord.
C.C.Madhya 6, 162-3
svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa
It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna because he is the marginal energy of Krsna and a manifestation simultaneously one and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire.
bhuli'sei jiva anadi bahir mukha
Forgetting Krsna, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence.
C.C.Madhya 20. 117
sanga vikare rudra-bhinnabhinna rupa
Rudra, Lord Siva, has various forms, which are transformations brought about by association with maya. Although Rudra is not on level with the jiva -tattvas, he still cannot be considered a personal expansion of Lord Krsna. Milk is transformed into yogurt when it associates with a yogurt culture. Thus yogurt is nothing but milk, but still it is not milk.
C.C.Madhya 20, 308-309
visesabhasa rupe prakrti sparsana
To impregnate with the seeds of living entities, the Lord Himself does not directly touch the material energy, but by His specific functional expansion, He touches the material energy, and thus the living entities, who are His parts and parcels, are impregnated into material nature.
C.C. Madhya 20, 273
vistara-caturvyuha, avatara gana
Expansion of His personal self-like the quadruple manifestations-descend as incarnations from Vaikuntha to this material world. The separated expansions are living entities. Although they are expansions of Krsna, they are counted among His different potencies. The living entities are divided into two categories. Some are eternally liberated, and others are eternally conditioned.
C.C. Madhya 22, 9-10
Those equipped with sattvika knowledge, when they consider the opposite of material knowledge, conclude that there is no difference between the jiva (individual) and brahman (Supreme). Whatever differences are perceived are apparent only, not really spiritual. They have three schools of thought. Among them, some believe that the idea of difference (between jiva and brahman) is false, being but a perception due to maya. By the imposition of ignorance, the jiva percieves an illusion of difference, like the sky and the pot containing a portion of sky. When ignorance disappears, the illusion of difference ceases, and only the great sky or brahman remains. At that time the jiva or the false ego disappears. This doctrine is called pariccheda paricchinna vada.
The second school believes that brahman is reality and the jiva is a perception of its reflection due to ignorance. The jiva has no actual existence. Ignorance is a particular function of maya sakti. When the ignorance is removed, the existence of jiva ceases. The third school says that actually nothing exists. There is some disturbance called maya by which there is a perception of difference.
Reviewing these theories one can understand that they are all pompous talk generated from logic. By skillful logic, they can be quickly defeated. These philosophies arise by taking support from some portions of the Vedas, but they are not the conclusion of the Vedas. The conclusion of the Vedas is that the Lord is naturally the controller of maya and the jiva is naturally controlled by maya.
The Vedas say:
yajnah kratavo vratani
controller of maya, the Lord, creates the material
universe by maya. The jiva, different
from the Lord, falls under the control of maya in
the material world. Maya is an energy of the
Lord and the Lord is the controller of maya.
Thus the jiva is, under no condition, the same as the Lord. In the Bhagavad Gita, the jiva is called energy. That means the jiva cannot be the same as the Lord.
apo'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca
water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false
ego-altogether these eight comprise My separated material
energies. Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed
Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which
are all living entities who are struggling with material
nature and are sustaining the universe.
The jiva is the servant of Krsna. The jiva is the marginal energy of Krsna, being simultaneously different and non-different from the Lord. That means that the jiva is neither completely different from the Lord, nor absolutely identical with the Lord.
Brhadaranyaka Upanisad says:
va etasya purusasya dve eva sthane bhavata
purusa or jiva has two locations, the material
world and the spiritual world. The jiva
is situated at a third position, called svapna sthana,
on the border between these two places. Situated
in this marginal place, he can see both the material
and spiritual worlds.
This marginal position is described as follows:
yatha maha matsya ubhe kule'
as a large fish living in the river wanders from one
bank to the other, so the jiva is of similar
quality, and is equipped to wanders in the Karana
waters between the material and spiritual worlds (svapnanta
Though all the jivas are generated from the Supreme Lord through the tatastha sakti, they have a separate existence from Him. They may be compared to the atoms in the sun's rays, or the sparks of a fire.
ksudra visphulinga vyuccaranti evam
as sparks arise from fire, all the jivas arise
from Krsna, the supreme soul.
From this it may be determined that jivas are small, separate conscious particles which may find their place either in the material or spiritual worlds due to their dual nature (tatastha). But their essential nature is to be the servant of Krsna.
The moment that the jivas desire to enjoy independently while gazing at the two banks of the river, they become averse to Krsna, who is like the sun. They are called by maya, who is situated close by, to accept a place of enjoyment. Due to loss of remembrance of Krsna, they are averse to Krsna with no beginning. They are in this state due to misuse of their independence.
One should not attribute this unfortunate situation to fault or cruelty on the part of Krsna, for Krsna has no responsibility at all for the misuse that the jiva makes of his spiritual quality of independence. When this misuse takes place, Krsna places the jivas like seeds in the material world, through a special functional expansion (Mahavisnu). (see above C.C. Madhya 20.273)
Krsna does not touch matter, but through the form of Mahavisnu, who glances upon matter, he places the offending jivas in matter. Due to this offense, matter or maya punishes the jivas by inflicting the sufferings of repeated births in the material world.
The Lord has two types of expansions, svamsa and vibhinnamsa. The caturvyuha and avataras are all svamsa. The jivas are vibhinnamsa. The difference between svamsa and vibhinnamsa is that the svamsa entites are always endowed with all powers, and always identify themselves as the Lord. Krsna's desire is their desire. They have no independence. The vibhinnamsas eternally identify themselves as separate from Krsna. Being of small form, the jivas have small power, and their desires are separate from Krsna's. In this manner, though unlimited jivas emanate from Krsna, they do not in any way decrease the perfect nature of Krsna.
The offense of turning from Krsna occurs before the entrance of all jivas into matter. Because the root of this offense occurs before material time, it is called beginningless aversion to Krsna (anadi bahir mukhata).
Because of transformation due to association with matter, Rudra also is different and non-different from the Lord. He is not the svarupa of Krsna. By contact with tamarind, milk becomes yogurt. It is not something completely different from milk, but it is not milk as well. (see CC M. 20.307-9).
In the Paramatma Sandarbha (19) of Jiva Gosvami Jamatr Muni 's quote from the Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda is found describing the jiva:
jnana-gunas cetanah prakrteh parah
The jiva is the shelter of knowledge, has the quality of knowledge, is conscious, non-material, without birth, unchanging, has one natural form, is a particle, eternal, pervasive, full of knowledge and bliss, has a sense of "I", is master of his body, does not decrease, is a separate form, cannot be burned, cut, or dried and is indestructible. He is the servant of the Lord.
Shelter of knowledge means that the jiva is a knower; having the quality of knowledge means that knowledge is his attribute. The jiva is beyond matter, he has no birth or change, and is more subtle than the material atoms. Pervasive means that the jiva pervades his whole body. He identifies himself as "I", he is the master of his body, is separate from the Lord's form, and is devoid of impermanent qualities.
Narada in the Pancaratra has spoken of the tatastha sakti.
yat tatastham tu cid rupam svakam vedyad vinirgatam
The particle of consciousness emanating from the cit-sakti is called tatastha.
Jiva Gosvami has explained about the nature of the tatastha sakti:
ca maya-sakty atitatvat
tatastha or jiva sakti is different from maya
sakti. It is not considered in the category of
maya. However, because of the fault of
being overcome by ignorance, the jiva sakti
cannot be considered in the category of Paramatma,
which is free from the influence of maya.
Though the jiva is the sakti of the
Paramatma, Paramatma is not touched by the jiva's
contamination of ignorance. Though a particular
ray of the sun may be covered by shadow, the sun is
These jivas are of two types: eternally conditioned and eternally liberated.
Sri Jiva says:
evam ananta eva jivakhyas tatasthah saktayah
bhagavad-unmukhah anyas tv anadita eva bhagavat-paranmukhah svabhavatas
tadiya-jnana-bhavat tadiya-jnanabhavat ca tatra prathamo' ntaranga-
number of jivas is unlimited. They are
divided into two classes. One class is favorable
to the Lord without beginning. The other class
is averse to the Lord without beginning. The
first class is favorable to the Lord because of knowledge
of relationship with the Lord. The second class
is averse to the Lord because of lack of that knowledge.
The favorable jivas are all recipients of the
Lords splendid internal energy. They are the
eternal associates of the Lord, such as Garuda.
They are not in the category of the Lord, as in shown
by the scriptures. They are still tatastha
or jiva. The second class of jivas
is devoid of the help of the internal energy as they
are averse to the Lord. Because of this lack, they
are overwhelmed by maya and take repeated birth in
the material world.
suryah paramatma vai jivas cit paramanavah
Paramatma is the spiritual sun. All the jivas are particles of his rays. The real nature of the jiva is purely spiritual. The jiva is by nature possessed of individual identity. Because of the nature of tatastha sakti which emanates from the inconceivable energy of paramatma, the jiva, being minute, is liable to fall under the control of maya. In the verse of Bhagavad Gita, Krsna teaches that the jiva is a superior energy to maya, and thus the jiva is not qualitatively different from paramatma, nor is he the same. The jiva is controlled by maya and the Lord is the controller of maya. Through this scriptural statement it is understood that the jiva is simultaneously different and non-different from the Lord. The doctrine of absolute monism is not according to Vedic evidence.
If the jiva is under the control of maya, one cannot say that everything is maya. According to the doctrine of maya, the jiva is a temporary phenomenon, like a reflection. When we say the jiva is controlled by maya, it meams that spiritual particle called jiva is different from maya and is capable of falling under the influence of maya because of his minute nature. Maya is inferior energy and the jiva is composed of superior energy. The fnction of maya is material identification. The jiva is a separate category, a spiritual being. Though the jiva is absorbed in maya, it does not lose its nature as jiva. The mayavada philosophy is erroneous.
The opinions of those contaminated by this error are ridiculous. According to them, brahman is one, uncontaminated. Then how is it possible that this brahman becomes divided? How can there be any freedom from fear once the jiva has attained oneness? The examples of the rope and snake, shell and silver are inappropriate. Rather than prove the concept of advaita, they defeat it. If one tries to say that maya dissolves in brahman, the concept of absolute advaita fails. If one argues that maya is desire, how does that desire act? By whose desire does maya act? If brahman is the source of this desire, then brahman is not unchanging. If one maintains the changeless nature of brahman and existence of the desire of maya, then there arises another being opposing brahman which divides up the desireless brahman. That is a great disaster for brahman!
If one images that brahman becomes isvara and then creates the world of maya, in the absence of independent desire of brahman, it means that brahman becomes unfortunately controlled by one of its energies. Thus mayavada is an unauthorized doctrine, contrary to all the Vedas. By material logic the non-material subject of the Vedas becomes lost.
If a person has faith in the Lord's inconceivable energy, his knowledge becomes perfect. Accepting that brahman is non-dual, and changeless, if one also accepts that brahman has inconceivable energy, both the changeless state and desire can harmoniously coexist and act without contradiction.
The Vedas say, sa aiksata ("He glanced.") This statement illustrates that by the Lord's desire alone, his inconceivable energy creates the material energy, the jivas and the spiritual energies. If one believes in this inconceivable energy, his doubts will be dissipated. In the words, naham manye suvedeti no na vedeti veda ca (I do not think I know Brahman well. I know and I do not know) of the Kena Upanisad, the inconceivable energy is accepted. In the statement dva suparna ("two birds in a tree"), the eternal difference is taught, and in tat tvam asi ("you are that") eternal non-difference is taught. There is no contradiction anywhere in the perfect Vedas.
Thus, the Vedas conclude that the Supreme Lord embodies the inconceivable principle of simultaneous oneness and diference, which is the absoulte reality, the truth eternal. To take statements out of context from one part of the Veda and in attempting to give one's own interpretation to them, interpolate the meanings from another section to support one's fabricated idea is to misconstrue the Vedic conclusion. Similarly, those who are karma-mimamsaka, i.e. those trying to interpret everything in terms of fruitive activity as the highest goal of the Vedas, blatantly exhibit their disrespect for the Veda. This is their foolishness and perversion. Real scholars do not accept their views. The Vedic conclusion is that jiva is not in the category of Divinity, but is Sri Krsna's spearated part and parcel belonging to His marginal energy - tatastha-sakti. Jiva is pure spirit soul, completely spiritual, and is always, by nature, Krsna's subordinate follower, but, because of forgetting his original identity and developing another consciousness by turning away from the Lord, he becomes imprisoned by maya.