Bhakti In The Jīva: Inherent Or Inherited? Part 4: The Source Of Our Siddha-deha

By Swāmī Bhakti Praṇaya Padmanābha

Additional articles in this series: Bhakti Comes from Bhakti; Bhakti, the Essence of the Svarūpa-Śakti; Is Rasa Totally Predetermined?; The Source Of Our Siddha-deha; Is There Scriptural Support in Favor of Inherence?; Nurture and Nature; The Origin of the Theory of Inherence; Teaching Strategies And Historical Presentism; How To Reach Siddhānta (Even Through Apasiddhānta); The Role of Adhikāra and Pramāṇa In Both Outreach and Inreach; Conclusion. This series of articles has led to the publication of a book entitled Inherent or Inherited? Bhakti in the Jiva According to Gaudiya Vedanta.

In our previous articles, we have tried to establish how, according to Gauḍīya revelation, bhakti is noninherent in the jīvabhakti, the essence of the svarūpa-śakti, comes to us from bhakti itself. Also, we have shown that if bhakti is not intrinsic to the constitution of the jīva-śakti, neither is prema nor rasa, the soul’s ultimate experience in relation to Bhagavān in transcendence. Although one naturally implies the other—thus the noninherence of bhakti should thereby naturally prove the noninherence of rasa and prema as well—in this article we will further elaborate on this idea but from a different vantage point, analyzing the original source of our siddha-deha, or perfected spiritual body.

To begin, we can invoke Paramātmā-sandarbha 47, where Śrī Jīva Goswāmī states that there are two categories of jīvas—those who are fortunate to have received the knowledge of Bhagavān (nitya-siddhas) and those who are unfortunate and thus ensnared in māyā (nitya-baddhas). Similar to what Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī establishes in his own devotional treatise, here Śrī Jīva categorically establishes the existence of the nitya-siddhas, or those souls perpetually possessed of a siddha-deha, and the nitya-baddhas, or those beings materially conditioned from beginningless time, who do not possess any siddha-deha at all, although the potential for it is latent in them—everyone has the container, but not everyone’s container is filled with a specific divine identity. All throughout his Paramātmā-sandarbha, Śrī Jīva has established that God has three distinct potencies—intrinsic, intermediary, and external. While he also defines the characteristics of the ātmā in utmost detail, he never mentions that the siddha-svarūpa is within the ātmā. Rather, in his Prīti-sandarbha (10), he declares that the siddha-deha is given by God when one becomes qualified to enter the spiritual world. There, Śrī Jīva explains that spiritual forms eternally exist in the spiritual domain, and jīvas who desire those forms in their sādhana are blessed with them upon attaining their spiritually desired sādhya.1 This is also the experience of Nārada, which he relates to Vyāsa in the Bhāgavata by using the specific word prayujyamāne (“having been awarded,” or, in the words of Śrīdhara Swāmī while commenting on this verse, “the siddha-deha is brought by the Lord”) thus:

Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate of the Personality of Godhead, the body made of five material elements, with karmas relating to the present body, fell away.2

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.6.28

Similarly, there are two other famous instances in the Bhāgavata where the awarding of a siddha-deha is clearly described, in connection to Ajāmila and Gajendra, respectively:

After seeing those forms, he gave up his body at this holy place on the Ganges and immediately attained a spiritual body as an associate of the Lord.

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.2.43

Persons desiring dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa worship the Lord and attain the desired destination. What to speak of other benedictions, they also receive a spiritual body. May that Lord of unlimited mercy liberate me and bestow such a spiritual body.3

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 8.3.19

A siddha-deha is a body constituted of ecstatic expression, sometimes known as a bhāva-deha (a body made of emotions). Another way of referring to its constitution would be in terms of divine love, Kṛṣṇa prema. This Kṛṣṇa prema is nitya-siddha, or eternally existent and eternally perfect, since it perfectly exists in Kṛṣṇa’s eternal associates. On the other side, the baddha-jīva’s connection with this nitya-siddha-prema begins inside of time, in this world. So although bhāva/prema is eternal, our participation in it has a beginning within time. But in Goloka, bhāva is always manifesting itself differently in newer and newer ways—prema is full in its “eternal beingness” yet always increasing in its “eternal becoming.” And it is only because of this that we can actually have events in the spiritual world, such as our attaining a siddha-deha.4 In other words, we could say that our siddha-deha is latent in the svarūpa-śakti, but not as a suit waiting for us in a closet of some abstract spiritual energy. The svarūpa-śakti is personified in the figures of the nitya-pāriṣadas of Bhagavān. And when corresponding devotion appears in our hearts, a new “wave of eternal becoming” manifests from their hearts, making it possible for us to fully become a particular identity.5 This is clearly established in Rūpa Goswāmī’s very definition of sādhana-bhakti:

Action of the senses, which produces the stage of bhāva, is called sādhana-bhakti. This attained state of bhāva-bhakti (sādhyatā) is an eternal sthāyi-bhāva, which is not created but simply manifests within the soul by the spiritual energy of the Lord.

Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.2

Śrī Jīva Goswāmī and Viśvanātha Cakravartī both comment thus:

A doubt may arise that since this state is achieved (sādhya), implying that it is artificially produced, it is not the ultimate goal. The second line responds to this doubt by saying that it is eternal and simply appears within the heart. That is because its appearance (but not its creation) will be accomplished in the future by the special actions of the most excellent transformations (samvit and hlādinī) of the Lord’s svarūpa-śakti (which are perfect and eternal).

In this connection, Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī declares in his Prīti-sandarbha (65) that “Kṛṣṇa has always placed an all-blissful item of his pleasure potency (hlādinī-śakti) within the hearts of his devotees, and when it is captured in the devotee’s heart, it shines there as prema.” Although some may take this statement as proof of bhakti’s inherence, this section actually speaks of the opposite. It clearly says bhakta-vṛndeṣv eva nikṣipyamānā (placed in the devotees), so it does not speak about something already there that suddenly “awakens.” Moreover, Śrī Jīva has done a very elaborate and minute analysis of prīti, or prema, in his Prīti-sandarbha, and he never says there even once that prema is dormant in the jīva. He clearly establishes that prema is the hlādinī-śakti and that it comes from Kṛṣṇa. If it were dormant in the jīva, he would have said so in a totally evident way, as is his style of presentation in his Sandarbhas.

So although the bhāva one will attain is eternal, the specifics of that bhāva have a beginning resulting from a combination of grace and spiritually advanced will. The svarūpa-śakti is eternally manifesting new līlās. Are they already there? No. Similarly, new siddha-dehas (perfect spiritual identities) manifest out of the eternal bhāvas for the service of Kṛṣṇa, just as new līlās do. Was Gopa-kumāra’s meeting Kṛṣṇa in Goloka and Kṛṣṇa’s fainting, and so on, a new līlā, or was it already going on? In this way, we have new svarūpas and corresponding new līlās, both of which are constituted of eternal bhāvas. Thus prema is full yet ever expanding in newer and newer episodes. It is not static eternity like nirviśeṣa Brahman—it is a dynamic and eternal becoming. 

In this connection, there is an important verse from Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta (2.4.190) that says, “Who is capable of conjecturing the opulence of his pastime of giving various tastes? He has the majesty of performing varied līlās, and his heart is deep like millions of oceans.” In his commentary to his own verse, Śrī Sanātana Goswāmī explains the compound word vicitra-tat-tad-ruci-dāna-līlā-vibhūtim thus: “[He] distributes (dānam) to them (the various people who take to different types of worship) the various types of (vicitrāṇām) specific bhāvas (rucinām), or relish. If the reading is tāna instead of dāna in the compound word, then the meaning is that ‘he expands’ (instead of ‘he distributes’). The reason behind expanding (or distributing) various types of relish is given in the adjective vicitra-līlā-vibhāvasya—one who has various types of majesties (vibhāva) in his wonderful (vicitra) līlās. Otherwise, he would not accomplish the purpose of his various līlās.” In other words, the nature of Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpa-śakti is to constantly expand new types of relish in the context of līlā, which includes the manifestation of new siddha-dehas that further nourish the līlā. When a bhakta receives his or her spiritual identity, his or her taṭastha constitution does not change into the svarūpa-śakti; it becomes fully imbued with the svarūpa-śakti. This actually begins even before receiving a siddha-deha, so what to speak of at this highest point, when one receives a sthāyi-bhāva. In other words, the taṭastha-śakti can have a kind of integration with the svarūpa-śakti that it cannot have with the māyā-śakti. That is why when attaining a siddha-deha, the devotee actually becomes (totally one with) that body, whereas this does not happen with a material body, because the jīva-śakti and māyā-śakti do not mix. But interestingly, the svarūpa-śakti also has the power to transform the māyā-śakti and spiritualize it, in the form of a sādhaka-deha. So even more so, it has the power to integrate with the jīva-śakti, which is consciousness. It makes its ingress into the jīva, culminating in a form of love—a spiritual body. So we may compare a taṭastha-jīva who is fully imbued with the svarūpa-śakti to an iron rod that is made red hot by putting it into the fire, and thus the ātmā becomes eternally linked to a body consisting of the svarūpa-śakti. Indeed, there is oneness between the two śaktis because the taṭastha-jīva does not feel at that point that the sthāyi-bhāva is external to it. So at the proper time and as a gift from Bhagavān and his svarūpa-śakti, a devotee receives a fully accomplished siddha-deha according to the specific inner affinity cultured during sādhana:

O Lord! You, who are approached by being heard about, seen, and directly served, enter and remain in the lotus of your devotees’ hearts infused with bhakti-yoga. Much praised Lord! By your mercy, you bestow upon them spiritual bodies appropriate to the mood they cultivate during sādhana.6

Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.9.11

To conclude this section, let us analyze some further śāstra-pramāṇa that proves how the siddha-deha is inherited and not inherent in the taṭastha-jīvas’ nature:

1. In Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda’s commentary to Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.7.18, he explains the famous lines muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.10.6) as meaning “to attain a spiritual form.”

2. In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.3.54, Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmīpāda declares that “by an offense against the dearest devotee of the Lord, even real bhāva will be destroyed if the offense is grave. If the offense is medium, the bhāva will turn to bhāvābhāsa. If the offense is slight, the bhāva will become an inferior type.” Since the latter option speaks of bhāva’s being downgraded in terms of the five sthāyi-bhāvas (madhura-rati becoming dāsya-rati, dāsya-rati becoming śānta-rati, and so on), how could we explain such degradation if the siddha-deha were inherent in the ātmā?

3. In his Rāga-vartma-candrikā (2.7), Śrī Viśvanātha reveals that in order to attain his or her ultimate destination in Goloka (also called vastu-siddhi), a sādhana-siddha has to first be born in the womb of a gopī in the Earthly Vṛndāvana where Kṛṣṇa is performing his nara-līlā. By receiving the association of nitya-siddha-parikaras, such a devotee can further develop his or her prema to the point of entering the nitya-līlā. If our own siddha-deha were already inherent, what necessity would there be of this process?

4. In Paramātmā-sandarbha 28, the words eka-rūpa svarūpa-bhāk mean that the jīvātmā is “uniform in nature” and “situated in its own essential nature,” respectively. It does not undergo any modification, and it has inherent potencies. Therefore, it is eka-rūpa, or fixed in form and uniform, and svarūpa-bhāk, or situated in its own essential nature. Here “uniform” also means that the souls are all equal, just as individual atoms are uniform in nature. There are no sakhya-rasa-baddha-jīvas or mādhurya-rasa-baddha-jīvas. However, jīvas can eventually experience rasa by the ingress of bhakti. Baddha-jīvas are of one uniform kind, while there are different kinds of bhakti. Thus, “situated in its own essential nature” means that the taṭastha-jīva is complete in itself, and that is why it can become ātmārāma, or self-satisfied. But it also has other qualities that, relative to the discussion, give it the potential to attain a bhakti-siddha-svarūpa.

5. In Bhakti-sandarbha 112, we find a statement from Sarvajña Muni cited by Śrīdhara Swāmī in his commentary on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.87.21, which says, “Even liberated souls accept a body out of their free will [this being implied by the term līlayā—that is, ‘playfully’] and thus worship the Lord.” Here, again we can appreciate that acceptance of a siddha-deha is voluntary, out of free will, rather than a predetermined condition in the jīva’s constitution.7

6. Regarding the jīva’s choice, we could even present another interesting vantage point: If the spiritual body is eternally present in the heart as a seed, how can the jīva then attain final (and thus eternal) mukti (sāyujya-mukti) and thus choose not to attain a spiritual body?8 It is certainly not the case that the liberated soul, desiring eternal merging with Brahman, recognizes the seed of a siddha-deha and then decides to send it back to the Lord like a package to Amazon.

7. Finally (and in connection to the previous two statements), the Vedānta-sūtra discusses the state of the mukta in liberation once they have given up their material body. Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s Govinda-bhāṣya confirms that the liberated sādhaka can either accept a spiritual body (or even several!) or have no body at all (sāyujya-mukti). In his commentary to Sūtra 4.4.12, he says, 

Now, since the liberated self is satya-saṅkalpa (one whose desires are instantly fulfilled), Bādarāyaṇa Ṛṣi (Vyāsadeva) thinks that the liberated self can be ‘of both kinds,’ since we find śruti statements to both effects. He accepts that the jīva in its liberated state can exist with a body or without a body. It is just like the Dvādaśāha sacrifice. According to the desire of the sponsor (yajamāna) of the Dvādaśāha, the sacrifice can be a Satra when it has many sponsors or an Ahīna when there is only one sponsor. There is no contradiction here.

“The meaning is that in the same way, the liberated soul, by its own will, can accept a body or not accept one. This is the truth—by brahma-vidyā, the liberated ones have cut away all coverings and become satya-saṅkalpas. Among them, those who desire a body attain one just by that desire. As the śruti (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 7.26.2) says, ‘He becomes one, two, eleven, and so on.’ But those who do not desire a body will not become such (spiritually embodied), just as the śruti statement (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.12.1) that says, ‘It is certainly bodiless.’9

Again, our conclusion is that there is certainly no eternally fixed blueprint in the heart of the ātmā determining which suitable siddha-deha the soul will eventually attain. Although the aforementioned paragraphs should provide a sufficient resolution to this particular topic, we will try to develop this idea for further clarification in our following articles.

Additional articles in this series: Bhakti Comes from Bhakti; Bhakti, the Essence of the Svarūpa-Śakti; Is Rasa Totally Predetermined?; The Source Of Our Siddha-deha; Is There Scriptural Support in Favor of Inherence?; Nurture and Nature; The Origin of the Theory of Inherence; Teaching Strategies And Historical Presentism; How To Reach Siddhānta (Even Through Apasiddhānta); The Role of Adhikāra and Pramāṇa In Both Outreach and Inreach; Conclusion. This series of articles has led to the publication of a book entitled Inherent or Inherited? Bhakti in the Jiva According to Gaudiya Vedanta.

  1. Caitanya-caritāmṛta 3.4.192–193 presents this same point by way of describing how the sādhaka-deha becomes spiritualized through dīkṣā (which is awarded through sādhu-saṅga) to the point of becoming worshipable by Bhagavān himself (who is the one who ultimately bestows such spiritualization): “At the time of initiation, when a devotee surrenders to the spiritual master, Kṛṣṇa makes him or her equal to himself. He transforms the devotee’s body into spiritual substance; the devotee then worships the Lord in that spiritualized body.” []
  2. Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments the following on this verse: “At the time of being made to accept a body that was śuddha-sattva because it was not a material body and because it belonged to the Lord, my material body fell away.” The previous Bhāgavata verse (1.6.27) also presents a similar expression (“receiving my spiritual body”): “O brāhmaṇa Vyāsa! Concentrating only on Kṛṣṇa, not attached to material enjoyment and pure in mind, the time of receiving my spiritual body occurred simultaneously with that of giving up my material body, like lightning flashing simultaneously with lightning.” []
  3. While commenting on this verse in his Krama-sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Goswāmī states, “They receive blessings such as sāmīpya, sālokya, and so forth as well as an eternal body as an associate of the Lord.” In his Sārārtha-darśinī commentary, Śrī Viśvanātha says, “He [the Lord] also gives a spiritual body as he gave to Dhruva and others. Thus, he is unlimitedly merciful. May he liberate me from the crocodile and saṁsāra, and give me a spiritual body and prema-bhakti.” []
  4. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura confirms this in his famous song Iṣṭa-deve Vijñapti (Hari hari! biphale janama) when he says, golokera prema-dhana, harināma-saṅkīrtana: “The treasure of prema from Goloka has descended into this world in the form of harināma-saṅkīrtana.” []
  5. In his commentary to Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 3.4.76, Śrī Jīva Goswāmī mentions that “having (the Vraja vāsīs) entered there, Kṛṣṇa made all their unmanifested forms, which already existed there (in the nitya-līlā), merge into the forms that they brought from the manifested pastimes.” Although this may seem to indicate that the siddha-deha is predetermined, this passage speaks about nitya-pāriṣadas, who are eternally possessed of those identities. In no place is it said that this idea applies to those sādhakas who will eventually become siddhas. []
  6. This verse does not mean, however, that Bhagavān is bound to appear in whatever concocted form a sādhaka may imagine. Rather, a sādhaka will meditate on God as he is described in the scriptures and explained by realized sādhus. This is the significance of the phrase śrutekṣita-pathaḥ (seen through the ear) in this verse. []
  7. Although a mukta chooses to have a body or not, this does not do away with the fact that mukti is bestowed by Bhagavān in every single case. The choice of the mukta has mainly to do with the fact that his or her ultimate condition in transcendence is not predetermined. Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.4.13 confirms how both mukti and (prema-) bhakti are bestowed on those who desire them: “Again I offer respects to you, the destroyer of the suffering of the devotees and giver of liberation to the demons, the form of śuddha-sattva, the shelter of those with the mood of the paramahaṁsas, the giver of Brahman to the bhakti-miśra-jñānīs and prema to the pure devotees.” Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī writes in his commentary to this verse, “You are the giver of the bliss of Brahman to the bhakti-miśra-jñānīs and the giver of the bliss of prema to the pure devotees (vyavasthitānām), who are under your shelter.” []
  8. Another common misunderstanding is the idea that those who attain Brahman will eventually fall from there. Actually, since Brahman is nirguṇa and thus not affected by the māyā-śakti, it constitutes a permanent condition of liberation called sāyujya-mukti. Although thoroughly rejected by Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, this attainment is an eternal one, as much as any type of mukti is a permanent condition in itself (see Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.10.6). For more on this, see Prīti-sandarbha 2–5 and 15 as well as Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda’s commentary to Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.2.32. []
  9. Since a jīva can exercise its will by choosing to have or not have a spiritual body in eternity, the idea of inherent predeterminism would make no place whatsoever for personal choice. []

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12 Responses to Bhakti In The Jīva: Inherent Or Inherited? Part 4: The Source Of Our Siddha-deha

  1. Very nice points, Maharaja.
    Thank you.

  2. kunjabihari adhikari

    I adore the primeval Lord Govinda, the meditators of whom, by meditating upon Him
    under the sway of wrath, amorous passion, natural friendly love, fear, parental
    affection, delusion, reverence and willing service, attain to bodily forms befitting the
    nature of their contemplation.

    Suno bap! sabari eki isvar
    sei isvar yare yeno laoyayen man, sei mata karma kare sakal bhuvan
    Yei isvar sei punah sabar bhav loy, himsa karile sei tahan himsa hoy
    Eteke amare sei isvar yeno laoyaiachen citte, ami kari teno

    yei isvar sei punah sabar bhav loy

  3. “In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.3.54, Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmīpāda declares that “by an offense against the dearest devotee of the Lord, even real bhāva will be destroyed if the offense is grave. If the offense is medium, the bhāva will turn to bhāvābhāsa. If the offense is slight, the bhāva will become an inferior type.” Since the latter option speaks of bhāva’s being downgraded in terms of the five sthāyi-bhāvas (madhura-rati becoming dāsya-rati, dāsya-rati becoming śānta-rati, and so on), how could we explain such degradation if the siddha-deha were inherent in the ātmā?” Can you reffer to sastra in case of downgrading there is in terms of sthayi-bhavas?

    • I have done so. The quoted verse from Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu belongs to the section of bhava-bhakti, and in its commentary Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura speaks of downgrading in terms of madhura-rati, and so on. And when we speak of sthayi-bhava we are speaking exactly about that: madhura-rati and so on.

      • Thank you, so please kindly remove my doubt about this i believe common question : Can we go from Vaikuntha to Goloka? Becouse if it is so that would mean that our svarupa is “dynamic” and that would mean that by offenses we can fall down from Vaikuntha also..otherwise we would be some offensive pricks in santa rasa right? Which evoke in me this verse: “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.”(SB 2.9.10) Haribol!:)

        • Swami B. P. Padmanabha

          First of all, in case it was not clear I would like to clarify that my use of the term “sthayi-bhava” here was in terms of considering it as a not-yet-perfected sthayi-bhava (since we are speaking about the stage of bhava here, and not yet prema). In other words, the downgrade I refer to has to do with the sprout of the sthayi-bhava (bhavankura) before it is established and fixed. There is a difference between the bhavankura sprouting in bhava-bhakti and the fully developed sthayi-bhava that matures in prema-bhakti. The verse in BRS regarding downgrade I quoted refer to bhava-bhakti, not prema-bhakti. An interesting example in this regard is the one from the Kumaras, who experienced the sprout of a sthayi-bhava upon entering Vaikuntha and meeting the dasya-bhaktas at the gate, but because of their offense their budding prospect of dasya was downgraded to santa, from which later than ascended to madhurya.

          That said, no, we cannot go from Vaikuntha to Goloka. Our svarupa is dynamic in the context of a mature sthayi-bhava (which in this case is sthayi/fixed and won´t change into another type of inner affinity in transcendence). And no, we cannot fall from Vaikuntha nor Goloka due to aparadha – that can happen up to bhava-bhakti in extremely rare cases.

  4. SB 1.7.5 Sridhar Swami: yayA saMmohitaH svarUpAvaraNena vikziptaH paro ‘ pi… When bewildered by maya, jiva‘s svarupa is covered although jiva is a superior sakti.

    • Sridhara Swami is referring to the nature (svarupa) of the jiva, not the bhakti svarupa it can attain through sadhu sanga. The word ‘svarupa” with regard to the jiva is more often used to refer to its nature than it is to its status after it has attained the perfection of a sthayi-bhava by God’s grace.

      Furthermore, and as cited by Jiva Goswami in his Bhagavata-sandarbha 99, “Sridhara Swami famously comments on Visnu Purana 1.12.69 “Hladini bestows delight, sandhini is existence, and samvit is the cognitive potency. Eka (one) means predominant, undeviating and intrinsic to the Lord’s essential nature. This energy is present in You only, the support of everything (sarva-saṁsthit), or in other words, the one from whom all things come into being. This potency, however, is not present in the living beings.

      So the Swami’s position is clear: There is no svarupa sakti inherent in the jiva and thus no bhakti.

      But the larger issue here is that your comment ignores the points raised in this and the preceding articles of Padmanabha Maharaja that make it abundantly clear how one must understand the comment of Sridhara Swami you have cited. If it were to be understood as you have misunderstood it, that misunderstanding would clearly be in conflict with well established siddhanta. Thus it cannot be taken in that way, but rather as I have explained herein.

    • And VCT comments on SB 1.7.5 thus:

      “Bewildered by the covering and bewildering potencies of māyā upon his svarūpa, the jīva, though separate from the three guṇas, thinks himself made of matter, and accepts material existence (anartham) – a body created by that identification.”

      Obviously maya cannot cover one’s bhakti svarupa because it is bhakti that uncovers the jiva from the influence of the maya sakti.And this verse is all about the jiva’s material conditioning that the following verse tells us bhakti is the remedy for.

    • Swami B. P. Padmanabha


      Apart for the compelling clarification presented by Swami B. V. Tripurari here (and my attempt to shed light on this topic in the previous articles), in part 6 of this series I will address in further detail the many possible meanings of the word “svarupa”, while explaining the famous verse “jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya—kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’…” (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.20.108), which sometimes is invoked as purvapaksa in connection to this topic.

  5. Hare Krishna, please accept my obeisances, please help me understand one part, while studying the topic of gaining svarupa, I became more and more a victim of tatastya jiva becoming svarupa shakti after achieving liberation. In the Gautamiya Tantra, Krishna also says:

    Srila Jiva Gosvami slowed down in Paramatma sandarbha (37) and in Bhakti sandarbha (1), which by their very nature is Paramatma vaibhava, part of the Supersoul, and not Lord Krishna Himself. Accordingly, Bhaktivinoda Thakura is prophylactic in Jaiva Dharma: Krishna manifests existence in various forms that correspond to different themes of action, culminate in this… Radha’s four sakhis of manifestation manifest their kaya-vyuha… is presented through Sankarshana, and the jiva’s tatastha presented Maha Vishnu.

    devi krishna-mayi prokta radhika para-devata |
    sarva-lakshmi-mayi sarva-kantih sammohini para ||
    Radhika is said to be the same as Krishna. She is the supreme deity, personifying all goodness, all beauty and supreme attractiveness.
    Thus Radha was described. It should be understood that the young girl mentioned in the verse must be an expansion of that illustrious Radha who embodies this great eternal shakti. Radha decided to make the girl her sakhi when she reached the last stage, and by her grace she considered that the girl who has reached all perfection through this sadhana is not different from herself. For this reason, the Padma Purana describes that a young girl considered herself the only beloved of Krishna, calling herself Radha.

    But you say

    “his or her taṭastha constitution does not change into the svarūpa-śakti;”

    which way of thinking doesn’t make much of a difference, but it just turns out that there is an eternal difference between nitya-sidhas who were nitya sidhas originally and those who became nitya sidhas,

    but we have never heard such a thing anywhere, on the contrary, they say all the time that when a sadhaka becomes a nitya sidha, there is no difference between them anymore..

    and it is also said in sastra that Shri Krishna interacts in the spiritual world only with his internal energy, but here it turns out that tatastha jiva is there…

    and what is her tatastha nature if now she is no different from svarupa shakti and can no longer be a marginal energy – to choose matter or spirit..

  6. sorry! i mean: studying the topic of gaining svarupa, I became more and more CONVINCED that tatastya jiva becomes svarupa shakti having achieved liberation.

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