The Origin of the Jiva

by Drutakarma Dasa namo om visnu padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale srimate bhaktivedanta svaminn iti namine namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine

“Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated selfrealized person. Consequently, as the sastras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahajanas advocate.” Mahabharata, Vana Parva 313.117

“The insignificant author of this book prays that if I am wrong in my presentations of this matter, may the merciful Lord Krsna, who is very dear to the residents of Gokula, please forgive me.” Jiva Goswami, Sri Krsna-sandarbha 181.2

9701 Venice Blvd. #5, Los Angeles, CA 90034 Phone: 310-837-5283, Fax 310-837-1056 drutakarma.acbsp@pamho.net June 20, 2000

The Origin of the Jiva
QUICK PATH For those pressed for time, I would suggest reading: 1. Introduction, 2. Teachings of Srila Prabhupada, up to and including section 2.4.2, the introductory paragraphs of section 4.5, section 4.5.5.1, and the general conclusion at the very end. In between one will find many selections from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Jiva Goswami, and Srimad-Bhagavatam. The headlines give an indication of the subject matter. One can simply skim these, picking out those of interest. CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 THE QUESTIONS 1.2 THE ANSWERS 1.3 HOW SHOULD WE ARRIVE AT AN ANSWER? 2. TEACHINGS OF SRILA PRABHUPADA 2.1 HAS SRILA PRABHUPADA ALREADY ANSWERED THE QUESTION OF THE ORIGIN OF THE JIVA? 2.2 A PROPOSED SOLUTION TO THE CONTROVERSY 2.3 THE STRONGEST EVIDENCE: SRILA PRABHUPADA’S DIRECT RESOLUTION OF A CONTROVERSY IN ISKCON 2.3.1 “Formerly we were with Krsna in His lila” 2.4 SRILA PRABHUPADA’S DIRECT ANSWERS TO DIRECT QUESTIONS 2.4.1 Introduction 2.4.2 “Actually he has not fallen” 2.4.3 “So actually we are always in the spiritual world” 2.4.4 “In this world or spiritual world, he has got the potency of coming down” 2.4.5 “We may fall down from Vaikuntha at any moment” 2.4.6 “The soul may fall down from any position” 2.4.7 “If someone has a relationship with Lord Krsna on Krsna-loka, does he ever fall down?” 2.4.8 “We have got the independence to give up His company” 2.4.9 “Can he still fall?” 2.4.10 “If we are originally in the spiritual world...” 2.4.11 “As eternal servitors of Krsna—our constitutional position—we fall down when...” 2.4.12 “You are not eternally conditioned” 2.4.13 “Marginal energy jiva souls have fallen from the spiritual world” 2.4.14 “Not from the impersonal brahman” 2.4.15 “There is possibility, but he does not come” 2

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2.4.16 “Potency of falling down is always there” 2.4. 17 “If the conditions in the spiritual world are so nice” 2.4.18 “Yes,” Krsna says, “yes, you go.” 2.4.19 “You forced Krsna to allow you to come” 2.4.20 “We should remain with Krsna in the spiritual world” 2.4.21 “Our endeavor should be how to get our again original spiritual body” 2.4.22 “Because we are small, minute fragments, sometimes we fall down” 2.4.23 “If he desires, he can come again” 2.4.24 “If we were originally in the spiritual world, why don’t we remember that?” 2.4.25 “Then again his liberated life begins” 2.4.26 “We are playing with the big fire very nice, but there is chance of falling down” 2.4.27 “When he misuses independence he falls” 2.4.28 “When the living being imitates the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then he falls down” 2.5 FURTHER CONCLUSIVE STATEMENTS 2.5.1 “He is fallen already from Vaikuntha planet” 2.5.2 “Down from Vaikuntha” 2.5.3 “Every living entity is originally a devotee of Krsna” 2.5.4 “Just try to revive your lost relationship with God, or Krsna” 2.5.5 “To revive our old relationship with God” 2.5.6 “Fallen means he has given up the service of Krsna and he has taken the service of maya” 2.5.7 “Our natural position is ever liberated, eternally liberated” 2.5.8 “Just to try to revive your original consciousness” 2.5.9 “You shall come back again to Me” 2.5.10 “Every living entity, even if he is in the Vaikuntha Loka, has chance of falling down” 2.5.11 “We are all originally situated on the platform of Krsna consciousness” 2.5.12 “We have given up the company of Krsna” 2.5.13 “I have given up service of Krsna” 2.5.14 “He falls down from his real engagement in the service of the Lord” 2.5.15 “To enjoy independently, without Krsna” 2.5.16 “Even if he is elevated to a Vaikuntha planet, he falls down” 2.5.17 “Even if you are in Vaikuntha, you will fall down” 2.5.18 “They cannot remain in Vaikuntha world” 2.5.19 “We have fallen down, just like Jaya-Vijaya” 2.5.20 “All spirit souls are coming from Vaikuntha” 2.5.21 “Revive his original state of loving service” 2.5.22 “Leaving His place, I have come to this material world” 2.5.23 “The servants who have rebelled against Krsna” 2.5.24 “We shall revive our original spiritual body” 2.5.25 “He revives his spiritual body” 3

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2.5.26 “He has forgotten his relationship with Krsna” 2.5.27 “We will be reinstated in our original constitutional position” 2.5.28 “If we revive our original intimate relationship with Krsna” 2.5.29 “When the pure soul wants to give up the Lord’s service” 2.5.30 “There is only a material world for those who want to imitate the Lord” 2.5.31 “The rasas were originally exchanged between the spiritual living being and the spiritual whole” 2.5.32 “The original position is one of rendering service” 2.5.33 “Return them to the normal stage of engaging the senses in the service of the Lord” 2.5.34 “Separated from the Supreme Lord” 2.5.35 “He should be restored to his pure identity” 2.5.36 “The omnipotent Lord displays his pleasure potency as the living entities” 2.5.37 “In our original relationship with the Supreme Lord there is real love” 2.5.38 “It is originally a part and parcel of the pleasure potency” 2.5.39 “The living entity again becomes reinstated in his original position” 2.6 CONCLUSION 3. EVIDENCE FROM SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM 3.1 INTRODUCTION 3.2 FOURTH CANTO: THE BRAHMANA AND QUEEN VIDARBHI 3.2.1 “In the past you had a very intimate friend” 3.2.2 “Even while in that position, the Lord remains with him as the Supersoul, his intimate friend” 3.2.3 “We are also associated with Krsna, as Paramatma within the heart” 3.2.4 “You gave up My company and accepted a position as enjoyer of this material world” 3.2.5 “We are still far away from our original home” 3.2.6 “The person I have described as unknown is the Supreme Personality of Godhead” 3.2.7 “The living entity falls down from the service of the Lord” 3.2.8 “Since you left Me, you have become more and more materialistic” 3.2.9 “You have forgotten your spiritual life” 3.2.10 “He regains his original Krsna consciousness, which was lost because of his material attraction” 3.2.11 “When he forgets his supreme master, the Personality of Godhead” 3.2.12 “Not being interested in their real home, they are illusioned and search after other homes” 3.2.13 Conclusiveness of the Fourth Canto Evidence 3.3 SECOND CANTO: LORD BRAHMA 3.3.1 “The eternally transcendental living entity” 4

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3.4 SECOND CANTO: SUKADEVA GOSWAMI 3.4.1 “Spiritual and original bodies” 3.5 THIRD CANTO: LORD KAPILA 3.5.1 “Conditional life is due to his forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead” 3.5.2 “He is forced to act in that way due to his offense in his eternal relationship with Krsna” 3.5.3 “I am separated from the Supreme Lord” 3.6 FOURTH CANTO: MAHARAJA PRTHU 3.6.1 “The forgetful living entity gradually remembers his eternal relationship with You” 3.7 SIXTH CANTO: VRTRASURA 3.7.1 “Will I again be able to be a servant of Your eternal servants?” 3.8 SIXTH CANTO: SUPREME LORD’S TEACHINGS TO CITRAKETU 3.8.1 “When a living entity, thinking himself different from Me, forgets his spiritual identity” 3.9 SEVENTH CANTO: PRAHLAD MAHARAJA 3.9.1 “You are my eternal master” 3.10 EIGHTH CANTO: KING SATYAVRATA 3.10.1 “One regains his original identity” 3.10.2 “The intelligent person receiving such knowledge is quickly situated in his original constitutional position” 3.11 TENTH CANTO: THE SAGES AT KURUKSETRA 3.11.1 “Such a person loses his memory and cannot know You” 3.12 ELEVENTH CANTO: REVERSAL OF POSITION 3.12.1 “Instead of being the eternal servant of Krsna, he becomes Krsna’s competitor” 3.13 ELEVENTH CANTO: CAMASA RSI 3.13.1 “If we do not serve the Supreme, then we fall down from our specified place” 3.14 ELEVENTH CANTO: PINGALA THE PROSTITUTE 3.14.1 “He falls into the dark well of material existence” 3.15 ELEVENTH CANTO: LORD KRSNA 3.15.1 “The spirit soul returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world” 3.15.2 “He regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form” 3.16 TWELFTH CANTO: SUKADEVA GOSWAMI 5

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3.16.1 “Material false ego obstructs the individual soul from realizing the Absolute Truth” 3.16.2 “He regains his original spiritual awareness” 3.16.3 “When the gross and subtle bodies die, the living entity within resumes his spiritual identity” 3.17 WHAT ABOUT JAYA AND VIJAYA? 3.17.1 “So when I say Yes, there is eternal lila with Krsna, that means on the evidence of Jaya-Vijaya” 3.18 CONCLUSION 4. STATEMENTS OF THE PREVIOUS ACARYAS 4.1 INTRODUCTION 4.2 TEACHINGS OF BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA 4.2.1 “When they forget their natural function as Krsna’s servitors” 4.2.2 “The jiva, having forgotten his eternal relation with Krsna, has fallen into the sea of Samsara” 4.2.3 “The jiva has forgotten that he is the eternal servitor of Krsna” 4.2.4 “Chit body of Jiva which was existent prior to its contact with matter” 4.2.5 “I am in essence, the eternal servant of Krsna” 4.2.6 “Jiva takes recourse to chit i.e. transcendental everlasting time in Vaikuntha” 4.2.7 “Forgetfulness of his essential swarup” 4.2.8 “Jiva’s aversion to Krsna” 4.2.9 “That rasa which taking to chit-swarup was pure bhava before has been perverted by its impure reflection” 4.2.10 “When pure rati falls down in this mundane world, it mixes up with matter and becomes perverted” 4.2.11 “Nature that springs up with the formation of a thing is eternal and remains latent though it is perverted or changed” 4.2.12 “When he forgets Krsna he is averse to serve Krsna” 4.2.13 “When he forgets this relationship he is overwhelmed by the influence of Maya” 4.2.14 “The Jiva is eternal and ever-existing, and his function (dharma) in the form of love for Sri Krsna is also eternal” 4.2.15 “Forgetfulness of the reality that ‘I am Krsna’s eternal servant’“ 4.2.16 “The worldly course makes its appearance simultaneously with the Jiva’s loss of all recollection of the servitorship of Krsna” 4.2.17 “So long as the Jiva continues pure, he cherishes his function as his own” 4.2.18 “Turned away from Krsna and as such, became punishable” 4.3 TEACHINGS OF BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI THAKURA 4.3.1 “Jiva is eternal and is for eternity and without a beginning joined to the Supreme Lord by the tie of an eternal kinship” 6

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4.3.2 “When jivas begotten of the marginal potency (tatastha-sakti) forget the service of Krsna, they are confined in the mundane prison house” 4.3.3. “Enjoy, cease to enjoy and go back to his original position” 4.3.4 “When we show our diffidence to serve the Absolute” 4.3.5 “We want to go back to our eternal Abode” 4.3.6 “Liberation is nothing but going back to the original position, that is offering our services to the Eternal Being” 4.3.7 “We can go back to the higher Rasa’ 4.3.8 “The eternal friend servitor will regain his position as such” 4.3.9 “It is the jivas who are the attendants in His sports” 4.3.10 “Whenever he chooses deliberately not to serve the Absolute he thereby ipso facto looses this natural or free state” 4.3.11 “It is not good to be enticed to stay here for a long time, forgetting our original abode” 4.3.12 “When we want to deprive our Lord” 4.3.13 “The members of this potency are apt to be forgetful of their eternal situation” 4.3.14 “His original function of remembering his own eternal exploits” 4.3.15 “The individual souls serve Shri Krsna as constituents of Shri Radhika” 4.3.16 “The connection of jiva with Shiva and mahamaya . . . is established only when he is disassociated from the service of Shri Radha-Krsna” 4.4 TEACHINGS OF THE MADHVA SAMPRADAYA 4.5. TEACHINGS OF JIVA GOSWAMI 4.5.1 SRI BHAGAVAT-SANDARBHA 4.5.1.1 No one falls from Vaikuntha? 4.5.1.2 “Regaining your natural position” 4.5.1.3 “The pure spirit souls, who are His marginal potencies” 4.5.1.4 “The individual soul becomes bereft of his natural spiritual opulences” 4.5.1.5 “One’s own home, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead lives” 4.5.1.6 “The fault of ignorance, which makes the living entity forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead” 4.5.1.7 “The material ignorance potency makes the conditioned souls in the material world forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead” 4.5.2 SRI PARAMATMA-SANDARBHA 4.5.2.1 “By nature pure” 4.5.2.2”The individual soul . . . is, in his original spiritual nature, a servant of Lord Hari” 4.5.2.3 “The ignorance that covers their true knowledge” 4.5.2.4 “The individual soul becomes bereft of his natural spiritual opulences” 7

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4.5.2.6 “The pure soul enters the material world” 4.5.2.7 “In his original constitutional position” 4.5.2.8 “In his original spiritual nature he is a knower, a doer, and an enjoyer” 4.5.2.9 “His conception of life is reversed” 4.5.2.10 “The soul’s natural spiritual knowledge” 4.5.2.11 “When the gross and subtle bodies die, the living entity within resumes his spiritual identity” 4.5.2.12 “He regains his original spiritual awareness” 4.5.2.13 “He loses all of his spiritual qualities” 4.5.2.14 “The conditioned soul has forgotten his true identity” 4.5.2.15 “The maya potency, which covers the real forms of the individual spirit souls” 4.5.3 SRI TATTVA-SANDARBHA 4.5.4 SRI BHAKTI-SANDARBHA 4.5.4.1 “Because the living entity has turned away from the Supreme Lord, the material energy makes him forget and thus his own original spiritual form is no longer manifested” 4.5.4.2 “Originally pure” 4.5.4.3 “He regains his ability to see Me” 4.5.4.4 “Returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world” 4.5.4.5 “Engagement in pure devotional service is the natural position of all living entities” 4.5.4.6 “The individual soul’s original nature is to be a servant of the Supreme Lord” 4.5.4.7 “When the spirit souls . . . become averse to the Lord” 5. GENERAL CONCLUSION

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1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 THE QUESTIONS 1. Were the conditioned souls now in this material world originally engaged in a direct and developed relationship of devotional service with Krsna in a spiritual planet in the spiritual world, and if so how could they fall from such a perfect relationship? 2. If the conditioned souls now in this material world were not originally engaged in a direct and developed relationship of devotional service with Krsna in a spiritual planet in the spiritual world, then where did they come from? 1.2 THE ANSWERS Here are the main answers that have been proposed to the jiva question: 1. Yes, the conditioned souls now in this material world were originally engaged in a direct and developed relationship of devotional service to Krsna in a spiritual planet in the spiritual world. They fell from that position by misuse of free will, and by properly using free will they can regain their original position. 2. The conditioned souls now in this material world were originally situated in the brahmajyoti, and they have eternally turned away from Krsna. Falling from the brahmajyoti to this material world, they get a chance to develop their relationship with Krsna, which exists in them in seed form. 3. The conditioned souls in this material world were always here, always conditioned. 4. The conditioned souls in this material world originally emerged from the Viraja River, at which time some chose Krsna and others chose Maya. 5. The conditioned souls in this material world were originally with Krsna in a spiritual planet, but not in a fully developed relationship of service. At times, Srila Prabhupada said the question of the origin of the jiva is not as important as trying to go back to Godhead. Nevertheless, he always answered the question. However, it is not the origin of the jiva itself that is so important here but the larger issues of how Srila Prabhupada’s teachings are to be understood and applied and how the teachings of the previous acaryas (and current acaryas outside ISKCON) are to be approached. These larger issues have an importance that goes far beyond the jiva question. They also have relevance to many other important philosophical and practical questions facing ISKCON, such as the establishment of varnasrama, the practice of raganugasadhana, etc. If we accept the views of some advocates, or allow them to spread unchecked, this will set a precedent in ISKCON for interpreting thousands of Srila 9

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Prabhupada’s statements in a way that was not directly done by Srila Prabhupada himself. 1.3 HOW SHOULD WE ARRIVE AT AN ANSWER? Any philosophically inclined devotee with good writing ability, logical skills, and a broad acquaintance with the books, letters, and conversations of Srila Prabhupada, as well as the works of the previous acaryas, can put together a convincing (to some) case for any of the 5 answers to the origin of the jiva question. Practically speaking, we have seen this to be true. And it is this situation that has caused some confusion among devotees. The statements of Srila Prabhupada, the Vedic scriptures, and the previous acaryas seem to provide ample materials for the advocates of all the above mentioned views. But perhaps there is a way out. The above state of affairs may be Krsna’s way of instructing us about the meaning of this famous text from the Mahabharata: tarkos ’pratisthah srutayo vibhinna nasav rsir yasya matir na bhinnam dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah “Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated selfrealized person. Consequently, as the sastras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahajanas advocate.” Given that argument and reason can lead to different conclusions, that the sastras and sayings of the previous acaryas contain many apparent contradictions, the safest thing is to follow the statements of “an unadulterated self-realized person.” I would suggest that for members of ISKCON this person is Srila Prabhupada. The previous acaryas may also have a role to play, but Srila Prabhupada said in a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture given in Los Angeles on December 8, 1973: You cannot imagine what my spiritual master said. Or even if you read some books, you cannot understand unless you understand it from me. This is called parampara system. You cannot jump over to the superior guru, neglecting the next acarya, immediate next acarya. This would mean that in answering any difficult question, where there are apparent contradictions that cannot be easily resolved, our primary resource should be the words of Srila Prabhupada—our “immediate next acarya.” We should not immediately go to the previous acaryas and various Vedic texts to resolve the contradictions. Sastra undoubtedly has an important role, but our approach to it should be through Srila Prabhupada. If we were capable of independently 10

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absorbing sastra, why did Srila Prabhupada write purports to all of his translations? So the first resource should be Srila Prabhupada’s words. But what if Srila Prabhupada’s words appear to be contradictory? We have seen in practice that different devotees with good writing abilities, some familiarity with logic, and broad acquaintance with Srila Prabhupada’s teachings can competently produce statements in support of contradictory conclusions, even if they use only Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. Everyone claims to have Prabhupada on their side of the question. So what can be done? I propose that we have to look carefully at the kind of statements from Srila Prabhupada being presented by different advocates. If we can see that some statements made by Srila Prabhupada have greater weight than others, then perhaps it will be possible to say that one advocate has presented a more conclusive statement of Srila Prabhupada’s views on a controversial topic than another. The strongest statements by Srila Prabhupada are, I propose, those that directly deal with the specific question under consideration. Since the specific question here is the original situation of the conditioned soul now in the material world, the best statements by Srila Prabhupada are those that directly refer to conditioned souls in the material world and how they got there. Statements about souls in Vaikuntha would have less value in this connection (unless they also directly address the specific issue of the conditioned souls in this material world). One may connect statements about souls in Vaikuntha with the question of the origin of the conditioned souls in this material world, but it takes a step of logic by the advocate to do this. The step of logic may appear obvious. But there are many ways for a logician to make a mistake, especially in matters that lie far beyond the range of our mind and senses. So I propose that more weight has to be given to statements by Srila Prabhupada that directly address the origin of the conditioned souls now in this material world. Such strong statements do not require any steps of fallible logic to connect them with the exact question under consideration. And among such strong statements, answers given to direct questions, especially those that seek the resolution of specific contradictions, must be given more weight. In Vedic knowledge, the question is typically used for clarification of difficult points. The statements may be there, but the answers to the questions about these statements bring out the real meaning in a clearer way. That is why most of the Vedic texts are in the form of questions and answers. For example, in some statements Srila Prabhupada says “no one falls from Vaikuntha.” But he has also said that the spirit soul in this material world “is fallen already from Vaikuntha planet.” The statements appear contradictory. But in a lecture, Srila Prabhupada once said: Sometimes it appears to the student contradictory. But actually, the master who is well conversant, he does not say anything contradictory. It is the misunderstanding of the student that sometimes he thinks that it is contradictory. Therefore the question is allowed. You’ll find that a student is advised to question to the spiritual master. [Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 3.1-5, Los Angeles, December 20, 1968] 11

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Srila Prabhupada, being well conversant, cannot therefore be presenting contradictory information. If there seems to be a contradiction in his statements, it is only in the mind of the student. To clear up the apparent contradiction, the student should inquire. And he should accept the guru’s conclusion. So let’s suppose a disciple of Srila Prabhupada has presented Srila Prabhupada a question about the apparent contradiction between statements about falling and not falling from Vaikuntha. And let us then suppose that Srila Prabhupada gives an answer that affirms one of these two views and explains the other view in terms of that view. At that point, we would have to admit that the controversy has been resolved. We cannot go back to other statements by Srila Prabhupada and try to raise the same contradiction again. We should accept the resolution given by Srila Prabhupada. In this paper, I will show that Srila Prabhupada’s disciples did in fact repeatedly put questions to Srila Prabhupada concerning his apparently contradictory statements about the origin of the jiva. I will also show that Srila Prabhupada repeatedly and consistently resolved the contradictions in favor of the position that the souls in this material world can and did fall from Vaikuntha planets. He also gave clear explanations of how the “no fall” statements can be understood in that light. For example, he said that we do not really fall from Vaikuntha, but Krsna creates a situation where we think we have fallen. So the general principle is that questions put to Srila Prabhupada about his apparently contradictory statements and the answers that Srila Prabhupada gave to those questions have to be given special weight as we attempt to resolve the same contradictions. Finally, among direct answers to specific questions, those given by Srila Prabhupada in order to resolve controversies that have arisen in the general society of ISKCON devotees must be given the most weight. Among conclusive statements, they are the strongest of the strong. They are a direct guide in resolving the same controversy when it arises again. Now if it happens that Srila Prabhupada gives apparently contradictory answers to the same question, then we may have a problem. But if the question was always answered in the same way, then the problem is solved. We should simply answer the question the way Srila Prabhupada answered it. We don’t have to strain our brains trying to come up with a conclusion about the inconceivable. All we have to do is repeat the answer that Srila Prabhupada gave to the question. With the answer given by Srila Prabhupada firmly in mind, one can then enter into the statements of the sastras and previous acaryas with some degree of confidence that one will be able to resolve apparent contradictions in their statements in the proper way. And if some contradictions cannot be resolved in favor of the answer given by Srila Prabhupada, these can be put into the category of “differences among the acaryas.” We accept Srila Prabhupada’s version and conclude that in truth the other bona fide Vaisnava acarya must be saying the same thing, but in a way that we are not yet able to understand. I am proposing this procedure as a general method for approaching the resolution of controversial philosophical questions. If an answer to a controversial question includes several elements, then it is also helpful if an advocate can point to statements by Srila Prabhupada that contain all the elements of the answer. An answer that puts together various statements from Srila Prabhupada in a way that Srila Prabhupada never 12

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put them together himself is weaker than an answer that puts together elements in the same way that Srila Prabhupada did. For example, there are many statements by Srila Prabhupada in which he gives the whole story of the soul’s original position as a servant of Krsna in the spiritual world, his misuse of free will, his fall into the material world, and his return back to his original position. The following letter to Umapati Dasa, dated March 30, 1970, provides one example: You have written to say that French people are eager to understand Vaisnava philosophy, and the summary of Vaisnava philosophy is as follows: God is a person like us, but He is all-powerful with all opulences in full. The living entities are His eternal servants. There are varieties of living entities that have inherited the opulences of God in different degrees. There are two kinds of nature, the spiritual nature and the material nature. The living entities belong to the spiritual nature and being part and parcel of God they have all the qualities of God in minute proportion. There are innumerable living entities both in the spiritual world and in the material world. The spiritual world is far, far greater than the material world. As such, the number of living entities living in the spiritual world is many more times greater than the number of living entities living within the material world. The living entities, when they try to lord it over the God’s property, forgetting their constitutional position to remain as eternal servant of God, they are given the material world to act according to their desires. In such endless varieties of desires the living entities are seen in varieties of bodies beginning from Brahma, down to the most insignificant insect. In this way, when someone is fortunate, he, by the grace of Spiritual Master and Krsna, revives his Krsna Consciousness. And if he makes progress under the direction of the Spiritual Master, then he revives his original Krsna Consciousness in full and thus he regains his position in the eternal Kingdom of God. So you know very well all these facts, and while preaching you have to explain all these things nicely. Then you become a good preacher. Now you try your best in this line of preaching work and be successful as you have taken birth as a human being. Our Vaisnava philosophy is in summary the Teachings of Lord Caitanya. You read them very carefully, word to word, and immediately begin translation into French language so they may be published in French BTG as well as in future they may be published in a book. Here we find all the elements of this account put together in one complete summary statement by Srila Prabhupada himself. On the other hand, presentations of the brahmajyoti idea involve advocates putting together various unrelated statements by Srila Prabhupada. Nowhere, to my knowledge, does Srila Prabhupada put these pieces together himself in a clear, explicit statement of the jiva’s origin in the brahmajyoti, fall, and liberation. In fact, he directly rejects this idea. Also, Srila Prabhupada made a big point of using the common, dictionary 13

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meanings of words. One of his main preaching points was to argue against the impersonalists’ giving up the direct dictionary definitions of the words of the Vedic scriptures. An answer that takes Srila Prabhupada’s words according to their direct, commonly understood meaning would be stronger than one that relies on indirect or hidden meanings. To summarize. In attempting to answer a controversial philosophical question, we should first consider the words of Srila Prabhupada. Among these the best are, in order of most importance: (1) Srila Prabhupada’s direct answers to the same question, given for the specific purpose of resolving it for the Society. (2) Srila Prabhupada’s direct answers to specific questions raised by his individual disciples in order to clarify apparent contradictions they saw in connection with these questions. (3) Statements by Srila Prabhupada (other than answers to questions) that directly and specifically deal with the exact topic under consideration. Only if questions cannot be resolved on the basis of these three kinds of evidence should we proceed with utmost caution to arrive at a conclusion not specifically given by Srila Prabhupada, but derived from careful study of his teachings in light of the Vedic literatures and writings of the previous acaryas. 2.TEACHINGS OF SRILA PRABHUPADA 2.1 HAS SRILA PRABHUPADA ALREADY ANSWERED THE QUESTION OF THE ORIGIN OF THE JIVA? Srila Prabhupada has already answered the questions about the origin of the jiva. These answers can be found in all three of the above mentioned strong categories of evidence. The answer found therein is that the conditioned souls in this material world were originally in a direct and developed relationship of devotional service to Krsna in a spiritual planet in the spiritual world. By misuse of independence, manifesting as a desire to imitate Krsna or take His position as supreme enjoyer, the soul gave up its natural state and was placed in the material world. By proper use of free will one can take up the process of Krsna consciousness and regain one’s original position. Srila Prabhupada also directly rejects the ideas that we were originally situated in the brahmajyoti or that we were always existing as conditioned souls in this material world. Srila Prabhupada has never said we were originally from the Viraja River. Nor does he say that our original condition was fundamentally different from our final condition on going back to Godhead. Below I will give examples supporting these statements from the above-mentioned three strong categories of evidence. But first I will outline a proposed resolution to this controversy. 2.2 A PROPOSED SOLUTION TO THE CONTROVERSY

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My solution is based on the following conclusions and proposals: 1. The origin of the souls now in this material world is undoubtedly a question beyond the range of our direct perception. We can therefore answer this question only by repeating the answer that Srila Prabhupada repeatedly gave when asked the same question. We were once in a direct and developed relationship of service to Krsna in a spiritual planet in the spiritual world. By misuse of independence we desired to imitate Krsna or take His position. Therefore we have been placed in the material world. But by becoming Krsna conscious we can regain our original position. No other view shall be presented as conclusive in any ISKCON media (print, video, electronic), classes, seminars, etc. 2. Srila Prabhupada directly rejected the idea that we are from the brahmajyoti. 3. In resolving philosophical controversies, the teachings, instructions, and personal example of Srila Prabhupada are the first and primary resource. If a conclusion, recognized by the GBC, can be drawn from careful study of this resource, it shall guide further research into the Vedic literature, the writings of previous acaryas, and the teachings of current bona fide Vaisnava acaryas outside ISKCON. Everything that can be harmonized to the conclusion arrived at from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings shall be accepted. Any contradictions that cannot be resolved shall be placed in the category of “differences among the acaryas.” But ISKCON members shall follow the conclusion of Srila Prabhupada when there is such a difference. Regarding the jiva question, the practical application would be as follows. If a devotee sincerely and submissively inquires about the origin of the jiva, he should be given a brief answer as outlined above and be told that it is better to busy oneself in going back to Godhead than to worry extensively about such questions. If someone is persistent, they can be directed to publications prepared by devotees who have accepted the conclusions mentioned above (such as this one). Those who cannot accept these conclusions would be free to petition the GBC to change them. Reasonable research and private discussion that do not constitute a disturbance would not be forbidden. But until the GBC resolutions accepting the above conclusions change, no contradictory conclusion could be presented in official ISKCON publications, courses, seminars, etc. It would be up to the GBC to decide whether or not any “research and private discussion” are reasonable. 2.3 THE STRONGEST EVIDENCE: SRILA PRABHUPADA’S DIRECT RESOLUTION OF A CONTROVERSY IN ISKCON 2.3.1 “Formerly we were with Krsna in His lila” In 1972, a devotee in Australia began saying that the living entities in this material world were originally situated in the brahmajyoti. According to Madhudvisa Prabhu and Caru Prabhu, who were both in Australia at the time, this caused some fairly 15

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widespread disturbance. Srila Prabhupada therefore dictated a response, a typed copy of which was retained by Madhudvisa Prabhu. This is the famous crow and tal fruit message. Madhudvisa has said that it was distributed to the Australian temple presidents. In this statement, given in direct response to inquiries from his students on the question of the origin of the jiva, Srila Prabhupada gives many definitive answers to the questions facing us. He intended these not just as answers to a particular devotee but as his official answer to a philosophical controversy that had arisen in the Society: We never had any occasion when we were separated from Krsna. Just like one man is dreaming and he forgets himself. In dream he creates himself in different forms: now I am the King discussing like that. This creation of himself is as seer and subject matter or seen, two things. But as soon as the dream is over, the ‘seen’ disappears. But the seer remains. Now he is in his original position. Our separation from Krsna is like that. We dream this body and so many relationships with other things. First the attachment comes to enjoy sense gratification. Even with Krsna desire for sense gratification is there. There is a dormant attitude for forgetting Krsna and creating an atmosphere for enjoying independently. Just like at the edge of the beach, sometimes the water covers, sometimes there is dry sand, coming and going. Our position is like that, sometimes covered, sometimes free, just like at the edge of the tide. As soon as we forget, immediately the illusion is there. Just like as soon as we sleep, dream is there. The jiva is originally with Krsna. But even with Krsna “there is a dormant attitude for forgetting Krsna and creating an atmosphere for enjoying independently.” Srila Prabhupada sets up a very strong identity between the original state and the final state of liberation. He says we are just like a man dreaming. The man forgets himself. He creates a dream identity. And when he wakes from that dream identity, he is once more in his original position. There are two states. The free state and the covered state. The free state is “with Krsna.” There is no suggestion that the original state is “fallen.” There is also no suggestion of an original free state that is different from the final free state. We cannot say therefore that we are not with Krsna. As soon as we try to become Lord, immediately we are covered by Maya. Formerly we were with Krsna in His lila, or sport. But this covering of Maya may be of very, very, very, very long duration, therefore many creations are coming and going. Due to this long period of time it is sometimes said that we are ever-conditioned. But his long duration of time becomes very insignificant when one actually comes to Krsna consciousness. Just like in a dream we are thinking very long time, but as soon as we awaken we look at our watch and see it has been a moment only. Just like with Krsna’s friends, they were kept asleep for one year by 16

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Brahma, but when they woke up and Krsna returned before them, they considered that only a moment had passed. The idea that we were always conditioned is directly rejected. Srila Prabhupada says, “Formerly we were with Krsna in His lila, or sport.” So this dreaming condition is called non-liberated life, and this is just like a dream. Although in this material calculation it is a long, long period, as soon as we come to Krsna consciousness then this period is considered as a second. For example, Jaya and Vijaya. They had their lila with Krsna, but they had to come down for their little mistake. They were given mukti, merging into the Brahmasayujya after being killed three times as demons. This Brahmasayujya mukti is non-permanent. Every living entity wants pleasure, but Brahmasayujya is minus pleasure. There is eternal existence only. So when they do not find transcendental bliss, they fall down to make a compromise with material bliss. Just like Vivekananda founded so many schools and hospitals. So even Lord Brahma, he is still material and wants to lord it over. He may come down to become a germ, but then he may rise up to Krsna consciousness and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the position. So when I say Yes, there is eternal lila with Krsna, that means on the evidence of Jaya-Vijaya. Unless one develops full devotional service to Krsna, he goes up only to Brahmasayujya but falls down. But after millions and millions of years of keeping oneself away from the lila of the Lord, when one comes to Krsna consciousness this period becomes insignificant, just like dreaming. Here Srila Prabhupada directly compares the history of the souls in this material world with the history of Jaya and Vijaya. He speaks of “keeping oneself away from the lila of the Lord.” Because he falls down from Brahmasayujya, he thinks that may be his origin, but he does not remember that before that even he was with Krsna. So the conclusion is that whatever may be our past, let us come to Krsna consciousness and immediately join Krsna. Just like with a diseased man, it is a waste of time to try to find out how he has become diseased; better to spend time curing the disease. Here Srila Prabhupada directly rejects the idea that the conditioned soul was originally in the brahmajyoti. Srila Prabhupada then recommends that we not waste time with the question of our origin. But note that he first gave clear answers to the question. We should follow the same policy. Answer the question as above, and then suggest we not waste further time with it. On the top of the tree there is a nice tal-fruit. A crow went there and the fruit fell down. Some panditas, big big learned scholars, saw this 17

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and discussed: the fruit fell due to the crow agitating the limb. No, the fruit fell simultaneously with the crow landing and frightened the crow so he flew away. No, the fruit was ripe and the weight of the crow landing broke it from the branch, and so on and so on. What is the use of such discussions? So whether you were in the Brahmasayujya or with Krsna in His lila, at the moment you are in neither, so the best policy is to develop your Krsna consciousness and go there, never mind what is your origin. Brahmasayujya and Krsna lila—both may be possible, but when you are coming down from Brahmasayujya or when you are coming down from Krsna lila, that remains a mystery. But at the present moment we are in Maya’s clutches, so at present our only hope is to become Krsna conscious and go back to Home, back to Godhead. The real position is servant of Krsna, and servant of Krsna means in Krsna lila. Directly or indirectly, always we are serving Krsna’s lila. Even in dream. Just like we cannot go out of the sun when it is daytime, so where is the chance of going out of Krsna lila? The cloud may be there, it may become very gray and dim, but still the sunlight is there, everywhere, during the daytime. Because I am part and parcel of Krsna, I am always connected. My finger, even though it may be diseased, remains part and parcel of my body. Therefore, we try to treat it, cure it, because it is part and parcel. So Krsna comes Himself when we forget Him, or He sends His representative. What about the statement “Brahmasayujya and Krsna lila—both may be possible, but when you are coming down from Brahmasayujya or when you are coming down from Krsna lila, that remains a mystery.” Is Srila Prabhupada taking away everything he has said up to this point, and leaving the matter once more in confusion? Does he mean that we really could originally be from the brahmajyoti? No. This statement has to be considered in light of what has come before, in such a way that all the statements remain true. Srila Prabhupada has made two points absolutely clear. First, the original position of the soul is with Krsna in His lila, or sport. Second, the souls are not originally from the brahmajyoti, but impersonalists in this material world, themselves fallen from their original position in Krsna’s pastimes, may enter and fall down from the brahmajyoti many times during the course of successive creations of the universe. Therefore, for any particular soul it may be said that we do not know if it is coming, during this particular creation, from Krsna’s eternal lila or from the brahmajyoti. Taken in this way, all the statements remain true in a consistent way. Of course, we know from other statements by Srila Prabhupada, quoted elsewhere in this paper, that the jiva is not from the brahmajyoti and was originally with Krsna in His spiritual abode. At the very end, Srila Prabhupada puts things in clear perspective when he says that we are always part and parcel of Krsna, just as a finger is always part of the body although it may be diseased. So in the same way we are always in touch with Krsna, either in his eternal lila or his lila of manifesting this material creation. Awakening or dreaming, I am the same man. As soon as I awaken and see myself, I see Krsna. Cause and effect are both Krsna. Just like 18

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cotton becomes thread and thread becomes cloth, still, the original cause is cotton. Therefore, everything is Krsna in the ultimate sense. When we cannot contact Krsna personally, we contact His energies. So there is no chance to be outside Krsna’s lila. But differences we see under different conditions. Just like in the pool of water and in the mirror the same me is reflecting, but in different reflections. One is shimmering, unsteady, one is clear and fixed. Except for being in Krsna consciousness, we cannot see our actual position rightly; therefore the learned man sees all living entities as the same parts and parcels of Krsna. Material existence is impersonal because my real personality is covered. But we should think that because I am now covered by this clay, I am diseased, and we should think that I must get to business to get myself uncovered, not wonder how I got this way. Now the fruit is there, take it and enjoy, that is your first business. God is not bound by cause. He can change, He is the Cause of all Causes. Now don’t waste your time with this “Kaka taliya nyaya,” crows and tal-fruit logic. What about this statement: “When we cannot contact Krsna personally, we contact His energies. So there is no chance to be outside Krsna’s lila”? I have heard some say that when Srila Prabhupada earlier said that we were originally with Krsna in His lila, or sport, this might just mean that we were in contact with one of Krsna’s energies—maya or the brahmajyoti. In other words, it doesn’t mean we were with Krsna personally. But this interpretation is not supported by the text. Srila Prabhupada compares the history of the conditioned soul directly with the history of Jaya and Vijaya. This clearly indicates a direct personal relationship, and not some other kind of lila. Srila Prabhupada also has directly stated in this text that we were not originally in the brahmajyoti. And in the first part of the text he said: “We cannot say therefore that we are not with Krsna. As soon as we try to become Lord, immediately we are covered by Maya. Formerly we were with Krsna in His lila, or sport. But this covering of Maya may be of very, very, very, very long duration.” So when Srila Prabhupada said we were in Krsna’s lila, he meant before we were covered by the material energy, maya. In this context, the only allowable reading of lila is Krsna’s pastimes as we commonly understand them from the Tenth Canto of the Bhagavatam. But when we come to the material world, we remain in Krsna’s lila in the sense of being in contact with Krsna’s energies. So in this famous crow and tal fruit message, which was given by Srila Prabhupada in order to resolve the same controversy that faces us today, Srila Prabhupada makes the following points about the conditioned souls: 1. We were originally with Krsna in His lila, or sport. 2. We are not originally from the brahmajyoti. 3. By comparing the situation of the conditioned souls with that of Jaya and Vijaya, Srila Prabhupada indicates that the original relationship was one of active service in a spiritual planet. 4. There is no mention of an origin in the Viraja River. 5. We are not eternally conditioned, in the sense of being always in the material word and never having been with Krsna in the spiritual world. 19

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On the basis of this statement alone, we can confidently answer the questions raised at the beginning of this paper. Yes, we were originally with Krsna. No, we are not from the brahmajyoti. No, we are not eternally conditioned. No, we are not originally from the Viraja River. No, our relationship with Krsna was not undeveloped. The reason that we can answer the questions so confidently in this way is that the crow and tal fruit message was given by Srila Prabhupada in direct answer to the same controversy that faces us today. In this message, Srila Prabhupada also offers adjustments to other statements that appear contradictory. To the impersonalists it appears that they are from the brahmajyoti because in any particular creation they may indeed be coming down from there. But before that they were with Krsna. It is sometimes said we are eternally conditioned, but that is only because we cannot trace out the exact moment when we departed from Krsna’s lila. By comparing the state of the conditioned soul to a dreaming man, Srila Prabhupada implicitly gives an adjustment of the “no one falls from Vaikuntha” statements. The dreaming man simply thinks he has gone somewhere else. The conditioned soul may think he has left Krsna’s lila, but actually he is still in touch with Krsna. In the same way, we are never out of Vaikuntha, but we are just dreaming that we are somewhere else. In other statements, Srila Prabhupada expresses this more explicitly. As we shall see, this view is also in harmony with the statements of the previous acaryas as well as the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which Jiva Goswami calls the topmost Vedic authority. 2.4 SRILA PRABHUPADA’S DIRECT ANSWERS TO DIRECT QUESTIONS 2.4.1 Introduction The conclusions outlined above find additional support in Srila Prabhupada’s direct answers to questions about the origin of the jiva. These questions were put to Srila Prabhupada by disciples and followers in classes and letters. Sometimes Srila Prabhupada rhetorically raised them in his own classes. Specific answers given to specific questions, especially those that refer to the classic apparent contradictions in the jiva question, assume great importance for us as we attempt to arrive at an answer to the present controversy. The safest thing to do is to answer the questions the way Srila Prabhupada answered them. 2.4.2 “Actually he has not fallen” The Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture (text 2.9.1) given by Srila Prabhupada on April 20, 1972, in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the most important statements given by Srila Prabhupada on the origin of the jiva. I regard the crow and tal fruit message as having more weight, because it was given as a direct resolution to a controversy that had arisen in the Society. But the following excerpts from the Tokyo lecture are also quite striking in that they provide a way to resolve the statements by Srila Prabhupada that “no one falls from Vaikuntha.” To put it briefly, Srila Prabhupada says that we were originally with Krsna 20

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and are now in a situation where we think we have fallen. In this way, we can accept the literal meaning of Srila Prabhupada’s very numerous statements that we do fall from the spiritual world and we can adjust the relatively few “no fall” statements in terms of a solution that Srila Prabhupada himself directly offers. We have not actually fallen, but we think we are fallen. Taking the opposite approach, we can, as some advocates suggest, take the “no fall” statements as literally true and adjust the “fall” statements in a way not directly offered by Srila Prabhupada (i.e., they are a “preaching strategy”). In other words, we were never in the spiritual world with Krsna, but Srila Prabhupada sometimes said we were as a preaching strategy. The following lecture excerpts demonstrate that it would not be wise for us to follow this latter approach when Srila Prabhupada has taken another approach to the same problem—we were in Vaikuntha and we just think we are fallen. Karandhara: Translation: “Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, unless one is influenced by the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no meaning to the relationship of the pure soul in pure consciousness with the material body. It is just like the dreamer seeing his own body working.” Prabhupada: So, purport? Karandhara: “Purport. The question of Maharaja Pariksit is perfectly answered as to how a living entity began his material life, although he is apart from the material body and the mind.” Prabhupada: It is a very important question. Pariksit Maharaja inquired... Many people inquired that “How the living entity was with Krsna, he became fallen in this material world?” Is not done? This question is raised? So this question is answered here, that “How the living entity who was with Krsna became fallen down in contact with this material qualities?” So this is the answer. Read the translation. So here Srila Prabhupada is himself directly raising one of the specific questions that confront us today. It is clear that he accepts the premise of the question, namely that we actually were with Krsna in the spiritual world. The question is not whether or not we were with Krsna. Srila Prabhupada is accepting that. The question is why we left Krsna. Karandhara: “Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, unless one is influenced by the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead...” Prabhupada: It is simply the influence of the material energy, nothing. Actually he has not fallen. Another example given is given. Just like the moon is covered with scattered cloud, the passing cloud. You have seen. Everyone has experience. The cloud passes, and it appears that the moon is moving. Have you seen this? Devotees: Yes. Prabhupada: Actually the moon is not moving. It is a maya, illusion. It appears that the moon is moving. But similarly, the living entity, because he is spiritual spark of the Supreme, it has not fallen. It has not fallen. But he is thinking, “I am fallen. I am material.” That is 21

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the reason....Try to understand. Have questions and answer. It is very important thing. Atma-maya rte rajan. Except atma-maya, the illusory energy... It is the maneuver or handling of the illusory energy of Krsna. This illusory energy develops when we forget Krsna. That’s all. It is... In other words, this illusory identification of me with the body is simply due to my forgetfulness. We wanted to forget, we wanted to give up Krsna and wanted to enjoy this material world. Therefore Krsna is giving us. So here Srila Prabhupada offers a way we can understand the few statements that he makes that “no one falls from Vaikuntha.” We really do not fall. We think we are fallen. But this just means we have forgotten our original situation. In our original situation we were with Krsna. Srila Prabhupada says “we wanted to give up Krsna.” There is no mention of originally being in the brahmajyoti, or the Viraja River, or being always conditioned, or being in anything less than a fully developed relationship with Krsna. Srila Prabhupada repeats these points throughout the lecture, as can be seen from the following excerpts. Prabhupada: Svapna-drastur ivanjasa. The very exact example is given, svapna-drastuh. Just like a man seeing dream: “Oh, there is tiger, tiger, tiger, tiger! Save me!” He is crying. Another man is, “Where is tiger? Why you are crying? Where is tiger?” But he, in the dream, he is actually feeling: “The tiger has attacked me.” Therefore this example is given, na ghatetartha-sambandhah. There cannot be any meaning of this relationship except like a man dreaming and he is creating a situation. He is dreaming there is a tiger and he is creating a situation, fearful situation. Actually there is no cause of fear. There is no tiger. That situation is created by dream. Actually there is no tiger. Similarly, we have created this material world and activity. People are running, “Oh..., sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh, sonh,” identifying that “Oh, I am the manager. I am the factory owner. I am this, I am that. We have got his politics. We have to defeat such competitors.” All these things are created exactly like that, svapna drastur ivanjasa, just like a man is creating his particular situation simply by dream. That’s all. So the answer is, when somebody asks you that “When one has become in contact with this material nature?” He has not become in contact. He is thinking by the influence of the external energy. Just like the same example: A man is dreaming; there is no contact with tiger. Actually he has no contact with that. Similarly, actually we are not fallen. We cannot be fallen. But we have created a situation that we are, become... Try to understand, understand. It is very important point. We have simply created a situation. We have not created a situation, Krsna has given us a situation. Because we wanted to imitate Krsna, so Krsna has given an opportunity: “All right. Imitate. You want to be imitation king in the stage. So feel like this. Play like this. Do like this. People will applaud. ‘Oh, a very nice king, very nice.’” 22

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. . . So this situation, our contact with matter, is just like dream. Actually we are not fallen. Therefore, because we are not fallen, at any moment we can revive our Krsna consciousness. As soon as we understand that “I have nothing to do with— I am simply Krsna’s servant, eternal servant, that’s all,” immediately he becomes liberated. Exactly like that: as soon as you... Sometimes we do that. When the fearful dreaming becomes too much intolerable, we break the dream. We break the dream when it becomes intolerable. Similarly, we can break this material connection at any moment as soon as we come to the point of Krsna conscious. “Oh, Krsna is my eternal master. I am His servant.” That’s all. This is the way. Actually we are not fallen. There cannot be any fallen. The same example: Actually there is no tiger; it is dreaming. Similarly, our fallen condition is also dreaming. We are not fallen. We can simply give up that illusory condition at any moment. At any moment. So if you study all these verses very nicely, you get all this knowledge quickly. . . . But the simple process is, as soon as you surrender, that you are not fallen, “It was illusion, I was dreaming, I am Krsna’s” — finished. All gone. “I am Krsna’s. I am Krsna’s eternal servant. These are all nonsense”—he immediately becomes liberated. Just try to understand. Immediately, within a second. Liberation can be attained within a second, provided we abide by the order of Krsna. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. This is the position. We are not fallen. We are thinking fallen. So we have to give up this nonsense thinking. Then we are liberated. There is no... Is there any difficulty to understand? Just see how important this verse. It is already there, but you are not reading. Each verse, read every day carefully. Try to assimilate, understand, and you will get more profit, every day, hundred yards forward, hundred yards forward, yes. They are so important verses. How nicely composed by Vyasadeva. In two lines the whole thing is explained. This is called sastra. In two lines. Then read the purport. Notice that Srila Prabhupada is calling this a very important verse, and he is repeating again and again his explanation and also calling it very important for the devotees to understand. He is raising the questions that confront us and answering them point by point. He is also offering a way to understand the statements that “no one falls.” Statements like these by Srila Prabhupada are addressed directly to the specific questions that confront us. They address these questions in a sustained way. Such direct, detailed, and comprehensive statements are worthy of more emphasis than isolated brief statements pulled from here and there, with no direct sign from Srila Prabhupada that they relate to the exact questions before us. 23

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Karandhara [reads purport]: The external energy is controlled by the Lord, and the living entities are controlled by the external energy—by the will of the Lord. Therefore, although the living entity is purely conscious in his pure state, he is subordinate to the will of the Lord, being influenced by the external energy of the Lord. In the Bhagavadgita also the same thing is confirmed, that the Lord is present within the heart of every living entity and all consciousness and forgetfulness of the living entity are influenced by the Lord.” Prabhupada: Yes. Because... Now, people may say that, “Why Krsna within the heart gives one type of consciousness to one, and another type of consciousness...?” Because I wanted. I wanted to forget Krsna, so Krsna is giving consciousness: “All right, you can forget Me in this way.” That is His kindness. Just like the Mayavadis, the so-called yogis and karmis, they wanted to forget. Krsna is giving him intelligence. “All right. You forget Me like this.” That’s all. Go on. And if you want to again revive your relationship, Krsna will give you intelligence. Buddhi yogam dadami tam yena mam upayanti te: “I shall give intelligence.” So Krsna is... Ye yatha mam prapadyante. As you want, Krsna gives you facility. Karandhara [continues reading purport]: “The living entities are illusioned by the will of the Lord because they wanted to become like Him.” Prabhupada: Yes. Karandhara: “As a person thinks of becoming a king without possessing the necessary qualifications, similarly, when the living entity desires to become the Lord Himself, he is put in a condition of dreaming that he is a king. Therefore the first sinful will of the living entity is to become the Lord, and the consequent will of the Lord is that the living entity forgets his actual life and thus dreams of the land of utopia where he may become one like the Lord. The child cries to have the moon from the mother, and the mother gives the child a mirror to satisfy the crying and disturbing child with the shadow of the moon. Similarly, the crying child of the Lord is given over to the shadow of the material world to lord it over as a karmi and to give this up in frustration to become one with the Lord. Both these stages are dreaming illusions only. There is no necessity of tracing out the history when the living entity desired this, but the fact is that as soon as he desired such, he was put under the control of atma-maya by the direction of the Lord. Therefore the living entity in his material condition is dreaming falsely that this is ‘mine’ and this is ‘I.’ The dream is that the conditioned soul thinks of his material body as ‘I’ or falsely thinks that he is the lord and that everything in connection with the material body is ‘mine.’ Thus in dream only the misconception of ‘I and mine’ persist life after life. This continues life after life as long as the living entity is not purely conscious of his identity as the subordinate part and parcel of the Lord. In his pure consciousness, however, there is no such misconceived dream. And in that pure conscious state the living entity does not forget that he is 24

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never the Lord, but he is eternally the servitor of the Lord in transcendental love.” . . . Trivikrama: Srila Prabhupada? You were just saying that we are not fallen. Actually this is an illusion thinking that we are fallen. Yet I read ... Prabhupada: The same example. In dream I am not attacked by the tiger, but I am thinking, “Oh, tiger is there.” It is simply dreaming condition. Trivikrama: But so many Vaisnavas are praying... Prabhupada: So as soon as you understand that “This is not... I am not in contact with tiger, it is all a dream,” then you are delivered. Similarly, as soon as you understand “All this material condition of life we are simply dreaming; I am actually servant of Krsna,” then you are liberated. That is Krsna conscious. If you keep in Krsna consciousness, that “I am eternal servant of Krsna,” then you are liberated. . . . Trivikrama: This feeling that we have, that we are fallen, that we are very fallen... Prabhupada: That is also illusion. That is also illusion. You are fallen means you have got some certain desires except service of Krsna. Therefore the conclusion is that if you keep yourself tightly in Krsna’s service, there is no question of falling down or there is no question of maya. You see? In this lecture Srila Prabhupada is very clear. Originally we have a direct personal relationship with Krsna in the spiritual world. But when we want to take Krsna’s position, Krsna puts us into a dreaming state. In this dreaming state we forget our actual position and are thus free to act out our desire to become the supreme enjoyer. This state of forgetfulness and dreaming is sometimes characterized as being “fallen” from our position in the spiritual world. But Srila Prabhupada explains that in reality we are not fallen. We are simply in a dreaming state. Srila Prabhupada says that this is a very important point and asks the devotees to carefully consider it. This concept that we are not really fallen offers an explanation for the statements that “no one falls from Vaikuntha.” We do not fall. We simply forget our original relationship of service to Krsna. Some might argue that we have eternally forgotten Krsna. But that is not supported by Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the text under consideration. Therein he says: “Therefore the first sinful will of the living entity is to become the Lord, and the consequent will of the Lord is that the living entity forgets his actual life and thus dreams of the land of utopia where he may become one like the Lord.” It is clear that the living entity is first situated in “his actual life.” In that life he is properly using his free will. Then comes “the first sinful will of the living entity.” This is to “become the Lord.” At that point the Lord arranges things so that “the living entity forgets his actual life.” There is no support here for the idea that our original position is as eternally fallen beings in the brahmajyoti, the Viraja River, or the material world. Neither is there any hint that our original position in the spiritual world is any different from our position 25

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after going back to Godhead. We were originally with Krsna, but we have forgotten that. In that state of forgetfulness we think we have fallen, but actually we are not fallen. We simply have to wake up, and we will be in our original position. The dream situation and our dream identity will then disappear and we will find ourselves in our natural position, just like a person who is dreaming wakes up on his own bed. Actually, he is always on his own bed, even in the dream. In this way, Srila Prabhupada gives us the way to understand how we can find ourselves separated from Krsna without really “falling” from Vaikuntha. Srila Prabhupada started his lecture by directly referring to the question of how the living entities can fall down from their eternal relationship with Krsna. He gives a thorough answer to this question. We should follow in his footsteps by giving the same answer. Others may try to put together an alternative view, by taking isolated statements from here and there and putting them together in inventive ways, but this cannot compare to the kind of systematic, comprehensive, self-contained statements made here by Srila Prabhupada in direct answer to the specific questions confronting us. 2.4.3 “So actually we are always in the spiritual world” In a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture given in London, on July 30, 1971, Srila Prabhupada makes the same point he made in the above-quoted Tokyo lecture. No one really falls from Vaikuntha. We are always in the spiritual world. We just think we are somewhere else. Kulasekhara: Could you explain a little bit about the position in which we were situated in the spiritual sky before coming to the material world? Devotee: What position did we occupy in the spiritual sky before we fell into the material world? Prabhupada: You are already in the spiritual sky, but you are simply covered. Just like the sun is already there. You are also already there, but there is a cloud which hinders your checking, your seeing of the sun. Similarly... The sky is one, when it is clouded or not clouded. So actually we are always in the spiritual world. But when you forget Krsna by the cloud of illusion that is material. Try to understand. There is allotted(?)... When the sky is clouded, you cannot see the sun, it does not mean that you are in a different sky. You are in the same sky. When the cloud is clear, you are in the same sky. But the difference of position is due to the cloud. That is called maya. When you forget Krsna, that is material. And as soon as you become Krsna conscious, that is spiritual. Just like here, this temple is not in London. It is Vaikuntha. Devotees: Haribol! Prabhupada: Because here everyone is Krsna conscious. They haven’t forgotten Krsna. Therefore they are in Vaikuntha. Others may see that “Oh, you are in London. How you are in Vaikuntha?” Just like Krsna, in the Bhagavad-gita is said, isvarah 26

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sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati. God is situated in everyone’s heart. So everyone’s heart means He is in the heart of the hog also. But if the hog is within the stool that does not mean Krsna is also within the stool. Similarly, the devotees although they are in London or New York, they’re in Vaikuntha. That is to be realized when one is in Krsna consciousness. Yatra tisthanti mad bhakta tatra tisthami narada. Krsna says, “I live there where My devotees are there.” So Krsna can be everywhere where there is devotee. So this material world, spiritual world means when you forget Krsna, that is material. When you are Krsna conscious, that is spiritual. That’s all. You may remain in the same place. Because everything is Krsna’s—isavasyam idam sarvam— so how you can distinguish what is material, what is spiritual? If every, every part of the creation belongs to Krsna, you cannot practically distinguish “This portion is spiritual, this portion is material.” That distinction is due to our forgetfulness. So as soon as you come to Krsna consciousness you will find everything spiritual. Guest (5): If one realizes the impersonal Brahman, what progress can be made here from this?(?) Prabhupada: So if you realize impersonal Brahman, there is chance of falling down again to the material conception. Because you are person, you cannot remain in impersonal stage. Therefore to elevate, to be elevated in the impersonal stage means there is chance of falling down again. But if you elevate yourself to the personal conception of the Absolute Truth, there is no falldown. Of course, because we are marginal potency of Krsna, there is possibility of falldown always. But those who are strong in Krsna consciousness, they do not fall. That’s all right. 2.4.4 “In this world or spiritual world, he has got the potency of coming down” The following exchange took place during a lecture delivered in Atlanta on March 2, 1975. The question is based on an assumption that we fell from the spiritual world in the first place. So if we get back our position, what will keep us from falling again? The devotee is apparently contemplating a contradiction between Krsna’s statement in the Bhagavad-gita that if one goes back to His abode one will not fall down again. But how do we understand that statement in light of the fact that we did in fact fall down from there in the first place? That is the contradiction Srila Prabhupada is being asked to address. So let us see how Srila Prabhupada answers it. Devotee III: If one is fortunate enough to revive his natural position in the spiritual sky, how can he keep from falling down again? ... Prabhupada: How your Nixon is dragged down? How your president Nixon is dragged down? He was in the exalted post, and why he was dragged down? Devotee IV: They dragged him down. 27

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Prabhupada: Yes. He was forced to come down. Why? Tamal Krsna: He broke the rules. Prabhupada: Anyone, even in this world or spiritual world, he has got the potency of coming down by misusing his little independence. It is nothing like that, that if you become president, you are secure. If you are not perfect, then you will be dragged down. Or if you think imperfectly... The formula is that in the spiritual world everyone is engaged in the service of the Lord. There is no other conception as in this material world everyone is engaged to serve his senses. He likes something, and he is engaged for that purpose. That service is there, but it is service to himself, his senses. But in the spiritual world there is no such thing as giving service to the senses. Simply giving service to the Lord. That is spiritual world. So as soon as you think that “Why shall I give service to Krsna? Why not become independent?” you fall down immediately. So there is potency of thinking like that. Krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare, pasate maya tare japatiya dhare. As soon as one forgets the service of the Lord and he wants to become himself Lord, immediately maya will capture. This maya means this material world. So it is clear that one can fall from the spiritual world if one misuses one’s independence. Some have suggested that although jivas could fall from the spiritual world, none do. But in a letter to Rayarama (December 2, 1968), Srila Prabhupada directly says that “there are instances where marginal energy jiva souls have fallen from the spiritual world.” And in a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture delivered on June 15, 1972, in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada says that the conditioned soul in this material world is “fallen already from Vaikuntha planet.” 2.4.5 “We may fall down from Vaikuntha at any moment” In the following conversation, which took place on July 8, 1976, in Washington. D. C., a devotee raises the principal question that troubles the mind of so many devotees today. “If in our original position we were perfectly situated, how is it that we fell?” Other common questions are also raised and answered. Devotee (4): Srila Prabhupada, you say in your books so many times that somehow or other we have fallen into this material world due to our enviousness or our independence. Prabhupada: Many, there are many reasons. Devotee (4): I can’t seem to get a grasp on this at all. If we in our original constitutional position as part and parcel of Krsna, and in that position, that original position of full knowledge and full bliss and being in our eternal nature...Now I have some experience of how strong this material energy is and how maya works somewhat, but if I had known this and had full knowledge, then I would have had this knowledge of how maya works and how I might fall. 28

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Prabhupada: You read the life of Jaya and Vijaya, Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa? They were Krsna’s doorkeepers. How they fell down? Did you read the life of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa? Devotee (4): Yes, Prabhupada. Prabhupada: So how they did fall? They are from Vaikuntha. They are Krsna’s personal associates, keeping the doorkeepers. How did they fall down? Anyway, there is chance of falling down at any moment. Devotee (4): Well, in his family they wanted to enjoy the material world. Prabhupada: Whatever it may be, the falldown is there. So because we are living entities, we are not as powerful as Krsna, therefore we may fall down from Vaikuntha at any moment. Iccha-dvesa samutthena sarge yanti parantapa. Find out this verse. Pusta Krsna: iccha-dvesa samutthena dvandva-mohena bharata sarva-bhutani sammoham sarge yanti parantapa “O scion of Bharata [Arjuna], O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, overcome by the dualities of desire and hate.” Prabhupada: Purport. Pusta Krsna: “The real constitutional position of the living entity is that of subordination to the Supreme Lord, who is pure knowledge. When one is deluded into separation from this pure knowledge, he becomes controlled by illusory energy and cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The illusory energy is manifested in the duality of desire and hate. Due to desire and hate the ignorant person wants to become one with the Supreme Lord and envies Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. ...” Prabhupada: So even in the Vaikuntha, if I desire that “Why shall I serve Krsna? Why not become Krsna?” I immediately fall down. That is natural. A servant is serving the master, sometimes he may think that “If I could become the master.” They are thinking like that, they are trying to become God. That is delusion. You cannot become God. That is not possible. But he’s wrongly thinking. Vipina: Why doesn’t Krsna protect us from that desire? Prabhupada: He’s protecting. He says, “You rascal, don’t desire, surrender unto Me.” But you are rascal, you do not do this. Vipina: Why doesn’t He save me from thinking like that? Prabhupada: That means you lose your independence. Vipina: And no love. Prabhupada: That is force. [indistinct] prema. In Bengal it is said “If you catch one girl or boy, ‘You love me, you love me, you love me,’“ is it love? [laughter]. “You love me, otherwise I will kill you.” [laughter] Is that love? So Krsna does not want to become a lover like that, on the 29

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point of revolver, “You love me, otherwise I shall kill you.” That is not love, that is threatening. Love is reciprocal, voluntary, good exchange of feeling, then that is love, not by force. This conversation is conclusive on the main question before us. It also answers the question “Can a soul fall from Vaikuntha?” The question can also be extended to Goloka Vrndavana, the highest planet in Vaikuntha, because Srila Prabhupada is here constantly referring to Krsna and not Lord Narayana. The answer is yes, we can fall from Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrndavana. Srila Prabhupada clearly says that “we may fall down from Vaikuntha at any moment.” He also says, “So even in the Vaikuntha, if I desire that ‘Why shall I serve Krsna? Why not become Krsna?’ I immediately fall down.” After receiving this specific answer, we can no longer go back to the more general statement “no one falls from Vaikuntha” and use it to contradict the conclusion that Srila Prabhupada gives here to his inquiring student. The question has been settled. This exchange also shows that Srila Prabhupada regarded the fall of Jaya and Vijaya, even though arranged by the Lord, as analogous to the falldown of other living entities from Vaikuntha. Some have proposed that Srila Prabhupada’s answers, in cases like the above, are false statements, not supported by scripture and other spiritual authorities. According to this erroneous theory, he deliberately spoke these untruths to neophyte disciples because they were not ready to hear the real truth. But in this paper I will also show that the view that we were once with Krsna is supported by the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the previous acaryas. 2.4.6 “The soul may fall down from any position” In a letter to Srila Prabhupada, Jagadisa dasa, apparently concerned about how a soul could fall down from a perfect relationship with Krsna, asked if the fallen souls were most likely in a passive relationship with Krsna. This might explain how a soul could fall. Those engaged in active relationships would not, whereas the passive ones would be more susceptible to fall down. Srila Prabhupada answered Jagadisa in a letter dated February 27, 1970. Regarding your question concerning the spirit souls falling into Maya’s influence, it is not that those who have developed a passive relationship with Krsna are more likely to fall into nescient activities. Usually anyone who has developed his relationship with Krsna does not fall down in any circumstance, but because the independence is always there, the soul may fall down from any position or any relationship by misusing his independence. But his relationship with Krsna is never lost, simply it is forgotten by the influence of Maya, so it may be regained or revived by the process of hearing the Holy Name of Krsna and then the devotee engages himself in the service of the Lord which is his original or constitutional position. The relationship of the living entity with Krsna is eternal as both Krsna and the living entity are eternal; the process is one of revival only, nothing new. 30

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This answer gives a clue to interpreting apparently contradictory statements about the falldown of the jiva. Srila Prabhupada says “usually anyone who has developed his relationship with Krsna does not fall down in any circumstance.” This indicates that statements that “no one falls down from Vaikuntha” are to be taken as general rules. Statements that one may fall down by misuse of independence thus become specific exceptions to the general rule rather than contradictions. There are other such examples in the Vedic literature. For example, it is said that bone is impure, but the conch shell, which is the bone of an animal, is pure. Stool is impure, but the stool of the cow is pure. Another very important point is that some will say that although souls with a developed relationship could fall down, none of them ever do. Here Srila Prabhupada indicates that they do in some instances fall down. But the relationship is not lost, simply forgotten. And it can be regained. The last part of the above letter excerpt is remarkably clear in its description of the fallen soul’s original direct relationship with Krsna. The “relationship with Krsna is never lost, simply it is forgotten.” The relationship “may be regained or revived.... the process is one of revival only, nothing new.” This statement by Srila Prabhupada rules out the hypothesis that the original relationship with Krsna is undeveloped, or somehow different from the relationship that is achieved on going back to Godhead. 2.4.7 “If someone has a relationship with Lord Krsna on Krsna-loka, does he ever fall down?” On April 25, 1970, Srila Prabhupada wrote this letter in response to some questions raised by Jagadisa. Regarding your questions about how and from where did the conditioned souls fall, your first question if someone has a relationship with Lord Krsna on Krsna-loka, does he ever fall down? The souls are endowed with minute independence as part of their nature and this minute independence may be utilized rightly or wrongly at any time, so there is always the chance of falling down by misuse of one’s independence. But those who are firmly fixed up in devotional service to Krsna are making proper use of their independence and so they do not fall down. Regarding your second question, have the conditioned souls ever seen Krsna? Were they with the Lord before being conditioned by the desire to lord it over material nature? Yes, the conditioned souls are parts and parcels of the Lord and thus they were with Krsna before being conditioned. Just as the child must have seen his father because the father places the child in the womb of the mother, similarly each soul has seen Krsna or the Supreme Father. But at that time the conditioned souls are resting in the condition called susupti which is exactly deep sleep without dream, or anesthetized state, therefore they do not remember being with Krsna when they wake up in the material world and become engaged in material affairs. 31

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In his answer to the first question, Srila Prabhupada indicates that it is possible to fall down from Krsnaloka. This is in harmony with his answers to the other questions we have considered. In fact, Srila Prabhupada is remarkably consistent in his answers. If his answers were inconsistent, we would perhaps have reason to remain in doubt. But they are not inconsistent, and we have no reason to remain in doubt. This does not mean there is not some need to consider Srila Prabhupada’s statements carefully. For example, the answers to the next question raised by Jagadisa need to be read carefully. Actually, Jagadisa raises two separate questions, and Srila Prabhupada answers them separately. The first question is “Have the conditioned souls ever seen Krsna?” The second question is “Were they with the Lord before being conditioned by the desire to lord it over material nature?” Srila Prabhupada first answers the second question (Were the conditioned souls ever with Krsna?). He says: “Yes, the conditioned souls are parts and parcels of the Lord and thus they were with Krsna before being conditioned.” Srila Prabhupada then answers the remaining question (Have the conditioned souls—after being conditioned—ever seen Krsna?). With great precision, Srila Prabhupada states: “Just as the child must have seen his father because the father places the child in the womb of the mother, similarly each soul has seen Krsna or the Supreme Father. But at that time the conditioned souls are resting in the condition called susupti which is exactly deep sleep without dream, or anesthetized state, therefore they do not remember being with Krsna when they wake up in the material world and become engaged in material affairs.” It must be kept in mind that this description refers to the conditioned soul—that is what Jagadisa specifically asked about. Has the conditioned soul ever seen Krsna? And the answer is yes, but in a special sense. The conditioned soul was placed in the womb of material nature by the Supreme Lord in His Maha-Visnu form. At this time, the conditioned soul is not in a waking state of consciousness. Therefore his experience of Krsna is compared to that of an unborn child being somehow aware of his father, who placed him in the womb of his mother. But before being conditioned, the souls were with Krsna (“they were with Krsna before being conditioned”), and at that time they would not have been unconscious. They therefore would have been seeing Krsna directly. But the process of conditioning, which involves being put into the state of susupti, causes them to forget this (“therefore they do not remember being with Krsna when they wake up in the material world”). Remember that susupti is one of the stages of material consciousness, the others being waking and dreaming. This is a clear sign that Srila Prabhupada is not talking about the soul in its original pure state but about the conditioned soul. He specifically says that “the conditioned souls are resting in the condition called susupti.” 2.4.8 “We have got the independence to give up His company” During a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture given in London, on July 30, 1971, the following exchange took place. 32

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Guest (3): Swamiji, can you tell us why we’re in this material contamination? Why is it that the spirit soul has material contamination? Prabhupada: That is the slight independence of the spirit soul. As soon as the spirit soul wants to enjoy for himself... Just like many boys gives up the association of the parents and he wants to enjoy this material world in his own way, without the sanction of the father and mother. He has got the right. Similarly, although we are all sons of God, or Krsna, we have got the independence to give up His company and enjoy this material world. That is contamination. Guest (3): And do we all originate from Krsna? Prabhupada: Yes. The important point here is that Srila Prabhupada confirms that “although we are all sons of God, or Krsna, we have got the independence to give up His company and enjoy this material world.” This means that we cannot be from the brahmajyoti or the Viraja River. 2.4.9 “Can he still fall?” In the next selection, from a Bhagavad-gita lecture given in Bombay on March 25, 1974, Srila Prabhupada confirms that it is possible to fall down again from the spiritual world after returning there. Mahapurusa: If the living entity is in the material world and he’s an expansion of the marginal energy, then he’s... And he can purify himself and become eligible to enter into the spiritual world and Krsna, but can he still fall as an expansion of the marginal energy? Prabhupada: Yes. Marginal energy. Just like the sunshine is always there. Sometimes it is covered by cloud.”

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2.4.10 “If we are originally in the spiritual world...” In a Bhagavad-gita lecture given in Mexico City on February 15, 1975, Srila Prabhupada answered the classic question “If we were full of pleasure in the spiritual world, how did we come to this inferior position in the material world?” Hridayananda [translating]: He says that if we are originally in the spiritual world and full of knowledge, how can we try to lord it over or, in other words, how can we try to do something which actually cannot be done? And if we are originally full of pleasure, then why would we accept an inferior position? Prabhupada: That I have already explained, that although you have got the God’s qualities, but you are very small. Just like a big fire and the sparks of the fire, similarly, God is big fire, and we are like sparks of the fire. When the sparks come down from the fire, it becomes extinguished. So because we are very small, very... I have already given you the dimension. As soon as we become out of the big fire, in touch with God, then we become extinguished. So somehow or other, if you are, again go to the fire, you have your original, brightened, I mean, illuminating quality, the spark. So at the present moment, somehow or other, being fallen in this material condition, we have lost our godly qualities. We can cure that, just like a diseased man lost his appetite, but by treatment he can again awaken his appetite and eat properly. So we, being very small—we may say, “a small god”— therefore we fall under the clutches of maya, illusion, but it can be cured. We can again revive our original position. 2.4.11 “As eternal servitors of Krsna—our constitutional position—we fall down when...” In a letter to Jananivasa Prabhu, dated August 27, 1967, Srila Prabhupada answers the following question. If the soul is eternal and changeless, then how does it come to the conditioned state? It seems like a contradiction. Srila Prabhupada wrote: About your question: The Spirit Soul is certainly eternal and changeless; and the fall is superficial, just like the relation between father and son cannot be broken ever. Now we are simply in a phase of forgetfulness, and this forgetfulness is called Maya. There is a nice example in the waning of the moon. To us the moon appears to be changing, but in fact the moon is always the same. So as eternal servitors of Krsna—our constitutional position—we fall down when we try to become the enjoyer, imitating Krsna. That is our downfall. Krsna is the Supreme Enjoyer, and we are constitutionally to be enjoyed by Him, and when we revive this constitutional position where is no more Maya. K.C. gives us the opportunity of rendering service to Krsna, and this service attitude only can replace us on our original position. Please therefore, continue to chant faithfully, and Krsna will reveal Himself, by His Causeless Mercy, 34

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and you will know everything automatically. I shall, of course always be ready and anxious to answer any question you have. Here once more we see that the original position is one of service to Krsna. The original position cannot be in the brahmajyoti. There is no service to Krsna going on in the brahmajyoti, and the brahmajyoti covers Krsna’s personal form and abode from the vision of the souls in the Brahman effulgence. We cannot be originally fallen, as the advocates of the brahmajyoti theory proclaim. Here Srila Prabhupada says “the fall is superficial.” We are originally servants of Krsna “but we fall down when we try to become the enjoyer, imitating Krsna.” 2.4.12 “You are not eternally conditioned” In a letter to Aniruddha, dated November 14, 1968, Srila Prabhupada addressed another apparent contradiction in Vaisnava teaching. If souls in the material world are eternally conditioned, how is it that they can become eternally liberated? Aniruddha asked other questions, but it is the answer to this one that is most relevant to our discussion. Your next question, “...We are eternally conditioned, but as soon as we surrender to Krsna do we then become eternally liberated?...” You are not eternally conditioned. You are eternally liberated but since we have become conditioned on account of our desire to enjoy materialistic way of life, from time immemorial, therefore it appears that we are eternally conditioned. Because we cannot trace out the history or the date when we became conditioned, therefore it is technically called eternally conditioned. Otherwise the living entity is not actually conditioned. A living entity is always pure. But he is prone to be attracted by material enjoyment and as soon as he agrees to place himself in material enjoyment, he becomes conditioned, but that is not permanent. 2.4.13 “Marginal energy jiva souls have fallen from the spiritual world” In a letter dated December 2, 1968, Srila Prabhupada replied to a question by Rayarama. Here is Srila Prabhupada’s answer. The answer to your question about the marginal energy is that the jiva soul is always called marginal energy whether he is in the spiritual world or in the material world. There are instances where marginal energy jiva souls have fallen from the spiritual world, just like Jaya and Vijaya. So the potency to fall under the influence of the lower energy is always there. And thus the individual jiva soul is called as Krsna’s marginal energy. It is of interest that Srila Prabhupada considers the fall of Jaya and Vijaya, although 35

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arranged by the Supreme Lord, to be similar to the fall of other living beings from the spiritual world. These latter beings fall by misuse of their free will and not by divine arrangement. Another point, gathered from this and the other selections we have considered, is that the misuse of free will involves a decision to imitate Krsna. This free will is an inherent spiritual quality of the individual soul, and the real essence of its exercise is the choice not between matter and spirit but between serving Krsna or not serving Krsna. If one chooses not to serve Krsna, then one is placed under the control of the material energy. So the exercise of free will by the marginal energy in the spiritual world does not entail having the material energy present in the spiritual atmosphere. Also, some have suggested that although jivas could fall from the spiritual world, none do. But here Srila Prabhupada directly says that “there are instances where marginal energy jiva souls have fallen from the spiritual world.” 2.4.14 “Not from the impersonal Brahman” In recent years, some have proposed that the living entities in this material world were originally situated in the brahmajyoti instead of a spiritual planet. Srila Prabhupada was directly asked about this and replied in a letter to Revatinandana Prabhu, dated June 13, 1970. The next question, about the living entities falling down in this material world are not from the impersonal brahman. Existence in the impersonal brahma is also within the category of non-Krsna consciousness. Those who are in the brahman effulgence they are also in the fallen condition, so there is no question of falling down from a fallen condition. When fall takes place, it means falling down from the non-fallen condition. In other words, the living entities in this material world cannot have fallen from the brahmajyoti because the living entities in the brahmajyoti are already fallen. Therefore the living entities in this material world have fallen from the non-fallen position, which is Krsna’s service. 2.4.15 “There is possibility, but he does not come” In a Caitanya-caritamrta lecture delivered in San Francisco on February 18, 1967, Srila Prabhupada answered questions about the origin of the jiva and falling down from the spiritual world. Bhaktijana: Did Krsna create us to serve Him? Prabhupada: Yes. Bhaktijana: And to enjoy us? Prabhupada: Yes. Very nice. So we should prepare ourselves to our healthy condition. That is our healthy condition. As soon as we understand that Krsna created us... Krsna created... There is no creation. Just like if I say that my hand is created, no, it is not created. As long as the body is there, the hand is there. Otherwise, there is no 36

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meaning of body. Similarly, we are not created. Krsna is always there; we are also always there. And there are millions and millions of liberated souls who are engaged in Krsna. They never misuse their independence. And we small quantity, we misused our independence. We wanted to enjoy separately. Therefore we are conditioned. Srila Prabhupada clearly sees the conditioned souls as having been part of the total population of souls who in their healthy condition properly use their free will to serve Krsna in the spiritual world. But a small number of this total population made a mistake. “We misused our independence. We wanted to enjoy separately. Therefore we are conditioned.” Bhaktijana: But there are, there are many...? Prabhupada: ...liberated souls. They are never conditioned. They never become conditioned. Yes? Devotee: You mean they never were conditioned at any time or... Prabhupada: Eh? Devotee: You said there were millions of souls... Prabhupada: Yes. They were never conditioned. They were never conditioned, never conditioned. They are called nitya-mukta, eternally liberated. We are only simple few, this material world. Just like I have several times told you that the prison house. The population of prison house is nothing in comparison to the whole population. What is there? Suppose in New York, there is a prison house. Oh, what may be the number? A few thousand maybe. But here, millions. Similarly, the liberated souls are millions; we are only few thousands, or hundreds. . . . Here once more Srila Prabhupada is indicating that the conditioned souls were once part of the larger population of souls in the spiritual world with Krsna. Only a small number of that total population misuse their freedom and are placed in the prison of the material world. Bhaktijana: How could we make a poor choice if we were part and parcel of Krsna? How could we have chosen the material world? Prabhupada: Oh, because you have got independence. Don’t you see so many students come? They go away again. Yesterday Kirtanananda went to call Ranchora. He said, “Oh, I have forgotten this!” So you can forget. There is another student. He was also our student, Wally. “Oh, you can go immediately!” Suppose if you... “Oh, I don’t care for this Krsna consciousness Society. Who calls you? You can go.” That independence is there. We can misuse. The question by Bhaktijana dasa and answer by Srila Prabhupada are clear evidence that the original position of the soul is a personal relationship with Krsna. But we can give it up, or forget it. Srila Prabhupada sees the soul leaving Krsna’s association as analogous to an ISKCON member leaving the association of devotees and forgetting his practice of Krsna consciousness. 37

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Bhaktijana: But Krsna will always be there if we want to go back? Prabhupada: Eh? Krsna is always prepared to accept you. He’s always prepared. But because He has given us independence, we misuse it and we fall under the clutches of maya. That is our misfortune. We create this misfortune, and we can create our good fortune. “Man is the architect of his own fortune.” So if you become Krsna conscious, it is to your good fortune. If you become maya conscious, it is to your bad fortune. You are the creator. Bhaktijana: When the souls that were never conditioned at all... do they also have the independence? Prabhupada: Yes, but they have not misused. They know that “I am meant for Krsna’s service,” and they are happy in Krsna’s service. Bhaktijana: Could they ever misuse it? Prabhupada: Yes, they can misuse it also. That power is there. Yes? Devotee: Well, I believe you once said that once a conditioned soul becomes perfected and gets out of the material world and he goes to Krsnaloka, there’s no possibility of falling back. Prabhupada: No! There is possibility, but he does not come. Just like after putting your hand in the fire, you never put it again if you are really intelligent. So those who are going back to Godhead, they become intelligent. Why going back to Godhead? Just like we are in renounced order of life. So we have renounced our family life after thinking something. Now, if somebody comes, “Swamiji, you take thousand millions of dollars and marry again and become a family man,” I’ll never become. Because I have got my bad experience. I’ll never become. So if one is intelligent enough, if he has got actually the bitter taste of this material world, he’ll never agree. He’ll never agree. But those who have not advanced to such knowledge, oh, they think, “Oh, this material enjoyment is very nice. Let me taste it. . . “ Could a soul fall twice? The answer is yes (“there is possibility”). If it is possible, it could happen. If one says no, a soul could not fall twice, then it means it is impossible. But Srila Prabhupada says it is possible to fall again, although he indicates one would have to be not really intelligent to do this (“Just like after putting your hand in the fire, you never put it again if you are really intelligent.”). Bhaktijana: Has my soul ever been liberated? Prabhupada: That you know. I do not know. Bhaktijana: If I was once liberated... Prabhupada: You are liberated. You are liberated. Simply just a cloud has covered you. Drive away the cloud. There is no question that you were ever. You are ever liberated. That, the sky is always spiritual, but it is sometimes overcrowded with cloud, this maya. This is called maya. Actually, you are not conditioned. You are thinking. Just like in the dream you are thinking that tiger is eating you. You were never eaten by tiger. There is no tiger. So we have to get out of this dream. Don’t you sometimes dream that tiger is eating you? Is there any tiger? You 38

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are simply thinking. So if you keep in Krsna consciousness, that nonsense thinking will go away. Therefore we have to keep ourself always in Krsna-thinking so that this dream will never come. If you are always awakened, then dream never comes. So keep yourself always awakened by Krsna consciousness. Here Srila Prabhupada again gives the way we can adjust statements that no one falls from Vaikuntha. Actually, we do not fall. We simply dream that we have fallen. 2.4.16 “Potency of falling down is always there” In Los Angeles, on December 19, 1968, a devotee attending a Bhagavad-gita lecture once more placed the classic apparent contradiction before Srila Prabhupada for resolution. Devotee: It is said that once you achieve the Godhead, once you go back to Krsna, that you don’t fall down. But it is also said that we come from there originally. If we came from there, how did we fall if we were already there? Prabhupada: Yes, just like this example that personalities like Brahma and Siva, they also sometimes become victims of maya. So our, I mean to say, potency of falling down is always there, potency. And because we are part and parcel of God and because we are now in the material world, it is to be understood that we have fallen down. But you cannot trace out the history when you have fallen down. That is impossible. But our position is marginal. At any moment, we can fall down. That tendency is there. Therefore we are called marginal. But one...Just like it is very simple to understand. Everyone is prone to fall diseased. Is it not? Now when you are diseased, there is no necessity of finding out the history when you became diseased. You are diseased, make your treatment, that’s all. Similarly, we are in the material condition of life. Just go on treating it, and as soon as you are cured, be careful not to fall down again. But there is chance of falling down, again becoming diseased. Not that once you become cured, there is no chance of becoming diseased again. As in the previous selection, the indication is that we fell from Krsna’s association and that even if we go back to Krsna we can still fall down again. Many devotees seem extremely resistant to the fact that there never was a time when our remaining in Krsna’s association did not depend upon our proper use of free will and that there will never be a time when this ceases to be true. Being of the marginal potency, that choice will always confront us, as it has in the past. There is no way around it. 2.4. 17 “If the conditions in the spiritual world are so nice” In a conversation that took place in Mayapur, India, on February 19, 1976, Srila 39

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Prabhupada once more addressed the perennial question of how a soul could fall from a spiritual planet. Guru-krpa: . . . They say that in the spiritual world we say that everything is peaceful, there is no birth and death, there is no material conditions, so why if the conditions in the spiritual world are so nice and everything is spiritually, everything is spiritual, how is it that one can become envious of Krsna in such conditions? This is a very . . . Acyutananda: The original sin. Sudama: Why we are envious. Guru-krpa: How is it that, if everything is free from envy, free from bad material elements . . . Prabhupada: Yes. Guru-krpa: How is it that . . . Prabhupada: That is independence. In spite of all these things, because you have got little independence, you can violate. Sudama: It is very hard to understand. Prabhupada: No, it is not difficult. It is not difficult. Acyutananda: It is not difficult. They don’t want to understand. Prabhupada: Because you are part and parcel of God, God has got full independence, but you have got little independence, proportionately, because you are part and parcel. A little later in the same conversation: Acyutananda: But in the Gita, it says, “Once coming there, he never returns.” Prabhupada: But if he likes, he can return. Acyutananda: He can return. Prabhupada: That independence has to be accepted, little independence. We can misuse that. Krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare. That misuse is the cause of our falldown. Acyutananda: In Krsna book it says that there were some color fighting in Dvaraka. They were throwing color. And some men became lusty seeing the women. So is . . . Will that be the first part of their falldown, to be in Vaikuntha and think of personal lust with Krsna’s associates? Prabhupada: Yes. 2.4.18 “Yes,” Krsna says, “yes, you go.” In a conversation with Srila Prabhupada, in Los Angeles, on May 13, 1973, one of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples questioned a seeming contradiction. Paramahamsa: But ultimately if we come to Krsna, there’s no return. But nevertheless, Jagai and . . . the two gatekeepers, they returned? Prabhupada: There is return, that is voluntary. Return there is. Paramahamsa: If we want. 40

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Prabhupada: Yes. Paramahamsa: Fall down? Prabhupada: Yes, as soon as we try, “Oh, this material world is very nice,”—”Yes,” Krsna says, “yes, you go.” Just like nobody is interested in Krsna consciousness. Do you think everyone is interested? So they want to enjoy this material world. Otherwise what is the meaning of free will? Every living entity has got a little free will. And Krsna is so kind, he gives him opportunity, “All right, you enjoy like this.” Just like some of our students, Krsna conscious, sometimes go away, again come back. It is free will, not stereotyped. Just like one goes to the prison house, not that government welcomes, “Come on. We have got prison house. Come here, come here.” He goes out of his free will; again comes out, again goes. Like that. Krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare, pasate maya tare japatiya dhara. The police is there. Just like the police car was there. We have nothing to do with it. But if you do anything criminal, immediately you will be arrested. The maya may be there, but maya captures him who is not a devotee of Krsna. That’s all. Srila Prabhupada’s answer indicates that a soul can leave a spiritual planet, return, and go back again to the material world. It all depends upon one’s exercise of one’s free will, which is an inherent spiritual quality of the soul. In his answer, Srila Prabhupada also offers an intimate glimpse into the personal interchanges between Krsna and the departing soul. “Yes, you go,” says Krsna. On several occasions, Srila Prabhupada said that he was in direct communication with Krsna. If we accept that Srila Prabhupada was on the level that he was constantly in direct communication with Krsna, then his references to Krsna’s words in connection with the fallen souls cannot be taken as simply metaphorical embellishments or speculations on his part. The next selection offers an even more intimate glimpse into the personal dimension of falldown from the spiritual world. 2.4.19 “You forced Krsna to allow you to come” On June 27, 1974, in Melbourne, a devotee attending Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita lecture asked Srila Prabhupada to resolve an apparent contradiction. In his answer, Srila Prabhupada offers confidential information about the falldown of the soul from Krsna’s association. Devotee: In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, it says that Krsna did not want us to come to this material world. If Krsna did not want us to come, why are we here? Srila Prabhupada: Yes. You forced Krsna to allow you to come. Just like sometimes a child forces his father. Father says, “My dear son, do not do this. Do not go there.” But he insists. “Oh, I must go. I must go.” “All right, you go at your risk. That’s all. And you suffer. What can be done?’ Because you are son of God—God has got independence, full independence, almighty— therefore you have acquired the quality of your father. You have got little 41

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independence. So God does not interfere with your little independence. If you persist that “I must go and enjoy independently,” so God says, “All right, you can go.” This is the position. You have to take sanction. That is a fact. But when you persist, God sanctions. And you come and enjoy.” 2.4.20 “We should remain with Krsna in the spiritual world” Here are some more interesting quotes, from a Bhagavad-gita lecture given in Melbourne, Australia, on June 25, 1974. In the following quote, Srila Prabhupada poses the question “Why we are in this material world?” and gives his usual answer: So Krsna is bhokta and we are bhogya. It is not our position that we become Krsna and become bhokta, no. That is wrong conception. You cannot become the enjoyer. You are enjoyed. But when you want to imitate Krsna and want to become enjoyer, then you are sent in this material world. This is material world. Why we are in this material world? We are part and parcel of Krsna. We should remain with Krsna in the spiritual world. But why are we put into this material world? That is explained. Purusah prakrti-stho hi bhunkte prakrti-jan gunan. Because constitutionally a living entity is not enjoyer but enjoyed. So Srila Prabhupada recommends “we should remain with Krsna in the spiritual world.” That is our original position. Statements like these, where Srila Prabhupada is directly addressing the question why we are in the material world, have to be given more weight than statements of Srila Prabhupada pulled from here and there and which do not directly relate to the question before us. During the question session, there was the following exchange: Devotee: When we are in the spiritual sky and serving Krsna, we have a perfect relationship with Krsna, what causes us to fall down in the material world, because we are already serving Krsna? Prabhupada: Because you desire to fall down. Here it is explained that “Don’t fall down.” And as soon as you associate with the material nature, then you fall down. Devotee: Srila Prabhupada, I can’t understand why we should have an impure desire when we are already serving... Prabhupada: Because you have got a little freedom. Why one is not coming here and going to the liquor shop? It is his desire. 2.4.21 “Our endeavor should be how to get our again original spiritual body” 42

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The following is from a room conversation with Srila Prabhupada that took place in Caracas, Venezuela, on February 21, 1975. Guest [Hridayananda dasa Goswami translates]: You have mentioned pain within the body. What is the origin of pain and the origin of imperfection? Prabhupada: Origin of pain means as soon as you come to the material world, is the origin of pain. . . . . Now, these feelings of pains and pleasure is due to this material body. Therefore the material body is the cause of pains and pleasure. So if you do not get this material body—you remain in your spiritual body—then there is no more pains and pleasure. So that means the origin of pains and pleasure is our attachment to this material body. If we can somehow or other get out of this material body, then there is no more pains and pleasure or it is simply pleasure. Therefore in the Vedanta-sutra it is said, anandamayah abhyasat. “By nature the spirit soul is joyful.” In the Bhagavad-gita it is also said, brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati: “As soon as you become spiritually self-realized, then there is no more pains and pleasure.” So pleasure means absence of pain. So in your spiritual identity there is no pain, therefore it is simply pleasure. Therefore our endeavor should be how to get our again original spiritual body. Spiritual body is there already. It is covered by the material body, but some way or other, if we stop the covering of the material body, then we are simply in pleasure. Therefore our only attempt in this human body should be how to revive our spiritual body. And that process is Krsna consciousness. That... Open that verse, janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya. Hridayananda: janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna [reads translation in Spanish] Prabhupada: So if you simply understand Krsna, then you revive your spiritual body. Guest [Hridayananda translates]: How or why did this spiritual body become covered by the material body? Prabhupada: How your body is covered in a different dress when you go to the prison house? When one goes to the prison, he has to keep his dress separately and take the prison dress. So anyone who comes into this material world, he has to take a material body. This is the law. Unless you have got this material body, how you can feel pleasure in material sense enjoyment? Just like on a stage, if you are going to play, you have to take dress according to the play. Therefore this material body is compared with the dress. 43

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Clearly, we had spiritual bodies before we came to this material world. Srila Prabhupada says we had to set these bodies aside when we came to this material world and took on a material body. Actually, the body is still there. And we can revive our original spiritual body by Krsna consciousness. 2.4.22 “Because we are small, minute fragments, sometimes we fall down” On a morning walk conversation that took place in Los Angeles on December 6, 1973, Srila Prabhupada answered many questions about our original position in the spiritual world and how we could have fallen from it. Hridayananda: Many times, the professors, they say that “If God, if god were actually all, all-good and all-perfect, then when He created us, we would also be all-good...” Prabhupada: Yes. But you are contaminated. You are all-good. That’s a fact. Because you are part and parcel of God, you cannot be bad. But you are contaminated. Hridayananda: Well, they say that “Even, even if I have the potential... Even to say that I have...” Prabhupada: You have got the potential. That’s it. Hridayananda: But if I say that... If I, I’m originally in the spiritual world, but even the potential to fall down is an imperfection in the creation. Prabhupada: No, potential does not [mean] fall down. Just like a child has got the potency to pass the M.A. examination. So he has to be educated. If you don’t educate him, he’ll remain a foolish child. So we are educating to develop that potentiality. nitya-siddha krsna-prema sadhya kabhu naya sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya They, that potentiality is eternal. God is eternal. We are eternal. Our relationship, eternal. Everything is eternal. But because we are small, minute fragments, sometimes we fall down. Hridayananda: They say, “God should have, God should have created us so that we...” Prabhupada: Why you should dictate God? God has created perfectly. He has given you independence. You fall down. It is your fault. God has made you perfect, given you independence. But if you misuse your independence, you fall down. Just like government gives everyone opportunity. Why do you become criminal and go to the jail? That is your fault. Hridayananda: They say that God should have created us so that we... Prabhupada: Why “Should have created”? He has created already 44

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perfect. Because you are perfect, therefore you have got the independence to misuse. You are not a dead stone. That is perfection. Ye yatha mam prapadyante. You can go anywhere, sarvaga. You can go to the Vaikuntha. Yanti deva-vrata devan. You can go to the higher planets. You can go to the hell. When you go to the hell, it is your choice. God has given you all perfection. Purnam idam purnam adah purnat purnam udacyate, everything is complete, perfect, and because you are perfect, you have got the independence. But misusing that independence, you are imperfect. Again, reviving your independence, you can become perfect, although you are imperfect now. That is Krsna consciousness movement. Krsna consciousness movement means raising the imperfect to the perfect platform. That is Krsna consciousness. Other fools, they say, “We are perfect now.” In a fallen condition also, they’re thinking perfect. That is maya. Asurim raksasim caiva mohinim prakrtim sritah. Krsna has made you perfect. There is no doubt about it. Just like some of our students. All of a sudden, they deviate, go away. So what is that? Our movement is imperfect, or he’s imperfect? Hridayananda: He’s imperfect. Prabhupada: He’s imperfect. Our movement is perfect. But he becomes imperfect by his misuse of independence. He thinks that “This is nice,” and goes to hell. What can be done? That independence is there. That is perfectness. Hridayananda: So in other words, these, uh, the people that argue like that, they, they actually are lazy. They don’t want to surrender to God. Then they blame God. Prabhupada: Yes. Because they have become imperfect, therefore they are blaming God. “God is good;” they forget this. That is their imperfectness. One side, they say, “God is good.” Still, they’re blaming God. What is this nonsense? If He’s God, God is good, how can you blame Him? God is good; in all circumstances, He’s good. That is the meaning of good. Good does not mean that one time you are good and next time you are bad. . . . Umapati: Well, the argument is that if God is so all-powerful, why does He even let me fall? Prabhupada: Eh? Umapati: If God is so powerful, why does He let me fall. Why doesn’t He save me, save me from my own foolishness. Why doesn’t He...? Prabhupada: Yes, He’s saving you, but you don’t carry His order. Umapati: Yes, but it’s not recognized. Prabhupada: Yes. Just like I say, “Chant sixteen rounds.” If you do not do it. What can I do? That is your fault. Satsvarupa: If God were to force us, there’d be no love. Prabhupada: Eh? No, no. Force is not good. The message is clear. Originally we were with Krsna, but we fell down by misusing our independence. 45

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2.4.23 “If he desires, he can come again” The following conversation took place on a morning walk in Denver, on July 3, 1975. Devotee (3): [break] You had said on a... earlier on a morning walk, on a tape, that if one enters into the spiritual world that—you were asked that he will never have to return—and you said that if it’s a desire, he can return to the material world. Prabhupada: So what is your objection? Devotee (3): I was just wondering if the spirit soul being in the spiritual world is eternally liberated, how can he return. By desire? Prabhupada: Yes. If he desires, he can come again. That option is always there. Just like I remain in India. I come here. And if I like, I may not come. It is my option. 2.4.24 “If we were originally in the spiritual world, why don’t we remember that?” The following conversation took place in Srila Prabhupada’s garden at the Los Angeles temple on June 8, 1976. Ramesvara: But then there is an argument, if we were originally in the spiritual world, why don’t we remember that and try to go back to the spiritual world? Prabhupada: That I have already said, that when I am in tour in Europe and India, I completely forget about Los Angeles. I act according to the circumstances there. And again when I come to Los Angeles, I immediately remember. This is natural. Out of sight, out of mind. Bharadvaja: Srila Prabhupada, we don’t have to learn the activities of our spiritual body? Prabhupada: Yes, when you are revived. Therefore the Vedic injunction is that now you have got this human form of body, you get up to your original position. Uttisthata jagrata prapta varan nibodhata. This is the Vedic injunction. Jiva jago jiva jago, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says. Jiva jago jiva jago gauracanda bole kota nidra jao maya-pisacira kole. How long you’ll sleep? Here is the opportunity. Try to understand yourself. That is self-realization. And go back to home, back to Godhead. Why you are struggling here? Krsna is coming. He is also saying the same, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. Why you are rotting in this material world? So for spiritual awakening there are so many attempts by God Himself, by His devotees, by books, so many ways. But we are not inclined. That is our fault. Gopavrndapala: To take to Krsna consciousness is the real survival of the fittest. Prabhupada: Yes, that is Krsna saying, coming, yada yada hi 46

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dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata. Real dharma is to remain subordinate to Krsna as servant. Jivera svarupa haya nityakrsna-dasa. So we have forgotten it. This is dharmasya glanih. Dharma means characteristics. It is not a faith; it is a fact. So our characteristic is that we are eternal servant of God. When we forget this characteristic, that this is my original characteristic, that is adharma. That is dharmasya glanih. So yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata. When there is discrepancy in the matter of discharging dharma, my occupational duty, then there is this Krsna consciousness movement. So one has to take it, then he’s fortunate. From this conversation, we learn that we were once in the spiritual world, in a spiritual body, engaged in the service of Krsna. We have forgotten this, just like we forget a place when we leave it and travel somewhere else. But we can revive our original spiritual body when we go back to Godhead. 2.4.25 “Then again his liberated life begins” The following conversation took place in Columbus, Ohio, on May 14, 1969. Prabhupada: Visnu-saktih para prokta. Visnu, the energy of Visnu, is transcendental, spiritual. Ksetrajnakhya tatha para. As also this ksetrajna-sakti, marginal potency, that is also transcendental, that is living entities. They are also transcendental. They are not material. Avidya-karma-samjnanya trtiya-saktir isyate. Another sakti, another energy, is there. That is avidya, darkness. This is material energy. So living entity is originally spiritual, transcendental, as good as Krsna’s personal energy. But now they are covered by this material energy. Allen Ginsberg: How did the material covering begin? Prabhupada: Begin? Allen Ginsberg: As the material shadow. How did we fall into that? Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. That is very natural. Just like... (knock on door) Come on. Because jiva, although para sakti, he has got independence. So when he wants to imitate Krsna... In the spiritual world Krsna is the enjoyer, and all others, they are enjoyed. Predominator and the predominating. The Lord is the predominating, so there is no disagreement. There they know, “The Lord is predominator. We have to serve.” When this service attitude is impaired, that “Why serve Krsna? Why not ourself?” that is maya. Then he falls down in the material energy. There is no scope... Just like in the government system, there is no scope of freedom. You have to act according to government state laws. So long you are agreement, then you are free. If you disagree, then you are placed within the prison house. Similarly, jiva, independent, not fully independent, but they have got. Because part and part of God, therefore that 47

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independence quality is there. So when that independence quality is misused, then his place is in the material world. Krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare. When we forget Krsna and try to lord it over something... And Krsna is the Supreme Lord. When we try to imitate His lordship, then our place is in the material world. We are given freedom, “All right, you lord it over here.” So here every living entity is trying to lord it over, competition. I am trying individualwise, nationwise. Everyone is trying to lord it over. That is material existence. And when he comes to his senses, jnanavan, that “I am falsely trying to lord it over. Rather, I am becoming implicated with material energy,” when he comes to that, then he surrenders. Then again his liberated life begins. The original position of the soul is clearly as Krsna’s direct servant in the spiritual world. As long as the service attitude continues, the soul remains in the liberated position. But as soon as the soul desires to imitate Krsna, to forget his position as servant of Krsna, he is placed in the material. But when he surrenders, “then again his liberated life begins.” 2.4.26 “We are playing with the big fire very nice, but there is chance of falling down.” The following conversation took place on August 10, 1976, in Tehran, at an evening darsana with Srila Prabhupada. Atreya Rsi: In the beginning how does the spirit become ignorant, falls into ignorance? Prabhupada: He’s not... Just like the same question, a criminal, if you say, “In the beginning, how he became criminal,” is that very intelligent question? What do you think? A prisoner, criminal, is living in the prison house since a long time, and if you raise this question, “In the beginning, how he became a criminal,” is that very intelligent question? The point Srila Prabhupada seems to be making is this. There is no history of how someone becomes a conditioned soul, because as soon as one misuses one’s independence one is immediately placed in the material world. In this sense, it doesn’t matter how long ago one misused one’s independence. But as soon as it happened, one entered the prison of the material world. Atreya Rsi: No, but not everyone is prisoner. Prabhupada: No, this question. Anyone can become criminal, any moment. There is no question of beginning. At any moment you can begin. You are honest gentleman, very good. You are working in a nice spot. At any time, any moment, you can become a criminal and go to prison house. That is... You are prone to... As soon as you misuse your little independence, you become a criminal. That is the difficulty. You have got some independence. As soon 48

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as we misuse that independence, immediately we are criminal, go to prison house. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya. You cannot cheat material nature. Immediately she captures. Krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare pasate maya tare japati ‘dhare. That beginning is possible at any moment. You haven’t got to trace out the history. Even if you are very honest, you can become subjected to these criminal law at any moment. You are prone to that. So there is no use wasting time how it was begun. You are criminal. Now make your treatment that you may not become criminal again. If you go to a doctor, you have got some sickness, and if the doctor inquires, “How it began?” How it began? What business? Now I have got sickness, you treat me. That’s all. What is the use of wasting time how it began? Some way or other, it has begun. Now I’ve come to you, make treatment. That’s all. Why should we waste our time to find out the history how it began? That beginning can be possible at any moment. As soon as we misuse our little independence, immediately the beginning is there. A criminal means one who has violated the laws of the state. That is a fact. So when that violation began, so that is not very important thing. You have violated, you are in the prison house. That’s all. That is important thing. Ali: Yes, that’s right. My question is answered, but my confusion is still... Prabhupada: What is that confusion? Ali: I’m amazed that... When someone tastes something, a nice fruit, something pleasant, he remembers, appreciates that, even in material world. How could someone see God and come from a source as powerful and lovable as that and then forget? How could he forget so easily and become so badly attached to this materialism? Why is it that we are so far? I know it’s in due course to my actions. Prabhupada: That tendency is here. Because we are very small fragment of spiritual identity, that tendency is there. The example is given, just like fire and spark of the fire. The fire and the spark, the spark is very small, but it is fire. And the big fire, together they look very beautiful. With the fire, when the sparks come—sput sput—so many sparks, it looks very beautiful. But the sparks sometimes fall down from the original fire. Then it is no more fire. It is fire, but it’s extinguished. The illumination is over. So we are small particles of God. God is big fire; we are small particles of God. So we are playing with the big fire very nice, but there is chance of falling down. That chance is there. The big fire does not fall. The big fire is always blazing. But the small fire, although it is possessing the same quality of fire, it may fall down. So we are small particle, very, very small, atomic portion God. Therefore we have got the tendency to be separated from the big fire, and then we begin our material body. Just like another crude example, just like a very rich man’s son, he’s enjoying life. Sometimes he thinks, “Why not independently live? Why dependent on father?” He goes out and he becomes a hippie. There are many examples. He was living very comfortably, rich man’s son, but he left 49

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the house of his father and became a hippie. There are many practical examples. Why does he do so? I have seen in Allahabad one big lawyer, very famous lawyer, Ferolal Bannerji. He had two sons. One son became a good barrister like him, and another son became a car-wala, driving a car. The reason was that this son, a car-wala, he fell in love with a low-class woman, and he preferred to remain a car-wala. Hari-sauri: What is that? Prabhupada: Low-class woman. So she was living in a cottage, hut, cottage. So out of love he also preferred that “I shall live with her, and I shall drive a car.” So that is independence. He preferred. So that discrimination preference is there always. You can prefer a low-grade life out of your discretion. Nobody can check you. As he sometimes did, Srila Prabhupada said the question of how and when we fell is not as important as going back to Godhead. But, as always, Srila Prabhupada does answer the question of how we fell. We were originally nicely situated as Krsna’s servants, but at some point (it does not matter when) we misused our independence and fell down from our original position.

2.4.27 “When he misuses independence he falls” The following conversation took place in Los Angeles, on June 23, 1975. Dr. John Mize: The question that bothers me in part is then why would the soul... Because I understand your conception that the soul is part of the spiritual sky originally or part of God, and it somehow falls out of this blissful condition due to pride, much like the Christian thesis that the devil fell out of heaven due to pride. And it seems puzzling why the soul would be so silly, so foolish, so insane, as to do such a thing. Prabhupada: That is his independence. Dr. John Mize: Independence. Prabhupada: Instead of using independence properly, when he misuses independence he falls. Dr. John Mize: I’m sorry, he what? Prabhupada: He falls down. Dr. John Mize: He falls. Prabhupada: He falls down on account of his independence. Just like you have got independence. You are sitting here. You can go immediately. You may not like to hear me. Clearly, Srila Prabhupada sees the soul as originally engaged in Krsna’s service. It is a personal relationship. That is the original, natural position. But one can give it up. Why? Because one is independent. 50

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Dr. John Mize: I wouldn’t what? Prabhupada: You may not like to hear me. Dr. John Mize: Yes. Prabhupada: That independence you have got. I have got also. I may not talk with you. So that independence is always there. Similarly, as part and parcel of God, the, it is the duty of the soul to be always engaged in the service of the Lord. Dr. John Mize: Always engaged in...? Prabhupada: In the service of the Lord. Dr. John Mize: Service of the Lord. Prabhupada: Just like this finger is part and parcel of my body. Whatever I am ordering, it is immediately carrying out. I say, “Make it like this.” He will, it will do. So... But this is dead matter. It is acting mechanically. The brain directs immediately the finger and it acts, like machine. This whole body is just like a machine, but soul is not machine mechanical part. It is spiritual part. So therefore, as I am directing the finger, as being machine, it is working, but if somebody else, a friend or servant, I may direct him to do something, he may not do it. So when the soul misuses the independence, then he falls down. That is material life. Material life means misusing the independence of soul. Just like a son. A son’s duty is to obey the father. But he may not obey. That is his madness. So when the soul, misusing the independence, becomes mad, he is sent in this material world. From many angles of vision, Srila Prabhupada keeps making the same point. We were once with Krsna, engaged in His service, but by choice we have given up that position. Dr. John Mize: It is puzzling to me that one would be so foolish. Prabhupada: Because by independence you can become foolish. Otherwise, there is no meaning of independence. Independence means you can do whatever you like. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, that yathecchasi tatha kuru. Find out this verse in the Eighteenth Chapter. That independence is there. After instructing the whole Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna, Krsna gave him the independence, “Now whatever you like, you can do.” Krsna never forced him to accept the teachings of Bhagavad-gita. He gave him the independence, “Now whatever you like, you can do.” And he agreed. “Yes. Now my illusion is over, I shall act as You say.” The same independence. Yes. Bahulasva: This is in the Eighteenth Chapter. Dharmadhyaksa: iti te jnanam akhyatam guhyad guhyataram maya vimrsyaitad asesena yathecchasi tatha kuru “Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. 51

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Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.” Prabhupada: Yes. Now if you say, “Why the soul should become so foolish?” So that is misuse of independence. Intelligent father has got intelligent son, but sometimes he becomes a fool. So what is the reason? He is the part and parcel of the father. He should have become exactly like the father. But he does not become like the father. I have seen. In Allahabad was a big lawyer, barrister, Mr. Bannerjee. His eldest son was also barrister and his youngest son, on account of bad association, he became an ekala wala. Ekala means... In India there is a carriage drawn by one horse. So he liked to be an ekala. That means he fell in love, a low class of woman, and by her association, he became an ekala. There are many instances. The Ajamila upakhyana. He was a brahmana and then he fell down very low. So this misuse of independence is always there. Bahulasva: Srila Prabhupada, in our material contaminated state when we act in a foolishly or mad, then we call that tamas, or our ignorance, but in the spiritual sky when the living entity is in his pure state of consciousness, what acts..., Does something act upon him to make him illusioned at that point also? Prabhupada: Yes. Just like Jaya-Vijaya. They committed offense. They did not allow the four Kumaras to enter. That was their fault. And the Kumaras became very sorry. Then they cursed him that “You are not fit to remain in this place.” So we sometimes commit mistake. That is also misuse of independence. Or we are prone to fall down because we are small. Just like small fragment of fire. Although it is fire, it is prone to be extinguished. The big fire does not extinguish. So Krsna is the big fire, and we are part and parcel, sparks, very small. So within the fire there are sparks, “Fut, Fut!” There are so many. But if the sparks fall down, then it is extinguished. It is like that. The fall down means material world. . . Here once again, Srila Prabhupada compares the original position of the conditioned souls to that of Jaya and Vijaya in Vaikuntha. We are “just like Jaya and Vijaya.” Dr. John Mize: Did all the souls that were in the spiritual sky fall out of the spiritual sky at once or at different times, or are there any souls that are always good, they’re not foolish, they don’t fall down? Prabhupada: No, there are... Majority, 90%, they are always good. They never fall down. Dr. John Mize: So we’re among the 10%. Prabhupada: Yes. Or less than that. In the material, whole material world all the living entities they are... Just like in the prison house, there are some population, but they are not majority. The majority of the population, they are outside the prison house. Similarly, majority of living being, part and parcel of God, they are in the spiritual world. Only a few fall down. 52

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Srila Prabhupada clearly considers the fallen souls to have been originally part of the population of the spiritual world, which in this context means a spiritual planet where the souls are directly engaged in Krsna’s service. So if no souls fall from the spiritual world, then Srila Prabhupada would not say that 90 percent of the souls there are “always good.” He would say that 100 percent are always good, and that the fallen, conditioned souls have fallen from somewhere else. Dr. John Mize: Does Krsna know ahead of time that a soul is going to be foolish and fall? Prabhupada: Krsna? Yes, Krsna may know because He is omniscient. Dr. John Mize: Are more souls falling all the time? Prabhupada: Not all the time. But there is the tendency of fall down, not for all, but because there is independence... Everyone is not liking to misuse the independence. The same example: Just like a government constructing a city and constructs also prison house because the government knows that somebody will be criminal. So their shelter must be also constructed. It is very easy to understand. Not that cent percent population will be criminal, but government knows that some of them will be. Otherwise why they construct prison house also? One may say, “Where is the criminal? You are constructing...” Government knows, there will be criminal. So if the ordinary government can know, why God cannot know? Because there is tendency. Dr. John Mize: The origin of that tendency is...? Prabhupada: Yes. Dr. John Mize: From where does that tendency come? Prabhupada: Tendency means the independence. So everyone can know that independence means one can use it properly, one can misuse it. That is independence. If you make it one way only, that you cannot become fall down, that is not independence. That is force. Therefore Krsna says, yathecchasi tatha kuru. “Now you do whatever you like.” Jayatirtha: Because Krsna is independent, therefore the part and parcels... Prabhupada: Yes. Part and parcel must have a little portion of independence. Qualitatively, part and parcel means... Just like you take a drop of water from the sea. The, all the chemical composition is there in the drop. So Krsna is fully independent. So we living entities we are drop. Still, the independence quality is there in minute quantity. Dr. John Mize: But Krsna has no tendency to fall, whereas we do. Prabhupada: No. Because Krsna is God. Therefore He is all good. Even He falls down, to our estimation, it is not fall down. (break) ...cannot judge God. If we are devotee, in all circumstances we shall glorify God, “You are all-good.” That is devotee. You cannot criticize God, “Oh, You are doing such thing,” no. Dr. John Mize: I’m still puzzled about the relationship of the soul to God. If the soul is eternal, as God is, and yet some souls have the tendency to fall and others don’t have that tendency... 53

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Prabhupada: No, no, eternal does not mean not fall. Suppose you are now professor. So you can fall down from your position. But that does not mean you are not eternal. If you are fall down from your position, you do not lose your eternity. You simply fall down. You can become a professor; you can become an ordinary man. But you are eternal in all circumstance. Eternal... Fall down does not mean that he loses his eternal. That is stated that na hanyate hanyamane sarire. Find out. Ajo nityah sasvato ‘yam na hanyate hanyamane sarire. Na jayate na mriyate va kadacit. The living entity is never born or it never dies. This is eternity. You change your body, but you eternal. The message that comes through repeatedly is that we can fall down from our original position as servant of Krsna by misuse of independence. It is clear that one falls down from a personal relationship. Nothing here suggests that we fall down from some impersonal position in the brahmajyoti. When Srila Prabhupada is talking about the spiritual world, he means the Vaikuntha planets, the topmost of which is Goloka Vrndavana. Dr. John Mize: When the soul was in the spiritual sky, it also had a mind and an intelligence like here? Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Yes. Unless he has got mind, how he misuses intelligence? Dr. John Mize: But he misused that intelligence in his freedom, his independence. Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Mind is there also. That is spiritual mind. Everything is spiritual. There is nothing material. Body spiritual, mind spiritual, intelligence spiritual, he is spiritual, the land spiritual, water spiritual—everything is spiritual. That is spiritual world. Here in the material world, except the spirit soul, everything is material. The references to the land and water being spiritual in the place where the soul once was clearly shows that the soul was in a Vaikuntha planet, where there are variegated manifestations of the Lord’s spiritual potencies. Such variety does not exist in the brahmajyoti. 2.4.28 “When the living being imitates the Supreme Personality of Godhead then he falls down” In a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture given on November 25, 1976, in Vrndavana, India, Srila Prabhupada said: The mind is the cause of our material existence, mano-dharma. Why we are in this material world? On account of this change of mind. Our position is jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna dasa. We are eternal servant of Krsna, but sometimes the servant thinks, ‘Why shall 54

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I remain a servant? Let me become master.’ That is natural. A master is always in comfortable situation. Sometimes the servant becomes envious: ‘Oh, why this man should always remain in comfortable position and we shall serve? Why not we become also in comfortable position? Let me eat as he eats,’ or ‘Let me sleep now.’ These are so-called comforts. So they want to imitate. When the living being imitates the Supreme Personality of Godhead then he falls down. Krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vancha kare, pasate maya tare japatiya dhare. As soon as he forgets his position—he wants to imitate—that is the beginning of maya, falldown.

2.5 FURTHER CONCLUSIVE STATEMENTS In the previous section, we have seen Srila Prabhupada repeatedly and consistently answer the questions his disciples and others had about the falldown of the spirit soul from Krsna’s association in His spiritual planet. Resolving the apparent contradictions placed before him, he presents the conclusion that once we were with Krsna in His spiritual abode. With that established, we can go on to other statements by Srila Prabhupada that amplify this conclusion. These are statements not given as direct answers to explicit questions. But they nevertheless directly address the questions before us. These statements can be confidently accepted. If someone attempts to bewilder us by quoting some other statement of Srila Prabhupada’s (“no one falls from Vaikuntha”), we know how to answer them. “These apparent contradictions, the same ones you are raising, were brought before Srila Prabhupada several times by his disciples. And Srila Prabhupada always answered that we can and did fall from Vaikuntha. Not only that, but when we go back to Vaikuntha we can fall again. In any case, this socalled falling means that we forget Krsna and dream that we are somewhere else. So in this sense, we really do not fall. But our original position was to be awake in Krsna consciousness.” So as followers of Srila Prabhupada we have to accept that conclusion that we were originally with Krsna in a developed relationship of service. And this is not just blind following. The same thing is there in SrimadBhagavatam and the statements of the previous acaryas. There is nothing in the Sandarbhas of Jiva Goswami, properly understood, following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and Bhaktivinoda Thakura, that contradicts any of Srila Prabhupada’s statements. There is, for example, no statement in the Sandarbhas of Jiva Goswami that says the souls in this material world were never with Krsna in a spiritual planet. This will become clear in Part Four. 2.5.1 “He is fallen already from Vaikuntha planet” Srila Prabhupada said in a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture delivered on June 15, 1972, in Los Angeles: 55

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The living entity is described here ‘purusa’ because he wants to enjoy. Purusa is the enjoyer. Actually enjoyer is Krsna, but we are imitating Krsna. We want to become God. That is the Mayavada philosophy. That is our trouble. I am trying to imitate something which I cannot. Suppose if I want to be God, is it possible to become God? But they are trying to be. Bhramadbhih purusaih. So in this way, for this misunderstanding, he is falsely trying to have happiness through so many species of life. ‘Let me enter this life, let me enter that life, that life, that life, that ...’ In this way he falls down. He is fallen already from Vaikuntha planet. He is fallen in this material world, and he is again trying to make progress. So here, addressing the position of the conditioned soul in the material world, Srila Prabhupada definitely says that “he is fallen already from Vaikuntha planet.” How is this to be taken in light of statements that “no one falls from Vaikuntha.” It appears to be a contradiction. But Srila Prabhupada says that if there appears to be a contradiction the student should inquire. And we have seen in the previous section that in answer to direct questions about such contradictions, Srila Prabhupada has confirmed that souls can and do fall from Vaikuntha by misuse of free will. This conclusion must therefore stand. A disciple of Srila Prabhupada cannot go back to general statements by Srila Prabhupada that “no one falls from Vaikuntha” and use them to dispute his specific statement that the conditioned souls in this material world have fallen from a Vaikuntha planet. As we have seen, Srila Prabhupada also gives another adjustment. He says that actually we do not fall from Vaikuntha. Rather, Krsna creates a situation by which we think we have fallen. Statements by the previous acaryas must be seen in this light. If they cannot be harmonized with Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, then we have a difference between the acaryas. But we accept Srila Prabhupada’s version, thinking the other acarya must be saying the same thing but in a way that we cannot understand at the moment. Also keep in mind that even advocates of the view that the conditioned souls in this material world have not fallen from Vaikuntha planets admit that there is no statement by the previous acaryas of the kind “the conditioned souls in this material world were never in a Vaikuntha planet.” 2.5.2 “Down from Vaikuntha” In a lecture on the Bhagavad-gita given in London on August 6, 1973, Srila Prabhupada said: “We have also come down from Vaikuntha some millions and millions of years ago...” 2.5.3 “Every living entity is originally a devotee of Krsna” 56

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In a Nectar of Devotion lecture given on October 23, 1972, in Vrndavana, India, Srila Prabhupada said: “We should be always ready to offer respect to all, not only devotees, but everyone. Everyone. Because every living entity is originally a devotee of Krsna. But circumstantially, being covered by the coat of maya, he’s playing like demon. But his original nature is a devotee of Krsna. Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsnera dasa. Everyone is eternally servant of Krsna. But being influenced by maya, when he gets this body, given by maya...Prakrtih kriyamananih gunaih karmani sarvasah, when he conducted by the three gunas of maya, he thinks himself otherwise.” 2.5.4 “Just try to revive your lost relationship with God, or Krsna” In a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture given on August 17, 1968, in Montreal, Srila Prabhupada said: Therefore according to Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is no actually bread problem. The only problem is that we have forgotten our relationship with God. Whatever... Tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido. Therefore the instruction of Bhagavat is ‘Just try to revive your lost relationship with God, or Krsna.’ That relationship is never extinguished but sometimes it is covered. Just like a crazy boy forgets his father and mother and home, goes away. But the relationship between the son and the parents cannot be lost. As soon as the son comes back, the parents receives him very nicely. Similarly, we are all sons of the Supreme Lord. We have forgotten our father, we have forgotten our relationship, and we are loitering in this material world as helpless, and if we revive our consciousness, our Krsna consciousness, that ‘My home is in the spiritual world, I am a foreigner in this material world...’ Just like a foreigner is traveling from one place to another, similarly, I am also changing my body from one body to another, one planet to another. But there is no permanent settlement anywhere in this material world. This is our condition. So Krsna consciousness means to be rightly situated in the original consciousness that we are all sons of God, Krsna. 2.5.5 “To revive our old relationship with God” In a lecture given on October 7, 1975, in Durban, Srila Prabhupada said: So therefore we have to first of all establish our relationship with God. Your establish, is already established. Just like the father and the son. The relationship is already there. It is not... But still, sometimes the son 57

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goes out of home and may be forgetting his father. Similarly, we are out of home. We have come from the spiritual world in this material world. We have forgotten our father. So we have to revive this relationship with our father, or God, or Krsna. That is the main business of human life. In other species of life lower than the human being it is not possible to revive our old relationship with God. But in this life... Therefore this is the greatest opportunity.

2.5.6 “Fallen means he has given up the service of Krsna and he has taken the service of maya” In a lecture given in Tokyo on April 20, 1972, Srila Prabhupada said: Fallen means when one falls down from his actual position. That is called fallen. So every conditioned soul is fallen because he has fallen down from his actual position. What is his actual position? The position is that he is eternal servant of Krsna. That is the constitutional position of living entity. But he has fallen means he has given up the service of Krsna and he has taken the service of maya, means so many things. Somebody is serving country, society, friendship, love, and so many things. They have created service. At last dog service, cat service. But because they have forgotten Krsna’s service, therefore they are called fallen. 2.5.7 “Our natural position is ever liberated, eternally liberated” In a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture given on June 20, 1973, in Mayapur, India, Srila Prabhupada said: Now we are under the control of this external energy, material energy. We have become controlled, just like we become controlled by the prison authorities when we are criminals. Not ordinarily. Ordinarily we are free. Those who are not within the walls of prison house, they are free. They are acting wherever they like they are going, but within the law. Similarly we have got freedom. There are living entities, their number is greater. Nitya-mukta, ever liberated. They live in the spiritual world, Vaikuntha planets. Nitya-mukta. Nitya-mukta means eternally liberated. They never come down in this material world. And we are nitya-baddha—ever conditioned, eternally conditioned. Eternally conditioned means... We cannot be eternally conditioned, because we are part and parcel of Krsna. Our natural position is ever liberated, eternally liberated. But 58

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because we wanted to imitate Krsna, we wanted to become Krsna, as the Mayavadis want to do, therefore in the spiritual world, Krsna is the only enjoyer. Ekam eva advitiyam. Aham, bhoktaram yajna tapasam sarva-loka mahesvaram. Sarva-loka, not only of the Vaikunthalokas, planets, but these planets also. Everywhere, Krsna is the supreme proprietor. Therefore he is the supreme enjoyer. We cannot be enjoyer. We each can simply be servitor; that is our natural position. Just like a dog, when it serves a nice master, he’s happy. Otherwise, it is street dog. Nobody cares for it. Street dog. A street dog has no position. Sometimes they are killed. Similarly, when we live under the full protection of the Supreme Lord, that is our healthy condition, that is our real life. And as soon as we give up this position to be subordinate, to be predominated by the Supreme Lord, then we are bewildered. We are thrown into this, under the control of this material nature, and according to our work we get different bodies. 2.5.8 “Just to try to revive your original consciousness” In the following excerpts from a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture given on December 6, 1973, in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada said some important things about the original position of the soul. Just like this finger is very intimately related with this body. But if it is separated it has no value. But again if there is possibility to join this finger with this body, then again it begins its value. That is Krsna consciousness movement. We are now separated from Krsna. We have forgotten Krsna. This is our position. . . . Just like you have lost your father, if you find out your father, immediately your relationship with father is revived. There is no question. ‘Here’s my father.’ And father says, ‘Here is my son.’ Because the relationship is very intimate. Son may go out for years together, but as soon as he comes back home he sees his father, mother, and that original intimacy immediately revived. So we have got that intimate relation. So when we come to that position to understand our intimate relationship with God, or Krsna, that is called svarupa-siddhi, svarupa-siddhi. Svarupa-siddhi means realization of perfection, svarupa-siddhi. So here Suta Gosvami says sauhardena gadhena, santa. If a old friend meets another old friend, they become very much delighted. Similarly, if the father meets the lost child, he becomes very delighted and the child also becomes delighted. The husband, wife separated, again they meet. So they become very delighted. It is quite natural. The master and servant after many, many years, if they again meet, they become very delighted. . . . .” So in this way we are related with Krsna somehow or other. In veneration, in servitude, as friend, as paternal affection, or as conjugal lover.... You see. So we have to revive that. And as 59

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soon as you revive any one of them, intimacy, then we become happy, because that is eternal. The same example... The finger, so long is separated, it is not happy. As soon as it is joined it is happy. Similarly, we have got our eternal relationship with Krsna. Now we are separated, but as soon as we join with him again we become yenatma suprasidati. Therefore Krsna consciousness movement is beneficial for everyone just to try to revive your original consciousness. That is already there, nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti. Our Krsna consciousness is eternally a fact.” Clearly, the soul originally has a developed personal relationship with Krsna. This relationship is in one of the five rasas. As Srila Prabhupada says, “So in this way we are related with Krsna somehow or other. In veneration, in servitude, as friend, as paternal affection, or as conjugal lover.... You see. So we have to revive that. And as soon as you revive any one of them, intimacy, then we become happy, because that is eternal.” There is no hint that the original relationship is undeveloped or in any way different from the relationship that a soul attains on going back to Godhead. 2.5.9 “You shall come back again to Me” These senses are our... Actually they are not mine. The senses are given by the Lord. Last day I explained. But we are very proud of our senses. But these senses are given just like a boy is given some plaything by the father, similarly, we wanted to enjoy this material world. Therefore our material senses are awarded: “All right, you enjoy. You just have experience of this material world, and when you get experience that ‘I am not happy,’ then you shall come back again to Me.’ So senses are actually meant for rendering service to the Lord” (Bhagavadgita lecture, April 15, 1966, New York). In this selection, we again get a glimpse into the confidential dealings of Lord Krsna with a soul who is turning away from Him. 2.5.10 “Every living entity, even if he is in the Vaikuntha Loka, has chance of falling down” On October 27, 1969, in a letter to Upendra dasa, Srila Prabhupada wrote: The conditioned souls are always within the Maha Vishnu Form, whereas the liberated souls in Vaikuntha, they are engaged in the service of the Lord. Constitutionally every living entity, even if he is in the Vaikuntha Loka, has chance of falling down. Therefore the living entity is called marginal energy. But when the falldown has taken place for the conditioned soul is very difficult to ascertain. Therefore two classes are designated: 60

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eternally liberated and eternally conditioned. But for argument’s sake, a living entity being marginal energy, he can’t be eternally conditioned. The Time is so unlimited that the conditioned souls appear to be eternally so, but from the philosophical view he cannot be eternally conditioned. The conditioned souls are always with the Maha-Visnu form, but they have not always been conditioned. Therefore, they are not originally in the Maha-Visnu form. 2.5.11 “We are all originally situated on the platform of Krsna consciousness” On November 17, 1970, in a letter to Sriman Stan, Srila Prabhupada wrote: We are all originally situated on the platform of Krsna consciousness in our eternal personal relationship of love of Krsna. But due to forgetfulness we become familiar with the material world or Maya. As soon as one chants the Hare Krsna Mantra with sincerity and without offense (you know there are ten kinds of offenses to the Holy Name which we are to avoid very, very carefully) his original Krsna consciousness is immediately revived. Krsna consciousness means to be always remembering Krsna in some way or other, just like we are immediately thinking of Krsna when we chant His Name, Krsna, and we are always thinking how we can do something nice to please Krsna with some service or other, or we are reading literature about Krsna or speaking about Krsna. In this way we are always remembering Krsna and that is our natural conscious state. So naturally everything about Krsna is originally known to us all and as soon as we begin to associate with the devotees of the Lord and chant His Holy Name, this memory gradually becomes stronger as we remember our constitutional position of always serving Krsna in different ways. Here is a clear indication that the original relationship with Krsna is not different from the final state that is achieved after going back to Godhead. The original state is described as a personal relationship of love of Krsna. 2.5.12 “We have given up the company of Krsna” On September 28, 1972, during a Srimad-Bhagavatam lecture in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada said: We are sparks of fire. So with the fire, if the sparks are “fut-put”... You see sometimes, the sparks; it looks very beautiful. The same spark, as soon as falls down from the fire, extinguished. The fiery quality immediately extinguished. So our material condition is like that. We 61

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have given up the company of Krsna, and we wanted to be happy in this material world; therefore we are suffering. So same spark, particle of carbon, if you put again to the fire, it will again become red hot and fire. So this is Krsna consciousness movement, that we are trying the sparks, which by chance has fallen down from the fire, to pick it up again and put it in the fire. That is real happiness. 2.5.13 “I have given up service of Krsna” On November 28, 1972, during a lecture on the Bhagavad-gita in Hyderabad, Srila Prabhupada said: We are now serving our senses. That is our material characteristic. Material characteristic because originally I am servant. I am not master. But I have given up service of Krsna. Krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare. “Why shall I become servant? I shall become Krsna.” All right, you become Krsna. You become enjoyer. That is material world. Everyone is trying to become Krsna, enjoyer. So there is fight. Always. Here Srila Prabhupada again shows that the original relationship with Krsna is one of active service. We are not originally situated in the brahmajyoti with a dormant possibility of a relationship with Krsna.

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2.5.14 “He falls down from his real engagement in the service of the Lord” In the purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.37, Srila Prabhupada writes: Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-spiritual, He can descend from the spiritual sky without changing His body, and thus He is known as acyuta, or infallible. When a living entity falls down to the material world, however, he has to accept a material body, and therefore, in his material embodiment, he cannot be called acyuta. Because he falls down from his real engagement in the service of the Lord, the living entity gets a material body to suffer or try to enjoy in the miserable material conditions of life. Therefore the fallen living entity is cyuta, whereas the Lord is called acyuta. 2.5.15 “To enjoy independently, without Krsna” In the purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.24.58, Srila Prabhupada writes: Both the Lord and the living entity, being qualitatively spirit soul, have the tendency for peaceful enjoyment, but when the part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead unfortunately wants to enjoy independently, without Krsna, he is put into the material world, where he begins his life as Brahma and is gradually degraded to the status of an ant or a worm in stool. 2.5.16 “Even if he is elevated to a Vaikuntha planet, he falls down” In the purport to Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 15.9, Srila Prabhupada writes: From the very beginning of His childhood life Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the system of observing a fast on the Ekadasi day. In the Bhakti-sandarbha by Srila Jiva Gosvami there is a quotation from the Skanda Purana admonishing that a person who eats grains on Ekadasi becomes a murderer of his mother, father, brother and spiritual master, and even if he is elevated to a Vaikuntha planet, he falls down. The point here is that the concept of falling from Vaikuntha was not unknown in the Puranas.

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2.5.17 “Even if you are in Vaikuntha, you will fall down” On July 4, 1974, in a lecture on the Bhagavad-gita given in Honolulu, Srila Prabhupada said: After all, the living entity falls down from the spiritual world. Just like Jaya Vijaya. There is possibility, if you do not stick to the spiritual principle, even if you are in Vaikuntha, you will fall down, what to speak of this material world? Because in the Vaikuntha or in the spiritual world, no contaminated soul can stay there. He will fall down. Here once more we see that spirit souls not only can fall down from Vaikuntha. They do fall down. Why? Because they “do not stick to the spiritual principle.” 2.5.18 “They cannot remain in Vaikuntha world” On May 20, 1972, in a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam given in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada said: The whole thing is sense gratification. Here, anyone who has come... Indriyartha artha-vadinah. Their only aim is sense gratification. That’s all. Anyone. Beginning from Brahma down to the ant. Material life means a desire for sense gratification. They’re fallen because they wanted to gratify their senses. They cannot remain in Vaikuntha world. In the Vaikuntha world, only the one, the Supreme Lord, His senses should be satisfied not anyone’s else. That is called bhakti. 2.5.19 “We have fallen down, just like Jaya-Vijaya” On May 22, 1975, in a lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam given in Melbourne, Srila Prabhupada said: But if you remain eternally in the instruction... And if you fall from the instruction, how you can remain eternal? You have to stay on the platform. Then eternally you are safe. If you fall down from the platform, then it is your fault. Just like we are all in the Vaikuntha planet. Now, we wanted to enjoy this material world. We have fallen down, just like Jaya-Vijaya. Now we are trying to go back again. Therefore we say, “Go back to home, back to Godhead.” Here Srila Prabhupada says, “Just like we are all in the Vaikuntha planet.” He is asking his hearers to picture that. So let us picture it. Yes, we are all in a Vaikuntha planet. Then what happens? “Now, we wanted to enjoy this material world. We 64

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have fallen down, just like Jaya-Vijaya.” Where have we fallen down from? From a Vaikuntha planet. Were we in an undeveloped state? No. We were “just like JayaVijaya.” Why did we fall down? “We wanted to enjoy this material world.” And now what? “We are trying to go back again.” Back where? To a Vaikuntha planet. And that is why we say “back to Godhead.” Here is some very strong evidence. Srila Prabhupada is directly addressing the position of the conditioned souls in this material world. He is saying directly that they were originally in a Vaikuntha planet, engaged in the instruction of always serving Krsna. 2.5.20 “All spirit souls are coming from Vaikuntha” On July 9, 1970, in a letter to Jagadisa dasa, Srila Prabhupada wrote: Regarding your several questions: Where are the spirit souls coming from that are taking microbe bodies? It is not a matter of any particular body. These spirit souls and all spirit souls are coming from Vaikuntha, but in these material worlds they are taking various grades of bodies according to their material activities. There is no ‘new’ soul. ‘New’ and ‘old’ are due to this material body, but the soul is never born and never dies, so if there is no birth how there can be new soul? 2.5.21 “Revive his original state of loving service” In his purport to Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 5.66, Srila Prabhupada writes: The conditioned state is caused by misuse of the individual independence of the spiritual platform, for this separates the living entity from the association of the spiritual energy. But when the living entity is enlightened by the grace of the Supreme Lord or His pure devotee and becomes inclined to revive his original state of loving service, he is on the most auspicious platform of eternal bliss and knowledge. The marginal jiva, or living entity, misuses his independence and becomes averse to the eternal service attitude when he independently thinks he is not energy but the energetic. This misconception of his own existence leads him to the attitude of lording it over material nature. 2.5.22 “Leaving His place, I have come to this material world” On June 27, 1974, in a lecture on the Bhagavad-gita given in Melbourne, Srila Prabhupada said: Suppose a boy is very rich man’s son. But still, he thinks, “Why shall I 65

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live under the rules and regulations of my father? Let me go out. I shall enjoy life freely.” Freely, what freedom? You are already rich man’s son. You can enjoy the property of your very, very rich powerful father, and what independence you will enjoy? This is criminality. This is criminality. We are sons of God, part and parcels of God, and God means almighty. So we have got almighty father, and leaving His place, I have come to this material world to enjoy independently. 2.5.23 “The servants who have rebelled against Krsna” On March 21, 1974, in a lecture on the Bhagavad-gita given in Bombay, Srila Prabhupada said: Jivera svarupa haya nitya-krsna-dasa. That is our identification. We are eternal servants of Krsna. Therefore the servants who have rebelled against Krsna, they have come to this material world. Therefore, to reclaim these servants, Krsna comes. 2.5.24 “We shall revive our original spiritual body” On July 18, 1966, in a lecture on the Bhagavad-gita given in New York, Srila Prabhupada said: This birth and death [is] due to my, this material body. So as soon as we get our original spiritual body and get out of the contamination of this material body, then we shall be as good as Krsna. That is the whole process to understand. So we have to... This Krsna consciousness means that by the process of Krsna consciousness we shall revive our original spiritual body.

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2.5.25 “He revives his spiritual body” In his purport to Bhagavad-gita 15.7, Srila Prabhupada writes: The following information is there in the Madhyandi-nayana-sruti: sa va esa brahma-nistha idam sariram marttyam atisrjya brahmabhisampadya brahmana pasyati brahmana srnoti brahmanaivedam. It is stated here that when a living entity gives up this material embodiment and enters into the spiritual world, he revives his spiritual body, and in his spiritual body he can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. He can hear and speak to Him face to face, and he can understand the Supreme Personality as He is. The key word in terms of our discussion is “revive,” which indicates that in its original condition the soul has a spiritual body and is rendering service to Krsna. In the same purport, Srila Prabhupada also says: That fragmental portion, when liberated from the bodily entanglement, revives its original spiritual body in the spiritual sky in a spiritual planet and enjoys association with the Supreme Lord. 2.5.26 “He has forgotten his relationship with Krsna” If we are going to discuss the original constitutional position of the living being and his falldown, what higher authority could there be than Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself? When Sanatana Goswami asked, “Who am I?”, the Lord replied: jivera svarupa haya krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’ “It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna.” (Cc. Madhya 22.108) In text 117 of that chapter Lord Caitanya then goes on to explain: krsna bhuli ‘sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha ataeva maya tare deya samsara-duhkha “Forgetting Krsna, the living entity has been attracted by the external energy from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [maya] gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence.” Srila Prabhupada comments: When the living entity forgets his constitutional position as an eternal servant of Krsna, he is immediately entrapped by the illusory energy. 67

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The original position is thus one of direct service to Krsna. Srila Prabhupada further states: The living entity is eternal, and he existed before the creation of this material world. Unfortunately he has forgotten his relationship with Krsna. It has been suggested that the reason for the conditioned soul’s entrance into the material world is his failure to awaken a supposedly dormant, potential tendency to serve Krsna. This is clearly contradicted by the references to forgetfulness of an existing relationship of service. Srila Prabhupada describes the real reason for the falldown: One should understand that due to his desire to enjoy himself in competition with Krsna, the living entity comes into material existence. 2.5.27 “We will be reinstated in our original constitutional position” In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.39, Srila Prabhupada writes: . . . we should give up the idea that without Krsna we can enjoy freedom in this material world. This idea is the reason we have become entangled. Now it is our duty to seek shelter again at the Lord’s lotus feet. This shelter is described as abhaya, or fearless. Since Krsna is not subject to birth, death, old age, or disease, and since we are part and parcel of Krsna, we also are not subject to birth, death, old age, and disease, but we have become subject to these illusory problems because of our forgetfulness of Krsna and our position as His eternal servants (jivera svarupa haya krsnera ‘nityadasa’). Therefore, if we practice devotional service by always thinking of the Lord, always glorifying Him, and always chanting about Him, as described in text 37 (srnvan grnan samsmarayams ca cintayan), we will be reinstated in our original constitutional position and thus be saved. 2.5.28 “If we revive our original intimate relationship with Krsna” In his purport to Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.130, Srila Prabhupada writes: Thus Krsna knows the cause of the distressed condition of the conditioned soul. He therefore descends from His original position to instruct the conditioned soul and inform him about his forgetfulness of his relationship with Krsna. Krsna exhibits Himself in His relationships in Vrndavana and at the Battle of Kuruksetra so that people will be attracted to Him and again return home, back to Godhead.... If we 68

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revive our original intimate relationship with Krsna, our distressed condition in the material world will be mitigated. This indicates that our original relationship with Krsna is direct and intimate and is not merely a possibility of relationship. It is to this original relationship that we, as is so often stated by Srila Prabhupada, return. 2.5.29 “When the pure soul wants to give up the Lord’s service” In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.14.1, Srila Prabhupada writes: When the pure soul wants to give up the Lord’s service to enjoy the material world, Krsna certainly gives him a chance to enter the material world. 2.5.30 “There is only a material world for those who want to imitate the Lord” In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.63, Srila Prabhupada explains the cause of the living entity’s falldown from the spiritual world: There is only a material world for those who want to imitate the Lord and become enjoyers. Indeed, the material world is nothing but forgetfulness of the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the creator of everything. The distinction between matter and spirit is created by the sleeping energy of the Lord when the Lord wants to give some facility to those living entities who want to imitate the Lord in His enjoyment. . . . For instance, sometimes children want to imitate their mother and cook in the kitchen, and at such a time the mother supplies them with some toys so that the children can imitate her cooking. Similarly, when some of the living entities want to imitate the activities of the Lord, this material cosmic manifestation is created for them by the Lord. To imitate the Lord’s pastimes, the soul must be aware of them. One might propose that the soul can be aware of the pastimes without being engaged in them, but this hypothesis is negated by Srila Prabhupada’s statement, already quoted, that the living entity “falls down from his real engagement in the service of the Lord” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.37, purport). 2.5.31 “The rasas were originally exchanged between the spiritual living being and the spiritual whole” Part of many recent theories on the original condition of the jiva is that it was not 69

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situated in a direct rasa with Krsna. But in his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.3, Srila Prabhupada states: Every living entity, beginning from Brahma, the firstborn living being within the material world, down to the insignificant ant, desires to relish some sort of taste derived from sense perceptions. These sensual pleasures are technically called rasas . . . [the rasas are listed] . . . Such rasas are displayed between man and man and between animal and animal. There is no possibility of an exchange or rasa between a man and an animal or between a man and any other species of living beings within the material world. The rasas are exchanged between members of the same species. But as far as the spirit souls are concerned, they are one qualitatively with the Supreme Lord. Therefore, the rasas were originally exchanged between the spiritual living being and the spiritual whole, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Note that the passage starts with a clear reference to conditioned souls in the material world. They display rasas. Then it is said of these rasas that they were originally exchanged between these living entities and the Lord. Then what happens? In the material existence, the rasa is experienced in a perverted form, which is temporary. Srila Prabhupada concludes: . . . one who attains full knowledge of these different rasas, which are the basic principle of activities, can understand the false representations of the original rasas which are reflected in the material world. 2.5.32 “The original position is one of rendering service” In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.27.1, Srila Prabhupada writes: As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam, liberation means reinstatement in one’s original position. The original position is one of rendering service to the Lord (bhakti-yogena, bhaktya). The word reinstatement is significant. This purport directly contradicts the theory that the original position of the jiva is simply that of “potential” servitor. 2.5.33 “Return them to the normal stage of engaging the senses in the service of the Lord” 70

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In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.39, Srila Prabhupada states: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is the object for fulfilling the senses of all living entities. Illusioned by the glaring reflection of the external energy, the living entities worship the senses instead of engaging them in properly fulfilling the desires of the Supreme . . . . Originally the senses of the living entity were awarded for this purpose, namely to engage them in the transcendental loving service of the Lord or that of His devotees, but the conditioned souls, illusioned by the material energy, became captivated by sense enjoyment. Therefore the whole process of God consciousness is meant to rectify the conditional activities of the senses and to re-engage them in the direct service of the Lord. The word re-engage is significant because it confirms that in the original position the living entity was engaged in direct service to the Lord by means of transcendental senses. Srila Prabhupada further states: . . . servants like Brahmaji, Naradaji, Vyasaji and their company become busy with the same purpose of the Lord: to reclaim the conditioned souls from the field of sense gratification and return them to the normal stage of engaging the senses in the service of the Lord. The words reclaim and return are significant. The original position of the living entity is clearly one of direct service. 2.5.34 “Separated from the Supreme Lord” In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.61, Srila Prabhupada summarizes the original constitutional position of the living entity as well as his falldown: This fact is explained by a Vaisnava kavi, or poet: krsna bhuli ‘sei jiva anadi-bahir-mukha/ ataeva maya tare deya samsara-duhkha. When the living entity forgets the Supreme Lord and wants to enjoy himself independently, imitating the Supreme Lord, he is captured by the false notion that he is the enjoyer and is separated from the Supreme Lord. The words “separated from the Lord” indicate the direct nature of the original relationship between the living entity and the Lord. 2.5.35 “He should be restored to his pure identity” In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.16.40, Srila Prabhupada quotes the following important verse from the Narada-pancaratra and translates it in such a way as to clearly indicate the original constitutional position of the fallen jiva: sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam 71

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tat-paratvena nirmalam hrsikena hrsikesasevanam bhaktir ucyate “One should be free from all material designations and cleansed of all material contaminations. He should be restored to his pure identity, in which he engages his senses in the service of the proprietor of the senses. That is called devotional service.” Here it is clear that the pure identity to which the jiva is restored is one of direct personal service to the Lord with transcendental senses. There is no question of merely a dormant propensity to enter into a service relationship.

2.5.36 “The omnipotent Lord displays his pleasure potency as the living entities” Many theories of the original state of the jiva involve misconceptions about the energy of the Lord to which the jiva belongs. It is clear, however, from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings that the jiva ultimately is a manifestation of the pleasure potency of the Lord. This is consistent with the jiva being originally engaged in the Lord’s service. It is inconsistent with other theories, such as the jiva’s origin in the brahmajyoti, in the sat feature of existence only. Ultimately everything is Brahman (sarvam khalv idam brahma), but this simply means that everything is the Lord’s energy, and the Lord’s energy is variegated. The general statement that the living entity is Brahman and that Krsna is Parabrahman is correct, but more refined definitions are also given by Srila Prabhupada. In his purport to Caitanyacaritamrta, Adi-lila 7.116, he writes: The basic principle for the existence of the living entities is called cidvilasa, or spiritual pleasure. The omnipotent Lord displays his pleasure potency as the living entities. The Lord is described in the Vedantasutra as anandamayo ’bhyasat. He is by nature the reservoir of all pleasures, and because He wants to enjoy pleasure, there must be energies to give Him pleasure or supply Him the impetus for pleasure. 2.5.37 “In our original relationship with the Supreme Lord there is real love” In the introduction to the Caitanya-caritamrta (page 9 in the English edition) Srila Prabhupada writes: In our original relationship with the Supreme Lord there is real love, and that love is reflected pervertedly through material conditions. Our real love is continuous and unending, but because that love is reflected pervertedly in this material world, it lacks continuity 72

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and is inebriating. In our original direct relationship with Krsna (which is characterized by “real love” and not “dormant” love) we are situated in ananda and not merely in the sat feature of existence. Srila Prabhupada further states: Krsna has immense potencies, of which three are principal: the internal, the external, and the marginal potencies. In the internal potency there are three divisions: samvit, hladini, and sandhini. The hladini potency is Krsna’s pleasure potency. All living entities have this pleasure-seeking potency, for all beings are trying to have pleasure. This is the very nature of the living entity. Ananda is therefore not a secondary, suppressed, unmanifest feature of the living entity in its original condition; rather it is the basic principle of existence.

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2.5.38 “It is originally a part and parcel of the pleasure potency” In The Science of Self-realization, Chapter 8, Srila Prabhupada states: The whole basis of Krsna consciousness and a relationship with Krsna is the pleasure potency of Krsna Himself. Srimati Radharani, the damsels of Vraja, and Krsna’s cowherd boyfriends are all expansions of Krsna’s pleasure potency. We all have a tendency toward pleasure because the source from which we emanate is fully potent in pleasure. Impersonalists cannot think in these terms, for they deny the pleasure potency. . . . All relationships with Krsna which aim at satisfying Krsna’s senses are manifestations of Krsna’s pleasure potency. As far as the individual soul is concerned, it is originally a part and parcel of the pleasure potency of the reservoir of pleasure Himself. So we are not just “Brahman,” in the sense of being originally manifested by the brahmajyoti. We are originally part of the internal pleasure potency of the Lord. 2.5.39 “The living entity again becomes reinstated in his original position” In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.10.12, Srila Prabhupada states: The Lord is the supreme enjoyer, and the living entities are meant to assist the Lord in His enjoyment and thus participate in the transcendental enjoyment of everyone. The enjoyer and the enjoyed both participate in enjoyment, but, deluded by the illusory energy, the living entities want to become the enjoyer like the Lord, although they are not meant for such enjoyment. Some allege that the original position of the jiva is in the brahmajyoti and that there he merely experiences the sat feature of existence. Others allege that the jiva originally has only a dormant seed of a relationship with Krsna. But here we find that in his original position the living entity is situated in ananda, spiritual enjoyment in company with the Lord. Srila Prabhupada states: In the spiritual world the living entities are pure in nature, and therefore they are associates in the enjoyment of the Supreme Lord. In the material world the spirit of enjoyment of the living entities by dint of their own actions (karma) gradually fades by the laws of nature, and thus the illusory energy dictates in the ears of the conditioned souls that they should become one with the Lord. This is the last snare of the illusory energy. When the last illusion is also cleared off by the mercy of the Lord, the living entity again becomes reinstated in his original position and thus becomes actually liberated. 74

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It is clearly stated that the original position is in spiritual pleasure. The word reinstated is significant. Also, being merged in the brahmajyoti is called “the last snare of the illusory energy,” not the first snare. According to some advocates our original position is in the brahmajyoti, but that idea is not supported herein. The original position is servant of Krsna in the spiritual world. Some souls give up this position and are placed in the material world, where they seek material enjoyment by karma. When they tire of this, they may try to merge into the brahmajyoti. But later they may get the chance to return to their original position of service. 2.6 CONCLUSION Srila Prabhupada’s teachings reveal that the jiva was originally situated in a direct loving relationship with Lord Krsna or Lord Narayana in a spiritual planet. The cause for the jiva leaving this original situation is misuse of free will. This free will is an inherent spiritual quality of the soul, and its exercise does not depend upon the action of any external force, such as maya. Misuse of free will is motivated by envy of the Supreme Lord, by the desire to usurp the Lord’s position as supreme enjoyer and imitate His pastimes. Srila Prabhupada even goes so far as to give a confidential glimpse of the exchanges that go on between Krsna and a soul who is intent upon misusing its free will. Krsna tries to convince the soul not to misuse its free will, but if the soul insists, then it goes to the material world by the arrangement of the Lord. The Lord says, “Yes, you go.” But the Lord accompanies the living entity as Supersoul, and is always eager to have the soul come back to Him. When the soul does go back to Godhead, says Srila Prabhupada, this is nothing new, but merely a return to the original position. Questions about some apparently contradictory statements to the effect that souls do not fall from Vaikuntha were put to Srila Prabhupada by his disciples. Srila Prabhupada repeatedly answered these questions in a consistent way. He said it is possible to fall from the spiritual world not only once, but even after returning there. Therefore, statements about souls not falling from the spiritual world are to be taken as the general rule. But that there are exceptions to this general rule are clear, not only from Srila Prabhupada’s words but from the words of the SrimadBhagavatam and the previous acaryas in our line, going back to Lord Caitanya. Sometimes Srila Prabhupada expresses the idea of not falling from Vaikuntha in a very precise way that captures the real meaning. For example, in a Bhagavadgita lecture given in New York on July 25, 1966, Srila Prabhupada said that upon leaving this body the Krsna conscious soul “does not require to come back in this material world to have this material body.” The words does not require capture the meaning perfectly. The soul does not have to come back, as it would have to do from the brahmajyoti or any material planet. It does not have to come back, and will not come back, unless it misuses its free will again. That is possible, but very unlikely. Srila Prabhupada has also said that in fact we do not really fall from the spiritual world. We simply forget our relationship with Krsna. We are like a dreaming man. He is sleeping in his own bed, but he forgets this and dreams he is somewhere else. When he wakes up from his dream, he finds himself still in his own bed. Actually, he never left the bed. Similarly, when we desire to forget Krsna we are put into the dream of material life. Actually, we do not fall. We remain in our 75

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position, but we simply forget it and in the dream of material life it appears we have fallen away from our original position. But when we wake up from the dream of material life, we find ourselves still in our original position, where we had been all along. In any case, the clear essence of Srila Prabhupada’s teaching about our original state is that once we were with Krsna. This conclusion also finds support from Srimad-Bhagavatam and from the teachings of the previous acaryas, as we shall see in the following sections. 3. EVIDENCE FROM SRIMAD-BHAGAVATAM 3.1 INTRODUCTION We have seen that the whole question of the origin of the jiva can be settled from the statements of Srila Prabhupada. Originally we were in a direct relationship of service with Krsna in the spiritual world. But we have forgotten this. Sometimes it is said that we have fallen, but it is more accurate to say that we have forgotten our original position. Although the word fallen can be used to describe our position, Srila Prabhupada has explained that in reality we do not actually fall. We simply forget. Although Srila Prabhupada’s statements are sufficient evidence for deciding this question, we can also expect to find support for them in the Vedic scriptures. As explained in the introduction to this paper, one does, however, have to approach the Vedic scriptures with some caution. One will encounter many apparently contradictory statements. So we should approach the Vedic scriptures taking the conclusions of Srila Prabhupada as our guide. We should try to see everything in this light. Otherwise we may be led astray. As far as the Vedic scriptures are concerned, some are more authoritative than others. In his Tattva-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami elaborately explains how SrimadBhagavatam is the best source of knowledge about the Absolute Truth. He therefore quotes it throughout his Sat-Sandarbha as the highest authority. We also know from the Bhagavatam itself that it is the spotless Purana, the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic knowledge, composed by Srila Vyasadeva as a commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. There can thus be no better source of knowledge about the origin of the jiva than the Bhagavatam. 3.2 FOURTH CANTO: THE BRAHMANA AND QUEEN VAIDARBHI 3.2.1 “In the past you had a very intimate friend” For some very direct statements about the original home of the jiva, we may turn to the passages in the Fourth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam that deal with the instructions of the brahmana to Queen Vaidarbhi after the death of her husband. It is clear from the texts and purports that the “brahmana” is, within the allegory, the 76

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Supersoul, Krsna Himself. The brahmana says to Queen Vaidarbhi: Who are you? Whose wife or daughter are you? Who is the man lying here? It appears you are lamenting for this dead body. Don’t you recognize Me? I am your eternal friend. You may remember that many times in the past you have consulted Me. My dear friend, even though you cannot immediately recognize Me, can’t you remember that in the past you had a very intimate friend? Unfortunately, you gave up My company and accepted a position as enjoyer of this material world. My dear gentle friend, both you and I are exactly like two swans. We live together in the same heart, which is just like the Manasa Lake. Although we have been living together for many thousands of years, we are still far away from our original home. [Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.52-54] 3.2.2 “Even while in that position, the Lord remains with him as the Supersoul, his intimate friend” Some devotees point out that Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has said in this connection that the friendly relationship mentioned in these texts refers to the relationship between the soul and Supersoul in Maha-Visnu. But in his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.54, Srila Prabhupada gives this explanation: The original home of the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual world. In the spiritual world both the Lord and the living entities live together very peacefully. Since the living entity remains engaged in the service of the Lord, they both share a blissful life in the spiritual world. However, when the living entity wants to enjoy himself, he falls down into the material world. Even while in that position, the Lord remains with him as the Supersoul, his intimate friend. Srila Prabhupada states, “Since the living entity remains engaged in the service of the Lord, they both share a blissful life in the spiritual world.” In other words, Srila Prabhupada takes the friendly relationship as the original relationship between the living entity and the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world, and not the relation between a conditioned soul and Maha-Visnu. The conditioned souls with MahaVisnu are in a state of susupti, or deep dreamless sleep, and not an active relationship of service. Here we have a case of an apparent difference between the acaryas. I propose that we should accept Srila Prabhupada’s version. It is not that Srila Prabhupada always accepted the versions of previous acaryas. Here is one example. In his purport to Bhagavatam texts 3.11.36-37, Srila Prabhupada comments, “According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti, the Brahmakalpa in the beginning of the first half appears to be the Padma-kalpa. We can, however, simply abide by the text and understand that the present millennium is in the second half of the duration of the life of Brahma.” If there is an apparent difference between the statements of Srila 77

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Prabhupada and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, I propose that we should accept the version of Srila Prabhupada, and place the statement of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, if apparently contradictory, in the category of “differences among the acaryas.” We should accept that in reality he is saying the same thing as Srila Prabhupada, but in a way that we cannot yet understand. The above purport to text 4.28.54 refutes the theory that the jiva in his original condition possesses merely the potential for a relationship with Krsna. It is clearly stated: “the living entity remains engaged in the service of the Lord.” This sentence of the purport also refutes the theory that the jiva originally exists in the brahmajyoti, displaying only the sat feature of existence. Srila Prabhupada clearly states that the living entity is enjoying ananda in company with the Lord. He says: “they both share a blissful life in the spiritual world.” But when the jiva comes to the material world, he is accompanied by the Supersoul. As we have seen, the Supersoul appears before Queen Vaidarbhi as a brahmana. Srila Prabhupada comments: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramatma, appeared before the queen as a brahmana, but why didn’t He appear in His original form of Sri Krsna? [Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.51, purport] This question indicates that it could just as well have been Sri Krsna who said to the queen “in the past you had a very intimate friend.” Prabhupada answers the question he raised thus: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks that unless one is very highly elevated in loving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot see Him as He is. [Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.51, purport] The question and its answer confirm that the original intimate friendly relationship of the queen was with Krsna, and not His Supersoul expansion. Srila Prabhupada also makes that point in the above-quoted purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.54. There Srila Prabhupada says: The original home of the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual world. . . . However, when the living entity wants to enjoy himself, he falls down into the material world. Even while in that position, the Lord remains with him as the Supersoul, his intimate friend. It is thus clear that the jiva’s relationship with Supersoul begins after his departure from Krsna. 3.2.3 “We are also associated with Krsna, as Paramatma within the heart” The Supersoul is none other than the localized aspect of Krsna Himself. Therefore, the words of the Supersoul can be taken as those of Krsna Himself. The following statements by Srila Prabhupada from a Bhagavad-gita lecture he gave on March 78

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25, 1974, in Bombay will help us understand how to see the Supersoul as a manifestation of Krsna Himself. Krsna can expand Himself—ananta-rupam. Ananta means unlimited. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrddese ‘rjuna tisthati. Now, we are individual souls. So we are also associated with Krsna, as Paramatma within the heart. . . . He’s so . . . just looking after the opportunity when this living entity... mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati He is struggling for existence in this material world with his concocted mind and senses. So Krsna is looking for the opportunity when the living entity will come back to Him. Because we are all sons. So father, if the son is bewildered, gone out of the home and loitering in the street, the father is very anxious to get him back, although the son has forgotten. This is the position. Therefore, as Paramatma, He’s guiding us. Sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistah. “I am sitting in everyone’s heart.” Mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca. From Him, we get the remembrance. I wanted to enjoy something. Krsna gives us full opportunity: “Now here is the opportunity. You can do it.” Anumanta. He’s so kind. But that is not our actual business. Our actual business is to go back to home, back to Godhead, not to enjoy this material world. . . . Just try to understand what is the position of Krsna. He is situated as Paramatma in everyone’s heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati. And He’s giving direction to everyone. And there are unlimited, innumerable living entities. So He has to give instruction in different ways to so many living entities. How much busy He is, just try to imagine! Still, His position is the same. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah. Goloka eva nivasati. Krsna is still in His own original place, Goloka Vrndavana, and He’s enjoying in the company of Srimati Radharani. . . . Because He has expanded Himself in so many hearts of the living entities, that does not mean that He is finished in His own abode. No. Still He’s there. That is Krsna. 3.2.4 “You gave up My company and accepted a position as enjoyer of this material world” So it is Krsna who is speaking as Supersoul to Queen Vaidarbhi. When the Supersoul is speaking, it is on behalf of Krsna. Otherwise, the statements do not make sense. For example, the brahmana says, “Unfortunately, you gave up My company and accepted a position as enjoyer of this material world.” The Sanskrit for “you gave up My company” is hitva mam, which is quite straightforward. The 79

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Supersoul always accompanies the conditioned soul in the material world. So there is no question of a jiva giving up the company of the Supersoul to take up a position as enjoyer of the material world. Here, therefore, the Supersoul is speaking of Himself as Krsna and not as His localized aspect. Interpreted in this way, the statement makes sense. We have left Krsna (not Supersoul), but Krsna accompanies us as Supersoul and reminds us that we have left Him in his original form. The next words of the Sanskrit text (padam anvicchan) explain why the jiva left Krsna. Padam means “position” and anvicchan means “desiring.” This indicates desire for a position as an independent enjoyer. And then the verse says bhaumabhoga-rato gatah. The synonym for bhauma is “material.” Bhoga means “enjoyment,” ratah means “attached to,” and gatah means “you became.” So the whole progression is that the soul, desiring an independent position, leaves Krsna and becomes attached to material enjoyment. The Supersoul begins to accompany the jiva only when the jiva manifests this desire for an independent position and material enjoyment. Therefore it makes no sense for the Supersoul, simply as Supersoul, to tell the conditioned soul that it left the Supersoul to take up an independent position as an enjoyer of material pleasure. Before the jiva develops a desire for an independent position as material enjoyer, the jiva has no relationship with Supersoul. There is no need for it. So when the Supersoul is speaking, He is speaking on behalf of Krsna. It is Krsna—not Supersoul—that the soul gives up to take up an independent position as enjoyer of material pleasure. 3.2.5 “We are still far away from our original home” One might propose that even in the material world one can become aware of the guidance of the Supersoul and give it up, just as one can accept a spiritual master and then give up his instruction. But that is not what is being said here. The brahmana also tells Vaidarbhi about her original position, before she entered the material world. This is emphatically stated in the following section of the above quoted passage: My dear gentle friend, both you and I are exactly like two swans. We live together in the same heart, which is just like the Manasa lake. Although we have been living together for many thousands of years, we are still far away from our original home. [Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.54] The Sanskrit is straightforward. Abhutam antara vaukah. The word meanings are abhutam—became, antara—separated, va—indeed, okah—from the original home. If we accept that the Supersoul is speaking on behalf of Krsna, the above makes sense. The Supersoul and the individual soul have been living for a long time in the same heart, but their original home is elsewhere— namely, the spiritual world. If we propose the Supersoul is speaking as Supersoul only, then the statement does not make sense. Supersoul is present with the individual soul in the heart of the jiva only within the material cosmos. So where is their original home, where they previously existed? This statement only makes sense if we bring Krsna in His 80

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original form into the picture. 3.2.6 “The person I have described as unknown is the Supreme Personality of Godhead” In his speech to Queen Vidarbhi (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.53), the brahmana makes reference to her avijnata-sakham (“unknown friend”). In text 4.29.3, Narada Muni, who told the story of the brahmana and Queen Vaidarbhi, says: yo ‘vijnatahrtas tasya purusasya sakhesvarah yan na vijnayate pumbhir namabhir va kriya-gunaih “The person I have described as unknown [avijnata] is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master and eternal friend of the living entity. Since the living entities cannot realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead by material names, activities, or qualities, He remains everlastingly unknown to the conditioned soul.” The relevant word meanings are purusasya—of the living entity, sakha—the eternal friend, and isvarah—the master. Srila Prabhupada, by saying in his translation that the unknown friend is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, makes clear his identity. Furthermore, the purport to text 4.29.3 is all about how Krsna’s pastimes and qualities (not Supersoul’s) are unknown to the conditioned soul. Identifying the unknown person with the Supreme Lord, Krsna, is consistent with this whole section of the Bhagavatam. Identifying him with Supersoul or Maha-Visnu is not. 3.2.7 “The living entity falls down from the service of the Lord” The purport to text 4.28.53 sheds some more light on the original state of the jiva and the cause of its fall into the material world. Srila Prabhupada says: By misusing his independence, the living entity falls down from the service of the Lord and takes a position in this material world as an enjoyer. Also: The vibhinnamsa expansions, the marginal potencies of the Lord, are the living entities. When the living entities desire to enjoy themselves, they develop a consciousness of duality and come to hate the service of the Lord. In this way the living entities fall into the material world. 3.2.8 “Since you left Me, you have become more and more materialistic” 81

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The statement “falls down from the service of the Lord” in Srila Prabhupada’s purport to text 4.28.53 is quite explicit. One might say this is just Srila Prabhupada’s particular way of explaining things. So let us go back to the Bhagavatam texts. Text 4.28.55 says: sa tvam vihaya mam bandho gato gramya-matir mahim vicaran padam adraksih kayacin nirmitam striya “My dear friend, you are now My very same friend. Since you left Me, you have become more and more materialistic, and not seeing Me, you have been traveling in different forms throughout this material world, which was created by some woman.” The important word meanings are: sah—that swan, tvam— yourself, vihaya— leaving, mam—Me, bandho—O friend, gatah—went, gramya—material, matih— consciousness, mahim—to earth, kayacin—by someone, nirmitam—manufactured, striya—by a woman. It is very hard to get around the implications of this. Krsna and the jiva were friends before the jiva entered the material world. The jiva left Him and came to the material world. Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport: When the living entity falls down, he goes into the material world, which was created by the external energy of the Lord. The material energy is here described as ‘some woman.’” All of this indicates that the original relationship of intimate friendship described in this section of the Bhagavatam is a relationship with Krsna and not just with Supersoul. The relationship with Supersoul begins only when the jiva leaves Krsna and is put into the material world, which is created by Maya (“some woman”). So before entering the material creation, the jiva was with someone. That someone can only be Krsna or Narayana. Otherwise, the statement that the jiva leaves the Lord to come to the material world makes no sense. When the jiva leaves the Lord, the Lord comes with him as Supersoul. And through Supersoul, Krsna advises the soul to return to Him. Srila Prabhupada says in his purport (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.55): Actually, it is Krsna who personally advises all living entities to return home, back to Godhead. This follows from the previous verse (4.28.54), which said (words in brackets inserted by me): Although we have been living together for many thousands of years [as soul and Supersoul], we are still far away from our original home. 82

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This means that Krsna and the jiva are from the same place, which is called their home—the home of both of them. 3.2.9 “You have forgotten your spiritual life” We can now proceed to consider the following text (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.59): tasmims tvam ramaya sprsto ramamano ’sruta-smrtih tat-sangad idrsim prapto dasam papiyasam prabho “My dear friend, when you enter such a body along with the woman of material desires, you become overly absorbed in sense enjoyment. Because of this you have forgotten your spiritual life. Due to your material conceptions, you are placed in various material conditions.” Asruta smrtih is translated by Srila Prabhupada as “without remembrance of spiritual existence.” The nature of that spiritual existence, intimate friendship with Krsna, has been described in previous verses. 3.2.10 “He regains his original Krsna consciousness, which was lost because of his material attraction” This point—that the original condition of the soul is Krsna consciousness, devotional service to the Lord—is made even more emphatically in text 4.28.64: evam sa manaso hamso hamsena pratibodhitah sva-sthas tad vyabhicarena nastam apa punah smrtim “In this way both swans live together in the heart. When the one swan is instructed by the other, he is situated in his constitutional position. This means he regains his original Krsna consciousness, which was lost because of his material attraction.” The translation is very clear. The living being was originally Krsna conscious. And he lost this Krsna consciousness because of material attraction. And when he is properly instructed he goes back to his original Krsna consciousness. The clear identity between the original state of the jiva before falldown with the position achieved after liberation is important. It rules out, for example, the theories that the jiva was originally with Maha-Visnu, or in the brahmajyoti, or in some borderline position between the material and spiritual worlds apart from a direct relationship with Krsna. These theories would make this Bhagavatam verse and many others meaningless, in terms of the direct sense of the words. If the jiva was originally 83

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with Maha-Visnu, or in the brahmajyoti, or on the borderline, but goes to Krsna upon liberation, how can it be said that “he regains his original Krsna consciousness”? That only makes sense if the state before falldown was also Krsna consciousness. Furthermore, what about the statements krsna bahir mukha and nitya-siddha krsna prema given by our predecessor acaryas? These also imply an original state of Krsna consciousness before falldown. The Sanskrit here in text 4.28.64 is also very clear. The word meanings given by Srila Prabhupada are nastam—which was lost, apa—gained, punah—again, smrtim —real memory. In other words, that which was lost is regained. I do not see how anyone can argue with this. It is right there in the Bhagavatam, in the Sanskrit. And the purport, naturally, goes right along with it. Here are some excerpts: When the inferior swan is separated from the other swan, he is attracted to material enjoyment. This is the cause of his falldown. When he hears the instructions of the other swan, he understands his real position and is again revived to his original consciousness. . . . The word sva-sthah, meaning “situated in one’s original position,” is very significant in this verse. When one gives up his unwanted attitude of superiority, he becomes situated in his original position. The word tad- vyabhicarena is also significant, for it indicates that when one is separated from God due to disobedience, his real sense is lost. Again, by the grace of Krsna and guru, he can be properly situated in his liberated position. These verses are spoken by Srila Narada Muni, and his purpose in speaking them is to revive our consciousness. [SrimadBhagavatam 4.28.64, purport] 3.2.11 “When he forgets his supreme master, the Personality of Godhead” Narada Muni further states, in text 4.29.26: yadatmanam avijnaya bhagavantam param gurum purusas tu visajjeta gunesu prakrteh sva-drk “The living entity by nature has minute independence to choose his own good or bad fortune, but when he forgets his supreme master, the Personality of Godhead, he gives himself up to unto the modes of material nature.” The important word meanings are: atmanam—the Supreme Soul, avijnaya— forgetting, bhagavantam—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, param—supreme, gurum—the instructor. All of these indicate that one forgets the Supreme Lord Krsna. Note the word bhagavantam, clearly indicating Krsna, not simply the Supersoul. Advocates of the theory that the jivas were originally with MahaVisnu may note that Maha-Visnu is in the category of Paramatma, not in the category of Bhagavan (see purport to SB 1.3.1). If we take Maha-Visnu as 84

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Bhagavan, then this renders meaningless the statement (text 1.3.1) that among all the incarnations of the Lord only Krsna is Bhagavan (krsnas tu bhagavan svayam). In his purport to text 4.29.26, Srila Prabhupada states: It is clearly stated herein that the living entity has a little independence, indicated by the word sva-drk, meaning ‘one who can see his own welfare.’ The living entity’s constitutional position is very minute, and he can be misled in his choice. He may choose to imitate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A servant may desire to start his own business and imitate his master, and when he chooses to do so, he may leave the protection of his master. Sometimes he is a failure, and sometimes he is successful. Similarly, the living entity, part and parcel of Krsna, starts his own business to compete with the Lord. It is clear that originally there is a master-servant relationship going on, and that it gets forgotten. Liberation means remembering it. This purport also answers a common question: Why, if a soul in the spiritual world is enjoying the highest happiness, does it make a choice that leads it to suffering? The answer is that the soul thinks that by taking the position of Krsna he will become even more happy. It is a characteristic of spiritual happiness that it is constantly increasing, but by trying to increase his happiness by imitating the Lord rather than intensifying his service to the Lord, the jiva makes a fundamental mistake. 3.2.12 “Not being interested in their real home, they are illusioned and search after other homes” Narada Muni also says (text 4.29.48): svam lokam na vidus te vai yatra devo janardanah ahuh dhumra-dhiyo vedam sakarmakam atad-vidah “Those who are less intelligent accept the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies as all in all. They do not know that the purpose of the Vedas is to understand one’s own home, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead lives. Not being interested in their real home, they are illusioned and search after other homes.” The important word meanings are: svam—own, lokam—abode, na- -never, viduh— know, te—such persons, vai—certainly, yatra—where, devah—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, janardanah—Krsna, or Visnu. Here Narada Muni speaks of the home of the living entity not as some borderline position but as svam lokam, his own planet, where Krsna lives. Srila Prabhupada comments: Generally people are not aware of their interest in life—to return home, back to Godhead. People do not know about their real home in the 85

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spiritual world. In the spiritual world there are many Vaikuntha planets, and the topmost planet is Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana. . . . The real attempt should now be to return home, back to Godhead. [SrimadBhagavatam 4.29.48, purport] 3.2.13 Conclusiveness of the Fourth Canto Evidence On the basis of this section of the Bhagavatam alone, the whole question of the origin of the jiva can be settled. Originally, the jiva was with Krsna, actively engaged in His service in a spiritual planet. The only way around this is to propose that Srila Prabhupada mistranslated the Sanskrit of many texts and then gave incorrect commentaries. But the Sanskrit itself is quite clear, as we have shown. Srila Prabhupada’s translations and purports flow quite naturally from the original text. Some have proposed that Srila Prabhupada deliberately said things he did not really believe in his Bhagavatam translations and purports. But this is completely out of character for Srila Prabhupada. Now that we have established the clear meaning of the statements of the brahmana to Queen Vaidarbhi, we can turn to other statements from the Bhagavatam. 3.3 SECOND CANTO: LORD BRAHMA 3.3.1 “The eternally transcendental living entity” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.5.19, Lord Brahma states: karya-karana-kartrtve dravya-jnana-kriyasrayah badhnanti nityada muktam mayinam purusam gunah “These three modes of material nature, being further manifested as matter, knowledge, and activities, put the eternally transcendental living entity under conditions of cause and effect and make him responsible for such activities.” The key word meanings are: badhnanti—conditions, nityada—eternally, muktam— transcendental, and purusam—the living entity. In this text of the Bhagavatam, we find Lord Brahma clearly stating that the original state of the soul is nityada-mukta, or eternally liberated. But upon turning from Krsna, the soul is bound by the material energy. This refutes the theory that the jivas in the material world are eternally conditioned in the sense of never having had a relationship with Krsna. In his purport, Srila Prabhupada says: Because they are between the internal and external potencies, the eternally transcendental living entities are called the marginal potency of the Lord. Factually, the living entities are not meant to be so 86

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conditioned by material energy, but due to their being affected by the false sense of lording it over the material energy, they come under the influence of such potency and thus become conditioned by the three modes of material nature. This external energy of the Lord covers up the pure knowledge of the living entities eternally existing with Him, but the covering is so constant that it appears that the conditioned soul is eternally ignorant. So here we have the true meaning of the term nitya-baddha (“eternally conditioned”), explained by Srila Prabhupada and confirmed in the Bhagavatam itself. Lord Brahma clearly says that the living entity in the material world is a nitya-mukta soul (nityada muktam purusam) that has come under the influence of the material modes of nature. All souls are originally nitya mukta, but some come to the material world and appear as if eternally ignorant. Significantly, Srila Prabhupada says that the “external energy of the Lord covers up the pure knowledge of the living entities eternally existing with Him.” 3.4 SECOND CANTO: SUKADEVA GOSWAMI 3.4.1 “Spiritual and original bodies” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.5.19 (above) we learned that the soul is originally nityada-mukta (eternally liberated). In text 2.10.6, Sukadeva Goswami gives the classic definition of mukti: muktir hitvanyatha rupam sva-rupena vyavasthitih The word meanings are: muktih—liberation, hitva—giving up, anyatha—otherwise, rupam—form, sva-rupena—in constitutional form, vyavasthitih—permanent situation. Srila Prabhupada’s translation is: “Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living being after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies.” In his purport to text 2.10.6, Srila Prabhupada says: . . . [S]ome of the conditioned souls, who follow the transcendental sound in the form of the Vedic literatures and are thus able to go back to Godhead, attain spiritual and original bodies after quitting the conditional gross and subtle bodies. The material conditional bodies develop out of the living entities’ forgetfulness of their relationship with Godhead, and during the course of the cosmic manifestation, the conditioned souls are given a chance to revive their original status of life with the help of revealed scriptures, so mercifully compiled by the Lord in His different incarnations. 87

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So if we accept that the conditioned souls in this material world were originally nityada-mukta, as stated in text 2.5.19, and also accept the definition of mukti given in text 2.10.6, it is clear the that every conditioned jiva originally had a spiritual body and a relationship with Krsna. This conclusion is definitely in line with the above purport by Srila Prabhupada, who speaks of “spiritual and original bodies,” the jivas’ “forgetfulness of their relationship with Godhead,” and the conditioned souls “being given a chance to revive their original status of life.” Thus, my view (once we were with Krsna), the Bhagavatam verses 2.5.19 and 2.10.6, taken directly, and Srila Prabhupada’s translations and purports, taken directly, are harmonious. If another view is taken (we were never with Krsna), the harmony disappears. One must interpret the texts in an indirect fashion, i.e., that nityada-mukta does not mean “originally eternally liberated” and sva-rupena does not mean “one’s original form.” One must also propose that Srila Prabhupada’s explicit statements in his translations and purports are incorrect or are simply figurative language that means something other than the dictionary definitions of the words. This is reminiscent of the standard Mayavadi tactic of subjecting the Vedic texts to imaginative speculative interpretations by the method of giving up the direct and simple meaning of the words. 3.5 THIRD CANTO: LORD KAPILA 3.5.1 “Conditional life is due to his forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead” In the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.31.15) we find the following verse: yan-mayayoru-guna-karma-nibandhane ‘smin samsarike pathi caranti carams tad-abhisramena nasta-smrtih punar ayam pravrnita lokam yuktya kaya mahad-anugraham antarena “The human soul further prays: The living entity is put under the influence of material nature and continues a hard struggle for existence on the path of repeated birth and death. This conditional life is due to his forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, without the Lord’s mercy, how can he again engage in the transcendental loving service to the Lord.” This passage is from the prayers spoken by the soul within the womb, as explained by Lord Kapila to His mother Devahuti. So this information is being related by the Supreme Lord Himself, as part of His teachings to Devahuti. Who can be a greater expert about the original condition of the jiva than the Supreme Lord Himself? The key word meanings are: nasta—lost; smrtih—memory; punah— again; ayam—this living entity; pravrnita—may realize; lokam— his true nature. If the jiva had never before experienced his true nature, there would be no 88

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question of using the terms nasta-smrtih (“lost memory”) and punah pravrnita (“again realize”). In other words, when we attain realization of our eternal relationship with Krsna, this is something we had before and have forgotten. We attain what we once had. This rules out, for example, the theory that the jiva was originally with Maha-Visnu and that only when the jiva develops pure bhakti for the first time does it go to Krsna or Narayana. In his purport to the above text (3.31.15), Srila Prabhupada makes these statements: It is clearly said herein that our memory is lost because we are now covered by His material energy. Arguments may be put forward as to why we have been put under the influence of the material energy of the Lord. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita, where the Lord says, “I am sitting in everyone’s heart, and due to Me one is forgetful or one is alive in knowledge.” The forgetfulness of the conditioned soul is also due to the direction of the Supreme Lord. A living entity misuses his little independence when he wants to lord it over material nature. This misuse of independence, which is called maya, is always available; otherwise there would be no independence. Independence implies that one can use it properly or improperly. It is not static; it is dynamic. Therefore, misuse of independence is the cause of being influenced by maya. Note that it is not maya that causes the misuse of independence. Independence is an eternal spiritual quality of the marginal potency, and its misuse is therefore not due to any material influence in Vaikuntha. The ability to choose to serve or not serve Krsna is an inherent spiritual quality of the marginal potency. Only when independence is misused does one come under the influence of maya. 3.5.2 “He is forced to act in that way due to his offense in his eternal relationship with Krsna” In another Third Canto purport (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.7), Srila Prabhupada says: Whatever the material energy dictates, the conditioned soul does. He has no responsibility; he is simply the witness of the action, but he is forced to act in that way due to his offense in his eternal relationship with Krsna. 3.5.3 “I am separated from the Supreme Lord” Text 3.31.14 of the Bhagavatam may be considered in light of text 3.31.15, discussed above. yah panca-bhuta-racite rahitah sarire cchanno ‘yathendriya-gunartha-cid-atmako ‘ham 89

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tenavikuntha-mahimanam rsim tam enam vande param prakrti-purusayoh pumamsam I am separated from the Supreme Lord because of my being in this material body, which is made of five elements, and therefore my qualities and senses are being misused, although I am essentially spiritual. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is transcendental to material nature and the living entities, because He is devoid of such a material body, and because He is always glorious in His spiritual qualities, I offer my obeisances unto Him. The key synonym is rahitah—separated. In his purport, Srila Prabhupada says: In the Vedas it is said that the living entity is always free. Asango hy ayam purusah. The living entity is liberated. His material condition is temporary, and his actual position is that he is liberated. This may be of interest to those who assert that the jiva is originally not liberated. 3.6 FOURTH CANTO: MAHARAJA PRTHU 3.6.1 “The forgetful living entity gradually remembers his eternal relationship with You” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.25, Maharaja Prthu prays: sa uttamasloka mahan-mukha-cyuto bhavat-padambhoja-sudha-kananilah smrtim punar vismrta-tattva-vartmanam ku-yoginam no vitaraty alam varaih My dear Lord, You are glorified by the selected verses uttered by great personalities. Such glorification of Your lotus feet is just like saffron particles. When the transcendental vibration from the mouths of great devotees carries the aroma of the saffron dust of Your lotus feet, the forgetful living entity gradually remembers his eternal relationship with You. . . . The key word meanings are in the third and fourth lines: smrtim— remembrance, punah—again, vismrta—forgotten, tattva—to the truth, vartmanam—of persons whose path, ku-yoginam—of persons not in the line of devotional service, nah—of us, vitarati— restores. The verse begins by mentioning the glorification of the Lord. The great souls glorify the Lord. When the fallen souls (the ku-yogis) hear this, their remembrance (smrtim) is restored, as indicated by the word punah (again). From the construction of this verse there can be no doubt about what is being remembered—it is the relationship of the living entity with the Lord. If there were no previous relationship 90

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with the Lord, the word smrtim would be meaningless. Srila Prabhupada comments in his purport: The transcendental vibration from the mouth of a pure devotee is so powerful that it can revive the living entity’s memory of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is abundantly clear that the original position of the living entity is one of direct service to the Lord, and that he has now forgotten this. Srila Prabhupada further explains: In our material existence, under the influence of illusory maya, we have almost forgotten our eternal relationship with the Lord, exactly like a man sleeping very deeply who forgets his duties. Since Srila Prabhupada says our condition is exactly like that of a sleeping man who forgets his duties, we may know that in our original waking condition we were engaged in direct duties in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Srila Prabhupada says: As expressed in a song by Thakura Bhaktivinoda, Lord Caitanya says, jiva jaga, jiva jaga. The Lord asks every sleeping living entity to get up and engage in devotional service so that his mission in this human form of life may be fulfilled. . . . As soon as a sleeping living entity hears the powerful voice emanating from the mouth of a pure devotee, he immediately remembers his eternal relationship with the Lord, although up until that moment he had forgotten everything. The word remember is significant. It indicates the living entity was once established in a relationship with Krsna. As Srila Prabhupada explains: Every one of us is ku-yogi [a person not in the line of devotional service] because we have engaged in the service of this material world, forgetting our eternal relationship with the Lord as His eternal loving servants. It is clear that the original position of the living being is one of direct loving service —not a position of dormant service in the brahmajyoti or in some imaginary borderline. Advocates of the Maha-Visnu theory may note that there is no eternal loving relationship with Maha-Visnu. Maha-Visnu exists simply to direct the affairs of the conditioned souls in the material cosmos. If the living entities had not given up their loving relationship with Krsna or Narayana, there would be no need for Maha-Visnu. The above-quoted verse is very instructive. For those who want to say that the conditioned souls had no previous developed relationship with Krsna, the only way out is to say that Srila Prabhupada mistranslated this verse and gave an incorrect commentary upon it. They would then have to offer their own translation, which 91

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would involve giving indirect interpretations of the very clear words such as smrtim punah. And they would also have to give a commentary contradicting that of Srila Prabhupada. Such persons would be placing themselves as better translators and explainers of the Bhagavatam than Srila Prabhupada. 3.7 SIXTH CANTO: VRTRASURA 3.7.1 “Will I again be able to be a servant of Your eternal servants?” In his Sri Sanmodaya Bhasyam commentary on Text 5 of Lord Caitanya’s Siksastaka, Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes this verse from the Sixth Canto of the Bhagavatam (6.11.24): aham hare tava padaika-muladasanudaso bhavitasmi bhuyah manah smaretasu-pater gunams te grnita vak karma karotu kayah The translation given by Srila Prabhupada is: “O my Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, will I again be able to be a servant of Your eternal servants who find shelter only at Your lotus feet? O Lord of my life, may I again become their servant so that my mind may always think of Your transcendental attributes, my words always glorify those attributes, and my body always engage in the loving service of Your Lordship.” This was spoken by Vrtrasura before he was slain by Lord Indra. The key word meanings are: aham—I, hare—O Supreme Personality of Godhead, tava—of Your Lordship, pada-eka-mula—whose only shelter is the lotus feet, dasa-anudasah—the servant of Your servant, bhavitasmi—shall I become, bhuyah—again. It is significant that Bhaktivinoda Thakura cites this Bhagavatam verse in connection with Text 5 of the Siksastakam: ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram patitam mam visame bhavambudhau krpaya tava pada-pankajasthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya “O My Lord, O Krsna, son of Maharaja Nanda, I am Your eternal servant, but because of My own fruitive acts I have fallen into this horrible ocean of nescience. Now please be causelessly merciful to Me. Consider Me a particle of dust at Your lotus feet.” This indicates that the word “again” (bhuyah) in the above Bhagavatam text refers to the original state of the jiva. In other words, Bhaktivinoda Thakura does not take 92

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text 6.11.24 as just a reference to feelings of separation from devotees during a jiva’s stay in this material world. After giving text 6.11.24 as a reference supporting Siksastaka 5, Bhaktivinoda Thakura states: The jiva’s constitutional position is that of being enjoyed, or bhogya, and Lord Krsna is always the Supreme Enjoyer. Hence if the jiva ardently serves and meditates upon the Lord he will feel an indomitable urge to become a servitor of Srimati Radharani, who is the embodiment of the highest spiritual bliss. Text 6.11.24, taken on its own and as used by Bhaktivinoda Thakura in support of Siksastaka 5, indicates this urge to become a servant of the servant is not something new. 3.8 SIXTH CANTO: SUPREME LORD’S TEACHINGS TO CITRAKETU 3.8.1 “When a living entity, thinking himself different from Me, forgets his spiritual identity” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.16.57, the Supreme Lord says to King Citraketu: yad etad vismrtam pumso mad-bhavam bhinnam atmanah tatah samsara etasya dehad deho mrter mrtih “When a living entity, thinking himself different from Me, forgets his spiritual identity of qualitative oneness with Me in eternity, knowledge and bliss, his material, conditional life begins. In other words, instead of identifying his interest with Mine, he becomes interested in his bodily expansions like his wife, children, and material possessions. In this way, by the influence of his actions, one body comes from another, and after one death, another death takes place.” The word meanings are: yat—which, etat—this, vismrtam—forgotten, pumsah—of the living entity, mat-bhavam—My spiritual position, bhinnam—separation, atmanah—from the Supreme Soul, tatah—from that, samsarah—material, conditional life, etasya- -of the living entity, dehat—from one body, dehah— another body, mrteh—from one death, mrtih—another death. This verse is spoken by Lord Sankarsana. In his translation, Srila Prabhupada expands somewhat from the Sanskrit words of the text. But the Sanskrit words themselves are very clear. The spiritual nature of the Lord (mat-bhavam), of which the living entity, being part and parcel of the Lord, partakes, is forgotten (vismrtam) by the living entity. The living entity therefore becomes separated (bhinnam) from the Supreme Lord (atmanah). This means that originally the living entity shares the nature of the Lord. Since the Lord is full of eternity, knowledge, 93

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and bliss, the living entity shares that nature. As the Lord experiences bliss by engaging in pastimes, the living entity is also engaged in those pastimes, as a servant. But when the living entity forgets or gives up this nature (vismrtam madbhavam), then he is separated from the Lord (bhinnam atmanah) and placed in conditional life (samsara). So this text is very direct evidence that the jiva was originally with Krsna.

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In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.16.57, Srila Prabhupada writes: As stated by the Vaisnava poet Jagadananda Pandita in his Premavivarta: krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare As soon as a living entity forgets his constitutional position and endeavors to become one with the Supreme, his conditional life begins. 3.9 SEVENTH CANTO: PRAHLADA MAHARAJA 3.9.1 “You are my eternal master” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.10.6, Prahlada Maharaja prays: aham tv akamas tvad-bhaktas tvam ca svamy anapasrayah nanyathehavayor artho raja-sevakayor iva “O My Lord, I am Your unmotivated servant, and You are my eternal master. There is no need of our being anything other than master and servant. You are naturally my master, and I am naturally Your servant. We have no other relationship.” On the question of the conditioned soul’s previous relationship with Krsna, this verse is not as direct as some of the others included here, but Srila Prabhupada’s purport is very clear: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, jivera svarupa haya—krsnera ‘nityadasa’: every living being is eternally a servant of the Supreme Lord, Krsna. Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (5.29), bhoktaram yajnatapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram: ‘I am the proprietor of all planets, and I am the supreme enjoyer.’ This is the natural position of the Lord, and the natural position of the living entity is to surrender unto Him (sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja). If this relationship continues, then real happiness exists eternally between the master and servant.” The words “relationship continues” indicate that the original constitutional position of the living entity is one of direct service to the Lord (Krsna, not Maha-Visnu). There is no hint of the theory of original dormancy of the relationship. In fact, the relationship is characterized as one of master and servant. Srila Prabhupada continues: 95

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Unfortunately, when this eternal relationship is disturbed, the living entity wants to become separately happy and thinks that the master is his order supplier. In this way there cannot be happiness. Again it is clear that there is originally a direct relationship of service between the Lord and the living entity. Those who claim the jivas in this world had no previous direct relationship with Krsna will have to say that Srila Prabhupada did not comment correctly on the above text. 3.10 EIGHTH CANTO: KING SATYAVRATA 3.10.1 “One regains his original identity” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.24.48, King Satyavrata says: yat-sevayagner iva rudra-rodanam puman vijahyan malam atmanah tamah bhajeta varnam nijam esa so ‘vyayo bhuyat sa isah paramo guror gurah “One who wants to be free of material entanglement should take to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and give up the contamination of ignorance, involving pious and impious activities. Thus one regains his original identity, just as a block of gold or silver sheds all dirt and becomes purified when treated with fire.” The important word meanings are: yat sevaya—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by serving whom, agneh—in touch with fire, iva—as it is, rudra-rodanam —a block of silver or gold becomes purified, puman—a person, vijahyat—can give up, malam—all the dirty things of material existence, atmanah—of one’s self, tamah—the mode of ignorance, by which one performs pious and impious activities, bhajeta—may revive, varnam—his original identity, nijam—one’s own. Srila Prabhupada says in his purport: Because of contamination by the modes of material nature, one continues in the cycle of birth and death....Therefore, the purpose of human life is to purify oneself of this contamination so that one can regain his spiritual form and not undergo this cycle of birth and death. . . . The word varnam refers to the luster of one’s original identity. The original luster of gold or silver is brilliant. Similarly, the original luster of the living being, who is part of the sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, is the luster of ananda, or pleasure....The living being should become purified and regain his svarupa, his original identity. (See the explanation of Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.25 below for more on this 96

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analogy of the jiva’s return to Godhead and gold’s purification.) 3.10.2 “The intelligent person receiving such knowledge is quickly situated in his original constitutional position” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.24.51, King Satyavrata goes on to say: jano janasyadisate ‘satim gatim yaya prapadyeta duratyayam tamah tvam tv avyayam jnanam amogham anjasa prapadyate yena jano nijam padam “A materialistic so-called guru instructs his materialistic disciples about economic development and sense gratification, and because of such instructions the foolish disciples continue in the materialistic existence of ignorance. But Your Lordship gives knowledge that is eternal, and the intelligent person receiving such knowledge is quickly situated in his original constitutional position.” The important word meanings are: tvam—Your Lordship, tu—but, avyayam— indestructible, jnanam—knowledge, amogham—without material contamination, anjasa—very soon, prapadyate—achieves, yena—by such knowledge, janah—a person, nijam—his own, padam— original position. What is that original position? In his purport Srila Prabhupada explains: The words nijam padam are significant. The living entity, being part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has the birthright to a position in Vaikunthaloka, or the spiritual world, where there is no anxiety. Therefore, one should follow the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then, as stated in Bhagavadgita, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna: after giving up one’s body, one will return home, back to Godhead. . . . As a spiritual person, such a devotee returns to the Personality of Godhead and plays and dances with Him. It is clear from this purport that nijam padam, one’s original constitutional position, is a place in Vaikunthaloka, where one dances and plays with the Supreme Lord. It is to this position that one returns. The Sanskrit term nijam padam is quite consistent with Srila Prabhupada’s translation and purport. It is also consistent with text 8.24.48, quoted above. 3.11 TENTH CANTO: THE SAGES AT KURUKSETRA 3.11.1 “Such a person loses his memory and cannot know You” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.84.25, the great sages gathered at Kuruksetra at the 97

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time of a solar eclipse, witnessed by Krsna and His queens, said: yatha sayanah purusa atmanah guna-tattva-drk nama-matrendriyabhatam na veda rahitam param evam tva nama-matresu visayesv indriyehaya mayaya vibhramac-citto na veda smrty-upaplavat “A sleeping person imagines an alternative reality for himself and, seeing himself as having various names and forms, forgets his waking identity, which is distinct from the dream. Similarly, the senses of one whose consciousness is bewildered by illusion perceive only the names and forms of material objects. Thus such a person loses his memory and cannot know You.” The word meanings given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu are: yatha—as, sayanah—sleeping, purusah—a person, atmanam—himself, guna—secondary, tattva—of reality, drk—whose vision, nama—with names, matra —and forms, indriya—through his mind, abhatam—manifest, na veda—he does not know, rahitam—separate, param—rather, evam—similarly, tva—You, namamatresu—having names and forms, visayesu—in objects of material perception, indriya—of the senses, ihaya—by the activity, mayaya—because of the influence of Your illusory energy, vibhramat—becoming bewildered, cittah—whose consciousness, na veda—one does not know, smrti—of his memory, upaplavat— due to the disruption. There is no commentary by the previous acaryas given in the purport to this verse, but we can turn to Srila Prabhupada’s Krsna book translations of this and the following verse for some interpretative clues (volume 2, page 286, 1996 edition): When a person dreams at night, hallucinatory figures created by the dream are accepted as real, and the imaginary dream body is accepted as one’s real body. For the time being, one forgets that beside the body created in hallucination, there is another, real body in his awakened state. Similarly, in the awakened state also, the bewildered conditioned soul considers sense enjoyment to be real happiness. By the process of enjoying the senses of the material body, the spirit soul is covered, and his consciousness becomes materially contaminated. It is due to material consciousness that one cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. All great mystic yogis endeavor to revive their Krsna consciousness by mature practice of the yoga system. . . . The indication is that the sleeping soul forgets Krsna and the activities of Krsna 98

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consciousness. Otherwise, what is the sense of saying that yogis, by mature practice, can revive their Krsna consciousness? The Sanskrit is equally clear on this point. It is said: evam tva . . . na veda smrty-upaplavat. One does not know Krsna because one’s memory of Him has been disrupted. That means the constant remembrance of Krsna is there originally; otherwise, what is the sense of saying this remembrance is disrupted? From all standpoints—the common-sense understanding of the metaphor of the sleeping person, the Sanskrit words of the text, and Srila Prabhupada’s translation—there is a harmonious indication that the original waking state of the soul was Krsna consciousness, constant remembrance of Krsna. The harmony is not only internal to this text The interpretation given here is also harmonious with the other texts of the Bhagavatam cited in this chapter, as well as with many other statements by Srila Prabhupada (Chapter Two) and the previous acaryas (Chapter Three). Any interpretation that the original consciousness was not one of direct Krsna consciousness means giving up the common-sense understanding of the metaphor, the direct meaning of the Sanskrit text, and the direct meaning of Srila Prabhupada’s translation. In other words, it is only by adopting the standard Mayavadi tactic of giving indirect meanings that we can escape from the self-evident conclusion.

3.12 ELEVENTH CANTO: REVERSAL OF POSITION 3.12.1 “Instead of being the eternal servant of Krsna, he becomes Krsna’s competitor” In Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.37) it is said: “When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krsna, he is overpowered by fear. Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed. In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Krsna, he becomes Krsna’s competitor. This is called viparyayo ’smrtih.” This is Srila Prabhupada’s translation of this verse from the Caitanya-caritamrta. It was cited by Lord Caitanya in His discussions with the Mayavadi sannyasis of Varanasi. It appears in Cc. Madhya 25.138. Srila Prabhupada does not comment, but the plain words indicate the original position of the living entity is one of direct service to the Lord (Krsna, not Maha-Visnu). The cause of falldown is attraction to maya. If the original position is not one of service to Krsna, then the term “reversal of position” becomes meaningless. In the Gaudiya-Math English edition of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam, we find the following passage. The English is somewhat awkward, so for clarification I have inserted some words in brackets. The very minute particles of chit-sakti are the jivas as separate parts. That is known as the border potency which lies between the chit-sakti 99

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and maya-shakti. The maya-shakti has no manifestation of existence in it, yet due to its minuteness it [the jiva] has a tendency toward Maya. It is from the inscrutable potency of Krsna that such a sakti [the jivasakti] has arisen. Krsna’s irrestrainable Will is at the root of it. The separate part jivas are subject to experience the fruit of karma. So long as they are mindful about the service of Krsna according to their independent volition, they do not come under Maya or karma. But when due to the abuse of the independent volition, they cherish a desire for self-enjoyment and forget their own function of Krsna’s service, they are enchanted by Maya and come under karma. But as soon as they recollect that Krsna’s service is the function of their nature, mukti (liberation) comes up the[to?] rescue them from the bondage of karma and the troubles caused by Maya. At this point in the text, there are some footnotes to the above passage, in the form of verses that support the points being made. These footnotes are part of the original Bengali text by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. One of these footnotes is a citation of the above-cited Bhagavatam text, 11.2.37: bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya viparyayo ’smrtih tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma Some key word meanings given in the Bhagavatam continuation by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu are: isat—from the Supreme Lord; apetasya— for one who has turned away; and asmrtih—forgetfulness. The Sanskrit is quite straightforward. The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets [asmrtih] his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is effected by the potency for illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life and soul.” [Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.37] In an article titled “The Gaudiya Catechism” (a page of which was sent to me by B. R. Sadhu Swami), Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati says: The sense of fear comes upon the jiva only when he turns his face toward the external power. It is due to the reversal of his relationship with Krsna. 100

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This statement, of course, is based on Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.37. So we have Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati giving this verse as evidence that the conditioned soul is in the material world as a result of reversing its original relationship with Krsna. 3.13 ELEVENTH CANTO: CAMASA RSI 3.13.1 “If we do not serve the Supreme, then we fall down from our specified place” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.5.3, Camasa Rsi, one of the nine Yogendras, says to King Nimi: ya esam purusam saksad atma-prabhavam isvaram na bhajanty avajananti sthanad bhrastah patanty adhah The word meanings are: ya—one who, esam—of them, purusam—the Supreme Lord, saksat—directly, atma-prabhavam—the source of their own creation, isvaram —the supreme controller, na—do not, bhajanti—worship, avajananti—disrespect, sthanat—from their position, bhrastah—fallen, patanti—they fall, adhah—down. In the translation by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu, the emphasis is on falling from one’s position in the varnasrama system: “If any of the members of the four varnas and four asramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they will fall down from their position into a hellish state of life.” But Srila Prabhupada has given another reading. In his purport to Bhagavad-gita 6.47, Srila Prabhupada states: Every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus every living entity is intended to serve the Supreme Lord by his own constitution. Failing to do this, he falls down. The Bhagavatam (11.5.3) confirms this as follows. Srila Prabhupada then gives the same Sanskrit text as above, with this translation: “Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position.” So here Srila Prabhupada illuminates the deeper meaning of the text, bringing it from the realm of one’s social duties in varnasrama to one’s constitutional position 101

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in relation to the Supreme Lord. In a Bhagavad-gita lecture given on February 21, 1969, in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada quotes the same Bhagavatam text, 11.5.3, and gives this commentary, which makes things even clearer: This is also a very nice example. The Bhagavata says that we are all parts and parcels of the Supreme. If we do not serve the Supreme, then we fall down from our specified place. What is that? . . . If the part and parcel cannot render service regularly, that means it is painful. So any person who is not rendering service to the Supreme Lord, he’s simply giving pain to the Supreme Lord. He’s simply giving trouble. Therefore he has to suffer. . . . The same example. Sthanad bhrastah patanty adhah. And as soon as one thing is very painful—just like the government keeps all these painful citizens into the prison house. Collect together. “You live here, you are nonsense, you criminals. Live here. Don’t live in the open state.” Similarly, all these criminals who have violated the laws of God, who have simply given pain to the Lord, they are put in this material world. All these. And, sthanad bhrastah, he falls down from the specified place. . . . So we have fallen down. Being against the principles of God consciousness, we are fallen down. So if we want to revive our original position, we must be placed again into that service attitude. . . . The best thing is to revive our original Krsna consciousness and be engaged in the service of the Lord. That is natural life, and that is possible in the spiritual sky or the Goloka Vrndavana. In this same lecture the following exchange takes place: Devotee: Why are you teaching Radha-Krsna consciousness. Prabhupada: Because you have forgotten. That is your natural position. You have forgotten the service of Radha and Krsna, therefore you have become the servant of maya. From all this it is clear that text 11.5.3 can be taken as evidence that the conditioned souls in this material world have fallen down from direct engagement in the service of Krsna. It would take a person bolder than I to suggest that Srila Prabhupada was incorrect in interpreting text 11.5.3 in this way. 3.14 ELEVENTH CANTO: PINGALA THE PROSTITUTE 3.14.1 “He falls into the dark well of material existence” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.8.41, Pingala says: samsara-kupe patitam visayair musiteksanam grastam kalahinatmanam 102

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ko’nyas tratum adhisvarah The word meanings are: samsara—material existence, kupe—in the dark well, patitam—fallen, visayaih—by sense gratification, musita—stolen away, iksanam— vision, grastam—seized, kala—of time, ahina—by the serpent, atmanam—the living entity, kah—who, anyah—else, tratum—is capable of delivering, adhisvarah—the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “The intelligence of the living entity is stolen away by activities of sense gratification, and thus he falls into the dark well of material existence. Within that well he is then seized by the deadly serpent of time. Who else but the Supreme Personality of Godhead could save the poor living entity from such a hopeless condition?” In this text, we can see that in its original condition, the soul was possessed of active intelligence. By misuse of intelligence, the soul falls into the material world. The Sanskrit word translated as “intelligence” is iksanam, given in the word meanings as “vision.” Taken in this way, the indication is that the soul was possessed of active transcendental senses in its original condition. 3.15 ELEVENTH CANTO: LORD KRSNA 3.15.1 “The spirit soul returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.25, Lord Krsna says to Uddhava:

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yathagnina hema malam jahati dhmatam punah svam bhajate ca rupam atma ca karmanusayam vidhuya mad-bhakti-yogena bhajaty atho mam The word meanings are: yatha—just as, agnina—by fire, hema—gold, malam— impurities, jahati—gives up, dhmatam—smelted, punah—again, svam—its own, bhajate—enters, ca—also, rupam—form, atma—the spirit soul or consciousness, ca —also, karma—of fruitive activities, anusayam—the resultant contamination, vidhuya—removing, mat-bhakti-yogena—by loving service to Me, bhajati— worships, atho—thus, mam—Me. The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “Just as gold, when smelted in fire, gives up its impurities and returns to its pure brilliant state, similarly, the spirit soul, absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga, is purified of all contamination caused by previous fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world.” In their purport, Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu state: According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, this verse indicates that the devotee goes back home, back to Godhead, and there worships Lord Krsna in his original spiritual body, which is compared to the original pure form of smelted gold. Taking the analogy between gold and the soul at face value, it can be seen that the translation of the text is fully justified. It is clear that when the gold is smelted, it regains its original pure state (punah svam bhajate ca rupam). One might argue that the gold is originally in an impure state (as ore), and that it is purified by smelting. But the word punah (again) rules out this interpretation. In this analogy, the gold must have originally been in a pure state and become contaminated. And by the smelting process it regains its original state. The original state of the soul is rendering service to the Supreme Lord (bhakti). This original state of activity is contaminated by the activity of karma, with its resultant effects. But by the smelting process of devotional service (bhakti-yogena) one comes back to the original state of rendering service. In this way, the two parts of the analogy remain harmonious. If the soul were not originally engaged in service, the analogy would not hold. Since this text is being spoken by the Supreme Lord Himself, the master of all literary accomplishment, we cannot imagine that He would use an imperfect analogy. In any case, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti apparently confirms this reading, and therefore also the translation as given above: the soul “returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world.” 3.15.2 “He regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form” 104

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In Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.14.26, Lord Krsna goes on to say: yatha yathatma parimrjyate ’sau mat-punya-gatha-sravanabhidhanaih tatha tatha pasyati vastu suksmam caksur yathaivanjana-samprayuktam The word meanings are: yatha yatha—as much as, atma—the spirit soul, the conscious entity, parimrjyate—is cleansed of material contamination, asau—he, mat-punya-gatha—the pious narrations of my glories, sravana—by hearing, abhidhanaih—and by chanting, tatha tatha—exactly in that proportion, pasyati—he sees, vastu—the Absolute Truth, suksmam—subtle, being nonmaterial, caksuh—the eye, yatha—just as, eva—certainly, anjana—with medicinal ointment, samprayuktam—treated. The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see. Similarly, as a conscious living entity cleanses himself of material contamination by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form.” One might object that the analogy refers to a person who is blind from birth and whose blindness is cured by some medical treatment. Therefore it is incorrect to speak of one regaining one’s vision, since in the Sanskrit text there is no direct mention of regaining either material sight or spiritual sight. This is certainly a valid objection, if one simply takes this verse on its own. But because this text directly follows the text above, where the analogy does speak about regaining an original healthy or pure condition, it is reasonable to extend the concept of regaining something to this analogy as well. This is the way the analogy would most fairly be understood in any case. Furthermore, we can consider this text in light of text 11.8.41, which refers to musita iksanam, the conditioned soul’s vision being stolen away when he falls into the deep well of samsara. This indicates that in the preconditioned state, there is vision. 3.16 TWELFTH CANTO: SUKADEVA GOSWAMI 3.16.1 “Material false ego obstructs the individual soul from realizing the Absolute Truth” In Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.49, Sukadeva Goswami says to King Pariksit: yatha ghano ’rka-prabhavo ’rka-darsito hy arkamsa-bhutasya ca caksusas tamah evam tv aham brahma-gunas tad-iksito brahmamsakasyatmana atma-bandhanah 105

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The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “Although a cloud is the product of the sun and is also made visible by the sun, it nevertheless creates darkness for the viewing eye, which is another partial expansion of the sun. Similarly, material false ego, a particular product of the Absolute Truth made visible by the Absolute Truth, obstructs the individual soul, another partial expansion of the Absolute Truth, from realizing the Absolute Truth.” The key word meanings are: aham—false ego, brahma-gunah—a quality of the Absolute Truth, tat-iksitah—visible through the agency of that Absolute Truth, brahma-amsakasya—of the partial expansion of the Absolute Truth, atmanah—of the jiva soul, atma-bandhanah—serving to obstruct perception of the Supreme Soul. The sense of the analogy is clear. The normal condition is that the sun is visible, but sometimes it is covered by a cloud. Similarly, the normal condition of the jiva soul is to be seeing Krsna, but in some cases this vision is blocked by false ego. Some may propose that in this analogy the blocking of the sun by the cloud, or the blocking of the Lord from the jiva soul’s vision, is the original condition, and that this verse refers only to the removing of that original condition of blockage. But the next text of the Bhagavatam rules out this interpretation. 3.16.2 “He regains his original spiritual awareness” Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.4.33 reads: ghano yadarka-prabhavo vidiryate caksuh svarupam ravim iksate tada yada hy ahankara upadhir atmano jijnasaya nasyati tarhy anusmaret The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “When the cloud originally produced from the sun is torn apart, the eye can see the actual form of the sun. Similarly, when the spirit soul destroys his material covering of false ego by inquiring into the transcendental science, he regains his original spiritual awareness.” The key word meanings are: yada—when, hi—indeed also, ahankarah—false ego, upadhih—the superficial covering, atmanah—of the spirit soul, jijnasaya—by spiritual inquiry, nasyati—is destroyed, tarhi—at that time, anusmaret—one gains his proper remembrance. In this text there is a definite reference in the Sanskrit to regaining memory (anusmaret). This shows that the original state cannot be a covered state. This is also shown by the use of the word upadhih to describe false ego. Upadhih means an artificial or temporary imposition of something upon the natural state of a thing. Some might propose that this original uncovered state of awareness is not 106

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awareness of Krsna. The whole structure of the Bhagavatam goes against this. The Bhagavatam is not an impersonalist tract. The whole message of the Bhagavatam is that the final liberation of the soul is devotional service to the Supreme Lord. The uncovering of the soul means uncovering its remembrance of Krsna. 3.16.3 “When the gross and subtle bodies die, the living entity within resumes his spiritual identity” In his final instructions to King Pariksit, Sukadeva Goswami says, in SrimadBhagavatam 12.5.5: ghate bhinne ghatakasa akasah syad yatha pura evam dehe mrte jivo brahma sampadyate punah The key word meanings are: dehe—the body, mrte—when it is given up, in the liberated condition, jivah—the individual soul, brahma—his spiritual status, sampadyate—attains, punah—once again. The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “When a pot is broken, the portion of sky within the pot remains as the element sky, just as before. In the same way, when the gross and subtle bodies die, the living entity within resumes his spiritual identity.” Again, we must remember that the Bhagavatam is not some impersonalist tract. We cannot say that Sukadeva Goswami is describing some impersonal kind of liberation to King Pariksit during his last moments. When he says the soul regains its original spiritual identity this can only mean that it regains its constitutional position as Krsna’s eternal servitor. If we take the position that the liberation described herein is impersonal, then the original state must also be impersonal since it is said that the soul again (punah) attains it. The Bhagavatam will not allow such an interpretation. 3.17 WHAT ABOUT JAYA AND VIJAYA? 3.17.1 “So when I say Yes, there is eternal lila with Krsna, that means on the evidence of Jaya-Vijaya” One of the major evidences cited in support of the theory that the conditioned souls were never in the direct association of Krsna is the Bhagavatam’s account of Jaya and Vijaya’s apparent falldown from Vaikuntha. In fact, the Lord’s servants Jaya and Vijaya did not “fall down” because it is impossible for a genuine servant of the Lord to fall from Vaikuntha. This is true. But some commentators jump from 107

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this to a conclusion that is not true—namely, that conditioned souls who have fallen into the material world cannot possibly have come from Vaikuntha planets. It is interesting, however, that Srila Prabhupada, in his 1972 statement on the origin of the jiva (the one concluding with the “crow and tal fruit” story), uses the same Bhagavatam account of Jaya and Vijaya as evidence that the conditioned souls did indeed originally reside on a spiritual planet in direct association with the Lord. Srila Prabhupada says: Formerly we were with Krsna in his lila, or sport. But this covering of Maya may be of very, very, very, very long duration; therefore many creations are coming and going. Due to this long period of time it is sometimes said that we are ever conditioned. But this long duration of time becomes very insignificant when one actually comes to Krsna consciousness. Just like in a dream we are thinking very long time, but as soon as we awaken we look at our watch and see it has been a moment only. Just like with Krsna’s friends—they were kept asleep for one year by Brahma, but when they woke up and Krsna returned before them, they considered that only a moment had passed. So this dreaming condition is called nonliberated life, and this is just like a dream. Although in this materialistic calculation it is a long, long period, as soon as we come to Krsna consciousness, then this period is considered as a second. For example: Jaya and Vijaya. They had their lila with Krsna, but they had to come down for their little mistake. . . . So when I say Yes, there is eternal lila with Krsna, that means on the evidence of Jaya-Vijaya. Whatever else may be said about the story, it is clear that Srila Prabhupada considered the history of the falldown of the average conditioned soul to be similar to that of Jaya and Vijaya. We were once in krsna-lila and somehow we have fallen. But what, it may be asked, of such statements of Srila Prabhupada’s as in his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.35? From authoritative sources it can be discerned that associates of Lord Visnu who descend from Vaikuntha do not actually fall. And: . . . it is to be understood that when Jaya and Vijaya descended to this material world, they came because there was something to be done for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise it is a fact no one falls from Vaikuntha. There appears to be a contradiction with Srila Prabhupada’s other statements that souls can and do fall from Vaikuntha. As we have seen, Srila Prabhupada has said that in reality we do not fall. We simply forget our original relationship with Krsna in the spiritual world. In this sense it is true that no one falls from Vaikuntha. But at the same time, it is also true that the forgetful conditioned soul was originally engaged in direct service to Krsna in Vaikuntha. This resolves the apparent 108

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contradiction. But the apparent contradiction can also be resolved as follows. The question of the possibility of spirit souls falling from Vaikuntha was raised first by Maharaja Yudhisthira. The nature of his question gives a clue to our dilemma. King Yudhisthira inquired (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.34): What kind of curse could affect even liberated visnubhaktas, and what sort of person could curse even the Lord’s associates? For unflinching devotees of the Lord to fall again to this material world is impossible. I cannot believe this. The key words are “unflinching devotees.” For such unflinching devotees it is indeed impossible to fall down from Vaikuntha—the apparent falldown of Jaya and Vijaya was especially arranged by the Lord for the purpose of His transcendental pastimes. We note, however, that Jaya and Vijaya did not turn against the Lord Himself. Although they offended the four Kumaras by refusing to let them enter the Lord’s abode, they remained the Lord’s unflinching servants. But in the case of the conditioned souls, we are talking of devotees who unfortunately did flinch. We have already cited many references demonstrating that the cause of the conditioned soul’s falldown from the transcendental loving service of the Lord is his desire to imitate and compete with the Lord. So there is no contradiction. One who remains a servant of the Lord cannot really fall down, and one who gives up that service certainly does fall down, in fact. In connection with the story of Jaya and Vijaya, Srila Prabhupada states in his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.16.12: It is to be assumed that there is no possibility of a misunderstanding between the Lord and the devotees, but when there are discrepancies or disruptions between one devotee and another, one has to suffer the consequences, although that suffering is temporary. Jaya and Vijaya belong to this category. But there is, unfortunately, another category. This category comprises those who do violate the basic assumption of life in Vaikuntha—service to the Lord—and their fate is different than that of Jaya and Vijaya. In Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.15.33, the Kumaras say: “In the Vaikuntha world there is complete harmony between the residents and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. . . . [W]hy then is there a seed of fear in this field of harmony?” In his purport Srila Prabhupada explains: The living entities, like ourselves, being part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, are meant to satisfy the senses of the Lord. Thus, whenever there is a discrepancy in that harmony, immediately the living entity is entrapped by maya, or illusion. As we have many times seen, the original position of the living entity is in rendering direct service to the senses of the Supreme Lord in the harmonious 109

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atmosphere of Vaikuntha. But when that harmony is disturbed the living being “falls down.” Because such a living entity is put under the control of the material energy, his fate is different from that of Jaya and Vijaya. Jaya and Vijaya came to the material world, by the arrangement of the Lord, for a specific number of births (three). This was because of some difficulty that arose in their behavior toward the four Kumaras and not because of any offensive action toward the Lord Himself (they were trying to serve Him as best they could). On the other hand, the conditioned souls are here because they became envious of the Lord Himself and wanted to imitate His pastimes. They are here not for a specific number of births. There are here for as long as it takes to rectify their offensive mentality. But, as Srila Prabhupada confirms, the fallen jivas are similar to Jaya and Vijaya in that they were also originally participants in the Lord’s lila. 3.18 CONCLUSION From the evidence of Srimad-Bhagavatam, we can conclude that the original position of the conditioned jiva soul was a loving relationship with Lord Krsna or Lord Narayana in a Vaikuntha planet. This point is made in an especially clear and direct fashion in the Fourth Canto, in the conversation between Queen Vidarbhi and the Brahmana. When the soul leaves the spiritual world, Krsna accompanies it as Supersoul. When the soul achieves liberation, this is, according to the Bhagavatam, a return to its original position of devotional service. This is the understanding given by Srila Prabhupada. If an apparently different reading is given by another acarya, we may place it in the category of a transcendental difference among the acaryas, but we accept the understanding given by Srila Prabhupada. There is no reason for a soul in the spiritual world to fall down other than misuse of his eternal freedom of choice, which is an inherent part of his spiritual nature. This distinguishes the spiritual planets from other places, where one must fall down. For example, if one achieves the heavenly planets, one must fall down when one’s good karma runs out. As Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (9.21), ksine punye martyalokam visanti. And even if, like Lord Brahma, one remains in a heavenly planet without falling down, eventually the planet itself will be destroyed. Furthermore, even if one attains to the Brahman effulgence, one must also come down, unless one achieves the shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet (aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho ‘nadrtah-yusmad- anghrayah; SrimadBhagavatam 10.2.32). If one attains Vaikuntha, however, one is not forced to come down—unless one misuses one’s free will and gives up one’s loving service to the Lord.

4. STATEMENTS OF THE PREVIOUS ACARYAS 4.1 INTRODUCTION 110

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According to some, the statements of Srila Prabhupada about the original position of the jiva are markedly different from those of the previous acaryas in our line, such as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Jiva Goswami. In this chapter, I will show that this is incorrect. 4.2 TEACHINGS OF BHAKTIVINODA THAKURA This first set of quotes is from the Gaudiya-Math English edition of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam. Eventually, it may be necessary to check the following excerpts against the original Bengali to insure their accuracy. 4.2.1 “When they forget their natural function as Krsna’s servitors” There is no guna (quality) or dharma (property) of Maya in the constitution of the jivas. . . . The jivas in reality are pure chit beings, constituted of chit properties. On account of their marginal position (as the border potency), they are liable to be bound down by the property of Maya. And that, too, occurs only when they forget their natural function as Krsna’s servitors. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam, p. 36] Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that the jivas come under the influence of maya “only when they forget their natural function as Krsna’s servitors.” Srila Prabhupada says we have forgotten our relationship as Krsna’s eternal servants, SrimadBhagavatam says it, and now we find Bhaktivinoda Thakura saying the same thing. So guru, sastra, and sadhu are in agreement on this fundamental point. 4.2.2 “The jiva, having forgotten his eternal relation with Krsna, has fallen into the sea of Samsara” From the knowledge of that Sambandha tattva we have learnt that the jiva, having forgotten his eternal relation with Krsna, has fallen into the sea of Samsara (worldly life with succession of births) full of three kinds of scorching troubles and has been suffering from much distress. Deliberating on the means how that suffering can be prevented, we have known that if the relation referred to above be re-established, all troubles will be removed and the highest bliss achieved. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam, p. 43] Some have proposed that our original relationship with Krsna in the spiritual world was perhaps not like the developed relationship of service one achieves upon returning there. But here Bhaktivinoda Thakura refers to reestablishing the original relationship, indicating that the final state is like the original state.

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4.2.3 “The jiva has forgotten that he is the eternal servitor of Krsna” The jiva has forgotten that he is the eternal servitor of Krsna; for this fault Maya has tied him at the neck. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam, p. 44] 4.2.4 “Chit body of Jiva which was existent prior to its contact with matter” If we adopt the line of pure knowledge, it will be clear that Jiva is not the eternal inhabitant of this sorrowful world. The present body of Jiva is not his eternal body. Jiva is essentially chit (sentient). God is all-conscious. Jiva is a particle of that consciousness. God is like the sun and Jiva is his tiny ray. God is Sat, Chit and Ananda in fullness and Jiva is an atomic particle of that universal Chidananda. Matter and material world are not nearest principles to God because they are not sentient. But because Jiva in its essence is chit, so it has near relation to God. Just as God has His Swarupa Vigraha, so Jiva has eternal chit Vigraha. That chit body is manifested in Vaikuntha. Being in material world, it is hidden under two coverings . . . . The conceit [the dictionary meaning of conceit is “thought”] of chit body of Jiva which was existent prior to its contact with matter is just and natural. But after the contact with matter, the conceit of self has become foreign and unjust. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam, pp. 156-157] The last passage is very interesting. Bhaktivinoda Thakura here describes the original spiritual body of the jiva and explicitly states that “that chit body is manifested in Vaikuntha.” In the very next sentence he states that this body, now “being in [the] material world,” is covered by the subtle and gross material bodies. And just in case there is any doubt about what is meant, he goes on speak of “the chit body of Jiva which was existent prior to its contact with matter.” And he already said “that chit body is manifested in Vaikuntha.” 4.2.5 “I am in essence, the eternal servant of Krsna” The vanity that ‘I am in essence the eternal servant of Krsna,’ which was in chit constituent of Jiva, becomes transformed as servant of Vishaya, i.e. matter. In this way, Jiva’s bondage with Maya is established. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam, p. 157] The English here is somewhat stiff and archaic, with the word “vanity” being used in the sense of “identification.” But the meaning is still clear. 4.2.6 “Jiva takes recourse to chit i.e. transcendental everlasting time in Vaikuntha” 112

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But many cannot understand distinctly how karma has no beginning. Time pertaining to matter is only material reflection of chit-time and is a material thing suited to the performance of karma. Jiva takes recourse to chit i.e. transcendental everlasting time in Vaikuntha, where there is no past and future; only the present exists. When Jiva in bondage enters in material time [it] becomes subject to past, future and present and, being server of Trikala, suffers pleasure and pain. Material time originating from Chit kala and Chit kala having no beginning, the origin of Jiva’s Karma—i.e., aversion to God—is coming even prior to material time. Therefore judged impartially with regard to Jadakala, the root of Karma lies prior to this time and therefore Karma has been designated as Anadi, i.e. without any beginning. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam p. 158] So here is another passage where Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes the original position of the jiva to be “in Vaikuntha.” The jiva then becomes subject to material time because of “aversion to God.” The jiva’s entanglement in matter is said to be anadi simply because the root of this entanglement lies outside Jadakala (mundane time). 4.2.7 “Forgetfulness of his essential swarup” The reason of the jiva’s bondage is the forgetfulness of his essential swarup as servant of God. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam, p. 160] 4.2.8 “Jiva’s aversion to Krsna” Misidentification of Jiva’s own swarup and oblivion of Krsna’s Swarup are the two great evils. From these evils arises Jiva’s aversion to Krsna, and on account of this aversion Jiva falls into cyclic rotation of karma marga, created by Maya.” [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam, p. 196]

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4.2.9 “That rasa which, taking to chit-swarup, was pure bhava before has been perverted by its impure reflection” Jiva, who is essentially chit, had pure vanity that he is servant of God and possessed such signs, according to his particular nature. That vanity took recourse to pure vanity of Jiva, whose nature is chit only. By taking to chit-swarup he had the sense of determining right and wrong and also pure intellect for enjoying joy. He had knowledge that God is the Ultimate Being and, taking Him as Vishaya, he had a mind capable of meditation. But coming in contact with matter, these have been turned into gross material body and mind, thereby those pure original propensities have become impure. Therefore that rasa which, taking to chit-swarup, was pure bhava before has been perverted by its impure reflection . . . . Therefore rasa is one: when it remains in eternal pure stage it is ecstasy and joy, but when it remains in material stage it is pleasure or pain arising out of matter. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam p. 220] From this passage it can be seen that the jiva in the material world is originally actively engaged in rasa with Krsna. He was originally a pure servant of Krsna, knew Krsna, but also had a sense of right and wrong, and did the wrong thing. The rasa experienced in the material world “was pure bhava before.” Here again the word vanity is used somewhat awkwardly in the sense of “self-identification.” 4.2.10 “When pure rati falls down in this mundane world, it mixes up with matter and becomes perverted” Jiva and God both taste rasa. When Jiva tastes, then God becomes tasted. When God tastes, then Jiva (devotee) becomes tasted. Both are reciprocal. In reality rasa is the only object to be tasted. The process of rasa is only to be tasted and the Sentience alone can taste it. Rasa is eternal, indivisible, unthinkable and full of ultimate bliss. From pure rati, it can rise up to the highest limit of Mahabhava. But when pure rati falls down in this mundane world, it mixes up with matter and becomes perverted. It then creates material infatuation. [Shri Chaitanya Shikshamritam p. 228] Here we see rati described as an aspect of rasa. It is clear that rasa, characterized by pure rati, is the original condition of the jiva, and that this rasa is exchanged with Krsna in that original condition. “But when pure rati falls down in this mundane world, it mixes up with matter and becomes perverted. It then creates material infatuation.” The next set of quotations is from the Gaudiya Math English edition of Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Jaiva Dharma. Those who insist categorically that the jiva has no prior relationship of service with Krsna before entering the material world 114

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have quoted Jaiva Dharma in support of their views. The quoting has been quite selective, and the selected quotes have been misinterpreted. Here I will quote some additional materials that support the point of view I express in this book— that the conditioned soul has forgotten his eternal relationship with Krsna. 4.2.11 “Nature that springs up with the formation of a thing is eternal and remains latent though it is perverted or changed” When Krsna wills to form a thing, a concomitant nature goes hand in hand with the formation of the thing, and that nature is its eternal characteristic. When that thing is contaminated due to unforeseen events, or is perverted by coming in contact with another thing, then its nature is also perverted or changed. . . . This changed or perverted nature is not inborn or innate in the thing, but causal or accidental . . . . As for example, water is a thing, liquidity is its property. When it happens to be ice, solidity or rigidity becomes its causal or accidental property and is current with the real nature. In fact, causation or accident is not eternal but temporary cause, and vanishes with the disappearance of its cause. But nature that springs up with the formation of a thing is eternal and remains latent though it is perverted or changed. That in course of time or due to favourable circumstances, the real nature of a thing assumes its original character, admits of no doubt. [Jaiva Dharma, p. 6, 1975 edition] Bhaktivinoda Thakura is describing the nature of the soul. The original nature of the soul is loving service to Krsna. We have already seen that Bhaktivinoda Thakura accepts this. Here he explains that this original condition can become perverted by the action of some cause. This cause would be aversion to Krsna’s service. But when this cause is removed, the original nature of the jiva is restored. So when we go back to Godhead and enter into a relationship of loving service to Krsna, this is nothing new. While we are in the material world, the original relationship with Krsna “remains latent though it is perverted or changed.” 4.2.12 “When he forgets Krsna he is averse to serve Krsna” In Jaiva Dharma, Bhaktivinoda Thakura quotes Lord Caitanya from Caitanyacaritamrta: The eternal nature of a Jiva is the eternal servanthood of Krsna. A Jiva is the Tatastha (border line) potency of Krsna and exists simultaneously as a distinct and non-distinct entity. When he forgets Krsna he is averse to serve Krsna and his aversion has not beginning as it dates before his incarnation within the four walls of time and space. (Jaiva Dharma, p. 8) 115

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4.2.13 “When he forgets this relationship he is overwhelmed by the influence of Maya” Service of Sri Krsna is the eternal nature of a Jiva. When he forgets this relationship he is overwhelmed by the influence of Maya—the deluding potency lying at the back-ground of the Lord. Thenceforward a Jiva shows his backwardness in the service of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. Since the backward condition of a Jiva springs up along with his coming into this mayaik world, the history of his downfall within the bounds of time and space is out of the question. Hence the significance of the expression ‘eternally backward.’ His eternal function with the service of Sri Krsna has been perverted since his entrance into the plane of three dimensions due to his forgetfulness. [Jaiva Dharma, p. 10] This one paragraph is a perfect statement that answers all of the normal questions about the original state of the jiva and its downfall. The original condition is “service of Sri Krsna.” Why is the jiva here in the material world? “He forgets this relationship.” Does this mean that Maya is present as a contaminating influence in the spiritual world? No. First the jiva forgets Krsna, as he is eternally free to do, and only then “he is overwhelmed by the influence of Maya—the deluding potency lying at the back-ground of the Lord.” If the jiva had an original relationship of service to Krsna, then why is he called nitya-baddha. “Since the backward condition of a Jiva springs up along with his coming into this mayaik world, the history of his downfall within the bounds of time and space is out of the question. Hence the significance of the expression ‘eternally backward.’” 4.2.14 “The Jiva is eternal and ever-existing, and his function (dharma) in the form of love for Sri Krsna is also eternal” In the Absolute Realm of the spirit the time is ever-present. In it there are no such intervals, corresponding to past and future, which are material time. Jiva and Krsna exist in that time. For this reason the Jiva is eternal and ever-existing and his function (dharma) in the form of love for Sri Krsna is also eternal. Subsequent to his enthrallment in this material world those functions that are incidental to material time, viz., the creation, formation, fall etc. have been attributed to the Jiva. . . . I am only stating this proposition. But the sure realisation of the true meaning of this proposition will be in proportion to the degree of your actual experience of the unalloyed spiritual existence of the Absolute Realm that you have been enabled to receive. [Jaiva Dharma, p. 20] The relationship of mundane to eternal time is undoubtedly difficult. Some will propose that the talk here of “realisation” means that the words of the acaryas 116

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about the original state of the jiva can be set aside as incomprehensible. But that is not proper procedure. The words of the acaryas are given for our understanding, and therefore they cannot be set aside. For example, we hear statements that we are not these bodies. To truly understand this requires realization. Nevertheless, we can repeat with confidence the statement that we are not our bodies, we are spirit souls. At each level of realization the statement “I am not this material body” remains true. In this case, Bhaktivinoda Thakura writes, “The Jiva is eternal and ever-existing and his function (dharma) in the form of love for Sri Krsna is also eternal.” That is the original condition. Bhaktivinoda Thakura then says, “Subsequent to his enthrallment in this material world those functions that are incidental to material time, viz., the creation, formation, fall etc. have been attributed to the Jiva.” That means that prior to his enthrallment, the natural eternal condition is manifest. And that has been characterized not as a dormant state, but as “function ...in the form of love for Sri Krsna.” So even though we do not have complete realization of this, we can repeat it, confident that it is true. 4.2.15 “Forgetfulness of the reality that ‘I am Krsna’s eternal servant’“ The root of all actions is the desire for acts, the root of which again is avidya. Avidya is the name for the forgetfulness of the reality that ‘I am Krsna’s eternal servant.’ This avidya did not commence within the course of mundane time. That root of karma of the jiva arose when he was at the juncture (between chit and achit regions). As such, the beginning of karma is not to be traced within mundane time, and, on that account karma is beginningless. [Jaiva Dharma, p. 248] In the first sentence, Bhaktivinoda Thakura expresses a three-part process. This involves actions (karma), the root of all actions (the desire for acts), and the root of the desire for acts (avidya). Although karma takes place within the mundane time of the material universe, the root of karma (the desire for acts) is something that arises outside of mundane time. The cause of this desire is ignorance (avidya). In the absence of this avidya, the jiva experiences the reality that “I am Krsna’s eternal servant.” Avidya is here defined as forgetfulness of this reality. So at first the jiva is situated in the reality of eternal service to Krsna. By forgetfulness of this reality, avidya develops. And from avidya comes the root of karma, the desire for acts. If this occurs, it occurs at the juncture between the chit (spiritual) and achit (nonspiritual) regions. Thereafter the soul is placed in the material world, and there the actual process of karma unfolds, but the root of karma lies beyond mundane time and space. 4.2.16 “The worldly course makes its appearance simultaneously with the Jiva’s loss of all recollection of the servitorship of Krsna” The Jiva may possess one of two states. He may be either in the conditioned state or in the pure spiritual state. In his unconditioned state the Jiva is uneclipsed cognitive substance. In that state the Jiva 117

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has no relationship with nonsentience. Even in his unalloyed spiritual state the Jiva is infinitesimal, he is liable to undergo change of condition. The Entity of Krsna is plenary Cognition. He is naturally free from the possibility of any change in His condition. He is substantively Great, Perfect, Pure, and Eternal. The Jiva is substantively infinitesimal, part of the Whole, liable to contamination, and not ultimate. But in respect of his spiritual function the Jiva is great, undivided, whole, pure, and eternal. As long as the Jiva retains his pure spiritual condition, he exhibits his spiritual function in his uneclipsed form. When the Jiva is contaminated by relationship with the eclipsing potency (Maya), only then, by reason of the perversion of his proper function, he is not fully pure and feels helpless and afflicted with mundane pleasure and pain. The worldly course makes its appearance simultaneously with the Jiva’s loss of all recollection of the servitorship of Krsna. [Jaiva Dharma, p.12] Bhaktivinoda Thakura here makes some important points. The first is: “The Jiva may possess one of two states. He may be either in the conditioned state or in the pure spiritual state.” There is no mention of any third state. Some have proposed that there is the conditioned state, the final state of achieving the direct service of Krsna, and an unknown original state of relationship with Krsna in the spiritual world. This latter would constitute a third state of the jiva. According to the statements here, however, there is no such third state. Bhaktivinoda Thakura then states: “As long as the Jiva retains his pure spiritual condition, he exhibits his spiritual function in his uneclipsed form.” This indicates a relationship of active service with Krsna. All in all, this quote contains a clear indication that the jiva was originally engaged in its eternal function of directly and actively serving Krsna before it made the mistake of turning from Krsna, at which point the jiva forgets that service and enters the material world to search for enjoyment there. 4.2.17 “So long as the Jiva continues pure, he cherishes his function as his own” So long as the Jiva continues pure, he cherishes his function as his own. His egoism then identifies itself with his servitorship of Krsna. His pure egotism, however, suffers a contraction and assumes various forms when he is defiled by relationship with Maya. [Jaiva Dharma, pp. 12-13] 4.2.18 “Turned away from Krsna and as such, became punishable” In his true nature the jiva is the devoted servant of Krsna. The jivas who have gone astray against that nature of theirs due to their seeking after their own pleasure turned away from Krsna 118

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and, as such, became punishable. [Jaiva Dharma, p. 240] This list of quotes could easily be expanded. But it is sufficient to make the point that Bhaktivinoda Thakura was saying the same thing about the origin of the jiva that we always heard from Srila Prabhupada.

4.3 TEACHINGS OF BHAKTISIDDHANTA SARASVATI THAKURA 4.3.1 “Jiva is eternal and is for eternity and without a beginning joined to the Supreme Lord by the tie of an eternal kinship” Text 20 of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s Brahma-samhita is given as follows: yojayitva tu tany eva pravivesa svayam guham guham praviste tasmims tu jivatma pratibudhyate “By conglomerating all those separate entities He manifested the innumerable mundane universes and Himself entered into the inmost recess of every extended conglomerate [virat-vigrahah]. At that time those jivas who had lain dormant during the cataclysm were awakened.” Text 21 reads: sa nityo nitya-sambandhah prakrtis ca paraiva sa sah—that (jiva); nityah—eternal; nitya sambandhah—possessing an eternal relationship; prakrtih—potency; ca—and; para—spiritual; eva— certainly; sa—that. “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.” Note that the text says “the same jiva” referring to the jivas who, according to the previous text, are lying dormant in Maha-Visnu after the annihilation of the material universe in the cycle of repeated creations and annihilations. This is the jiva that is, according to some, without any previous connection with Krsna. Yet here Lord Brahma says “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.” Some might propose that the eternal relationship is with Maha-Visnu. But in the 119

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purport to text 21 it becomes clear that the relationship is with Krsna. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta says: Just as the sun is eternally associated with his rays, so the transcendental Supreme Lord is eternally joined with the jivas. . . . That eternal relationship consists in this, that the Supreme Lord is the eternal master and jivas are His eternal servants. Jivas also have sufficient eligibility in respect of the mellow quality of the Divinity. Apareyam itas tv anyam prakrtim viddhi me param. By this verse of the Gita it is made known that jivas are His transcendental potency . . . . This potency has another name, viz., tatastha or marginal potency, being located on the line demarcating the sphere of 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. So let us review the main points in the just-quoted purport by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta: 1. the jiva is the eternal servant of Krsna; 2. the jiva is fit to engage in rasa with the Lord; 3. the jiva is the marginal potency, and is “susceptible” to the influence of the material energy; 4. “so long as he remains submissive to Krsna . . . he is not liable to the influence of Maya.” This indicates that the original position is eternal submission and service to Krsna, free of Maya, and that it is possible to remain in that position, although one is susceptible to fall. 5. If one becomes unsubmissive, then one falls “into the clutches of the deluding potency.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta states that the fallen condition of the jiva in the material world dates “from a time that has no beginning.” This means that the change of consciousness that results in the jiva falling into the clutches of the deluding potency takes place outside the bounds of material time and space. It is only in this sense that the fallen condition of the jiva is without beginning. In text 21 we have seen the conditioned jiva described as nitya-sambandhah, possessing an eternal relationship with Krsna. 4.3.2 “When jivas begotten of the marginal potency (tatastha-sakti) forget the service of Krsna, they are confined in the mundane prison house” In Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s purport to text 44 of Brahma-samhita we read: When jivas begotten of the marginal potency (tatastha-sakti) forget the service of Krsna, they are confined in the mundane prison house, the citadel of Durga. . . . When, luckily, the forgetfulness of Govinda on the part of the imprisoned jivas is remarked by them by coming in contact with self-realized souls and their natural aptitude for the loving service of Krsna is 120

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aroused, Durga herself then becomes the agency of their deliverance by the will of Govinda. . . . Jiva is a spiritual atomic part of Krsna. When he forgets his service of Krsna he is at once deflected by the attracting power of Maya in this world, who throws him into the whirlpool of mundane fruitive activity (karma) by confining him in a gross body constituted by the five material elements. It is said of the jiva: “when he forgets his service of Krsna he is at once deflected by the attracting power of Maya.” The indication is that the jiva is originally engaged in service, forgets Krsna, and then is imprisoned by Maya. Here follow some quotations from Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, a collection of writings by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati published by the Gaudiya Math. 4.3.3. “Enjoy, cease to enjoy and go back to his original position” The position of the jiva is a part of the Tatastha-Shakti (Marginal Potency) that can enjoy, cease to enjoy, and go back to his original position. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 101] Those who want to interpret the term nitya-baddha to mean that the conditioned jiva has never had any developed relationship with Krsna are going to have some problems with this last statement. But there it is. The jiva “can enjoy, cease to enjoy, and go back to his original position.” 4.3.4 “When we show our diffidence to serve the Absolute” But as our souls are eternal, we cannot consider that the futile external body as well as the internal temporary body are identical with the soul. They are incorporated later on by the abuse of our independent will. When we abuse that free will, or when we show our diffidence to serve the Absolute, the Over-soul, we think we are to dominate over Nature and Natural Phenomena. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 102] 4.3.5 “We want to go back to our eternal Abode” This world is a perverted reflection of the original, which is our real home. Instead of passing our time here, we want to go back to our eternal Abode. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 111] 4.3.6 “Liberation is nothing but going back to the original position, that is, offering our services to the Eternal Being” But we have got our own position in the intermediate land, that is, the 121

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land between “Chit” and “Achit”; and we call that plane “Tatastha.” Some human souls are conditioned and some are liberated. Liberation is nothing but going back to the original position, that is, offering our services to the Eternal Being. . . . Why have we come to this place? It is so because we have exercised our free will on a particular level and we have been abusing our free will to turn “kartas” [doers]. In other words, we have taken an initiative to enjoy this world and we have thereby submitted to the trap, or rather to the laws of karma. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 116] This quote shows that although the jiva-sakti living entities have an intermediate position, from which they can always choose matter or spirit, the original position is service to Krsna. This is not so hard to understand. In computer word processing programs there are various functions that can be toggled on or off, such as hyphenation. But the default, or original position, might be “hyphenation on.” You are always free to turn the hyphenation off or back on, but the original position, in this example, is “on.” Therefore, it can be said that although your choosing function is always in an intermediate position, from which it can turn hyphenation on or off, the system itself must always be either “hyphenation on” or “hyphenation off.” But the original, or default, condition is “hyphenation on.” The same is true of the soul. The choosing function of the soul is always in an intermediate position, from which it can choose to serve its own senses or the senses of Krsna, but the original, or default, position is service to Krsna. If this position is changed to one of serving one’s senses, one becomes conditioned. Liberation, as Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati clearly states, is simply going back to the original condition of service to Krsna. 4.3.7 “We can go back to the higher Rasa’ Rasas are drinks which are relished by the soul’s eternal senses, and these have denominations different from those that are presented to us for a few hours or a few days. This worldly Rasa is not ever-lasting. But the eternal Rasa, which is not allied to ignorance, presents no miserable face, no vanishing signs, like the Rasa of this mundane world. . . . [W]e can go back to the higher Rasa if we are anxious to be eternal “Rasikas”. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 120] 4.3.8 “The eternal friend servitor will regain his position as such” The following statements were made by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati in Chpater IV of Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, entitled “Explorations in Vedantic Truth”: The Transcendental Sound becomes his sole engagement, he having secured the position of setting himself free from the egoistic 122

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exploitation of the phenomenal plane. Such a position would offer him the conception of the Absolute, to Whom his only duty would be to offer his eternal services. This stage is known as regaining the true function after the expiry of his term of imprisonment as an enjoyer. Now he is in his proper health to engage himself as the eternal servitor of the Absolute, knowing his own position. . . . The Consort Absolute will wait for the consort servitor. The parent servitor will meet the Child Absolute, the object of his or her only engagement. The eternal friend servitor will regain his position as such. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 193] Was the original position of the jiva a direct relationship of service to Krsna in the spiritual world? It is hard to imagine a more direct positive statement than that given here. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta says that liberation is “known as regaining the true function after the expiry of his term of imprisonment as an enjoyer.” And to make it even more explicit, he says, “The eternal friend servitor will regain his position as such.”

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4.3.9 “It is the jivas who are the attendants in His sports” It is the jivas who are the attendants in His [Krsna’s] sports. They become attached to matter, having deviated from their own essential nature as the result of their desire for enjoyment. But when again the soul of a jiva gains true wisdom of the transcendental region of God, he begins to get back his pure essential nature gradually. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 323] Concerning the original relationship of the soul with Krsna, here Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati confirms that the jivas were originally “attendants in His sports.” And we can get back this “pure essential nature gradually.” The final state is the same as the original state. This rules out the suggestion that in our original relationship with Krsna we were situated in something less than an active relationship of service. 4.3.10 “Whenever he chooses deliberately not to serve the Absolute, he thereby ipso facto loses this natural or free state” The subjection of the soul to the laws of a foreign mistress is the result of his own deliberate choice. He can easily revert to the state of free existence by the exercise of the same freedom of choice. . . . The soul is a tiny particle of the Universal-Soul. By his constitution he is subject to the spiritual power of the Divinity, of which he is a constituent part. When he chooses to function in his own position in the spiritual system and in subordination to the laws of the spiritual realm, he is constitutionally free. Whenever he chooses deliberately not to serve the Absolute, he thereby ipso facto loses this natural or free state and is compelled to submit to the Divine Will under pressure. This thralldom he learns to prefer to real freedom by the tricks of the illusory Energy of Godhead ‘Maya’, which creates a world by the Will of Godhead in which Godhead makes Himself invisible for the benefit of the jiva. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, pp. 447-448] 4.3.11 “It is not good to be enticed to stay here for a long time, forgetting our original abode” This world is not our original abode. It is meant for certain purposes. After that we are to proceed to our original home. This world is not a desirable place. It is not good to be enticed to stay here for a long time, forgetting our original abode. We stay there with Godhead. We are the eternal servants of Godhead. When we desire to lord it over the universes we are allowed these facilities for temporary purposes. They do not 124

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serve our eternal purposes. . . . We should better go back to our own position, to our only Friend. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 493]

4.3.12 “When we want to deprive our Lord” It is only when we deem it fit to come down to this world to lord it over other finite entities for our enjoyment that our real position happens to be forgotten to some extent. This contingency happens when we want to deprive our Lord. That tendency was innate with us. It led us to prefer this temporal region by our own desire. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 496] 4.3.13 “The members of this potency are apt to be forgetful of their eternal situation” The eternal and temporal potencies have got their two realms, and on the border of the two, the borderland potency can easily be traced. The members of the border-land potency can claim one of the two potencies at a time, which are doublewinged places of their habitation. . . . The border-land potency can be traced to exhibit her neutral position, which is normal and does not espouse at that time the cause of temporal or eternal manifestation of the Fountain-head. The members of this potency are apt to be forgetful of their eternal situation when they have stronger affinity to live in this temporal region as lords and by their inherent free-will want to not submit to their eternal functions of the transcendence. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 534] The essential points are as follows. (1) There are two divisions to the total manifestation of the Lord’s potency—the eternal realm and the temporal realm. (2) There is a potency situated at their border. This border has been described as imaginary, like the border between land and water on a beach. (3) Although this potency is at the border, its members must be in one or the other of the two realms at any one time. (4) One can nevertheless trace out within the borderline potency an element that is neutrally situated. Points 3 and 4 may seem contradictory, but the example of a person operating a light switch may offer a crude analogy. The light switch itself must be either on or off. There is no third, inbetween state. But the free will of the operator of the switch is always poised at the juncture of the two possibilities, such that it can turn the switch from on to off, from off to on, or allow it to remain on or off. In other words, the free will of the operator is always neutrally situated although the light itself must always be either on or off. And we further know that the original state is “on.” As for the soul, it must be in either the eternal or the temporary realm, but its capacity for free will is 125

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always in a neutral position that enables it to change or maintain the current position of the soul. The original position is devotional service to Krsna. (5) Sometimes a soul may forget this original position. (6) This happens when the soul decides not to submit to this original function of eternal service. (7) When that happens, the soul develops a desire to lord it over matter in the temporal realm and is given the chance to do so. 4.3.14 “His original function of remembering his own eternal exploits” The absolute infinitesimal has got his free will, and by his free will he can either pose himself as a forgetful agent or can awaken himself for his original function of remembering his own eternal exploits. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 535] 4.3.15 “The individual souls serve Shri Krsna as constituents of Shri Radhika” Shri Radhika is the Source of all individual souls, whose function is to be employed in the service of Shri Krsna by the alternative methods [of] loyal conscious submission, neutrality, or actual opposition. The individual souls serve Shri Krsna as constituents of Shri Radhika. When they forget that they are constituents of Shri Radhika, they forget the nature of their own selves and engage in the abnormal activities of the mundane plane. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 615] In this revealing passage, we learn that the original position of the soul is to serve Krsna as a constituent of Sri Radhika. Only when they forget this do they “engage in the abnormal activities of the mundane plane.” 4.3.16 “The connection of jiva with Shiva and mahamaya . . . is established only when he is disassociated from the service of Shri Radha-Krsna” Shiva and mahamaya are closely connected with the jiva. But the connection of jiva with Shiva and mahamaya . . . is established only when he is disassociated from the service of Shri Radha-Krsna. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 619] So it would appear that Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura are in agreement on the fundamental points—that the jiva now in the conditioned state is originally the eternal servant of Krsna in the direct and active sense of the word. Nevertheless, the jiva, being marginal, has the ability to make a choice. The conditioned jiva is a jiva that has made a deliberate 126

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choice to leave the service of Krsna. The state of conditioning is called eternal because the choice that led to it was made before the jiva’s entrance into material space-time. By the same free will that brought it to the material world, the jiva may literally regain its original position of service. Here we have given only a few of many such passages by Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati that could be cited. Is it possible to find some apparently obscure or enigmatic passages from which one can derive a conclusion other than that described above? Yes, it is possible. But if such conclusions are accepted, it can only be at the expense of giving up the direct meaning of the very explicit statements given above. And one would also have to give up the many explicit statements by Srila Prabhupada that are in exact agreement with those given above. And one would also have to give up many direct statements found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, as cataloged in the previous sections.

4.4 TEACHINGS OF THE MADHVA SAMPRADAYA From several sources I have heard that the representatives of the Madhva sampradaya hold that the spirit souls now in this material world are eternally conditioned, in the strict sense of never having been engaged in a direct relationship of service to Krsna. We have already seen that Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati have rejected this position. The current representatives of the Madhva sampradaya also have a very elaborate theory that the conditioned souls are eternally conditioned in one of the three modes of nature. I have not looked too deeply into these matters, as Srila Prabhupada has clearly explained things in another way. Also, in Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati has said: In as much as unwholesomeness in the shape of a doctrine of pervertibility would tend to be prominent if the theory of the jiva being a constituent part of the substantive Reality Himself as found in the writings of Shri Madhvacarya were accepted, Shri Gaursundar has approved the doctrine of Shakti (Potency) as propounded by Shri Lakshman Desika (Ramanuja). . . . The jiva is a differentiated part of the potency of the substantive Reality. [Shri Chaitanya’s Teachings, p. 64] Without getting into all the technicalities, we can see that according to Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Lord Caitanya did not accept the Madhva concept of the soul. Indeed, in the Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 9.277), Lord Caitanya Himself says of the Madhvas: “The only qualification that I see in your sampradaya is that you accept the form of the Lord as truth.” I intend here no disrespect to the worshipful Madhva sampradaya, but wish only to point out a philosophical difference about the nature of the soul. 127

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4.5. TEACHINGS OF JIVA GOSWAMI There is nothing in the teachings of Jiva Goswami that contradicts Srila Prabhupada’s statements that the conditioned souls now in this material world originally existed in a direct relationship of service with Krsna in a spiritual planet in the spiritual world. The main points to consider are the following: 1. Even the advocates of the “no fall” position admit that Jiva Goswami makes no statement of the kind “the conditioned souls now in this material world were never in a spiritual planet with Krsna, engaged in His service.” 2. Jiva Goswami does make statements, citing Vedic literature, that the residents of Vaikuntha do not fall down. But Srila Prabhupada has given us a way to understand these statements. The conditioned souls do not in fact fall down. Srila Prabhupada emphasizes this point again and again in his Tokyo lecture, cited above. The conditioned souls merely think that they have fallen. When we take this approach, given by Srila Prabhupada himself, we can see that all the statements of both Srila Prabhupada and Jiva Goswami are true. Yes, the conditioned souls now in this material world were originally with Krsna in Vaikuntha. They are dreaming they are fallen, but actually they are not fallen. This solves the problem very nicely. Advocates of the “no fall” position have to account for the fact that Srila Prabhupada often said the conditioned souls have come from a direct relationship with Krsna in the spiritual world. They do this by saying Srila Prabhupada made these philosophically incorrect statements as a “preaching strategy.” The weakness of this approach is that Srila Prabhupada never announced this preaching strategy in any of his books, recorded lectures, conversations, or letters. On the other hand, Srila Prabhupada did give a way to understand how the “fallen” souls have not really fallen. 3. Furthermore, the statements by Jiva Goswami in the Bhagavat-sandarbha about no one falling from Vaikuntha are made in the explicitly stated context of comparing the Vaikuntha planets to the heavenly planets. Jiva Goswami does not apply these statements to the origin of the jivas now in this material world. In the places where Jiva Goswami does directly address the question of the fall of the jiva, the texts he cites indicate the original position was one of service to Krsna. 4. Another weakness of the “no fall” advocates is this. Interpreting Jiva Goswami according to their view of things, the spirit souls in this material world cannot have come from planets in the spiritual world, or from a direct relationship of service to Krsna. So where did they come from? The advocates have proposed a version of the brahmajyoti theory. But Jiva Goswami does not say that the spirit souls now in this material world were originally situated in the brahmajyoti. Furthermore, Srila Prabhupada has directly rejected this proposal in his famous crow-and-tal fruit message. In fact, Jiva Goswami, when he directly addresses the question of the jiva’s original position, says the same thing we always heard from Srila Prabhupada. We were originally Krsna’s servants. 128

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With these points in mind, we can now proceed with a more detailed examination of the evidence from Jiva Goswami’s Sandarbhas. 4.5.1 SRI BHAGAVAT-SANDARBHA 4.5.1.1 No one falls from Vaikuntha? How are we to understand the many statements in Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha that say in various ways “no one falls from Vaikuntha”? I suggest that it is important to understand the context in which these statements were made. Indeed, in text 12 of Anuccheda 177 of Sri Krsna-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami himself says that “the Vedic literatures must be understood according to their context.” In text 7 of Anuccheda 63 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, preceding almost all of the statements about no one falling from Vaikuntha, Jiva Goswami gives the context for them: At this point someone may object: “Is it not so that in Svargaloka or any other planet both the objects of enjoyment and the enjoyers of those objects will eventually be destroyed. Is this not true also for the devotees and their object of enjoyment?” This shows that when Jiva Goswami was introducing statements about Vaikuntha, he was doing it to counteract this specific objection. In any other planet “the objects of enjoyment and the enjoyers of those objects will eventually be destroyed.” It must happen. They must be destroyed. But this is not true in Vaikuntha. There is never any inherent reason for the situation of eternal enjoyment to change. The only reason is the causeless misuse of independence by the soul. So in the quotes in this section of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami is answering the objection given above. The nature of Vaikuntha is eternal. The residents of Vaikuntha are eternal. But none of this rules out the possibility of a soul misusing its inherent spiritual quality of free will. When this happens, the natural opulences of the soul are covered but not destroyed. In addition, Srila Prabhupada has said that in reality no one “falls” from Vaikuntha. Krsna simply creates a situation where we think we are fallen. It is like a person lying on his bed and dreaming he is somewhere else. Actually he never leaves his bed. Given all these considerations, it is not necessary to propose that the many statements by Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati that we were originally with Krsna in the spiritual world are simply “preaching strategies” that do not reflect the actual truth. In short, the quotes given by Jiva Goswami about Vaikuntha simply affirm the eternal spiritual nature of the Vaikuntha planets and the eternal spiritual nature of the residents who remain there absorbed in Krsna’s service. These qualities distinguish Vaikuntha from the heavenly planets, where the objects of enjoyment and the enjoyers will eventually be destroyed. The heavenly planets are material 129

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and thus temporary, and the bodies of the demigods are also material and thus temporary. In the course of time, the heavenly planets and bodies of the demigods are destroyed. But the Vaikuntha planets are never destroyed, and the spiritual bodies of the residents of Vaikuntha are never destroyed (although they may be temporarily covered if the residents misuse their independence). In this section of the Bhagavat-sandarbha Jiva Goswami is not, however, directly addressing the nature of the marginal potency and its ability to misuse its spiritual quality of free will. But, as we shall see, this topic does come up in other sections of the Sandarbhas, and there we hear from Jiva Goswami what we have heard so many times from Srila Prabhupada. We were originally with Krsna in His abode, but we have misused our independence. Therefore we find ourselves in the material world, deprived of our original spiritual opulences. But by Krsna consciousness we can go back home, back to Godhead. 4.5.1.2 “Regaining your natural position” In text 5 of Anuccheda 4 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites SrimadBhagavatam 4.11.30. In this text, Manu says to Dhruva Maharaja: “Regaining your natural position and rendering service unto the Supreme Lord (Bhagavan), who is the all-powerful reservoir of all pleasure and who lives in all living entities, you will very soon forget the illusory understanding of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’” This translation is Srila Prabhupada’s, and he directly refers to the soul regaining its natural position of rendering service to the Lord. Others might wish to translate this text differently, but I will prefer to stick with Srila Prabhupada’s translation, and I assume that Jiva Goswami would find no fault in it. 4.5.1.3 “The pure spirit souls, who are His marginal potencies” In text 1 of Anuccheda 16 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites SrimadBhagavatam 11.3.37. The last line of this text is: brahmaiva bhati sad asac ca tayoh param yat The translation give by Hridayananda Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “Brahman, which is the source of all subtle and gross manifestations, is simultaneously transcendental to them, being absolute.” In text 2 of Anuccheda 16, Jiva Goswami gives this further explanation of the word param in the above quoted Bhagavatam text: 130

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“param” svarupa-vaibhavam sri-vaikuntha-rupam tatasthahvaibhavam suddha-jiva rupa ca, anyatha tat-tad-bhavasiddhih. Here Jiva Goswami says that param means “the Lord’s personal internal potency, which is the spiritual planets of Vaikuntha, and the pure spirit souls, who are His marginal potencies.” He adds, “Any conception that contradicts this is in error.” The marginal potency is described as being param and composed of suddha-jivas, or pure spirit souls. This is quite in line with Srila Prabhupada’s many statements that we are originally Krsna conscious beings, eternal servants of Krsna. In text 3 of Anuccheda 16 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami gives a further explanation of the words tayoh param in the Bhagavatam text cited above. Jiva Goswami interprets this text as an explanation of the Lord’s many potencies. After describing some of the material potencies, Jiva Goswami says: These sat and asat potencies are material in nature. Above them (tayoh param) is the supreme goal of life, the spiritual Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known as Bhagavan and who is accompanied by His potencies. Also above them is the spiritual living entity, who is known as jiva (suddha-jiva-akhyam), and who, because He follows the Lord (tat-anugatattvat), is pure. So according to these explanations of Jiva Goswami, the tatastha-sakti (marginal potency) is one of the superior spiritual potencies of the Lord, and is of the same nature as Vaikuntha itself. It is composed of pure jivas who naturally follow the Lord. This is what we have always heard from Srila Prabhupada, namely that we are all originally Krsna conscious beings. In text 19 of Anuccheda 16, the jivas are also described as suddha, or pure spiritual beings, whereas the inhabitants of the brahmajyoti are elsewhere described as avisuddha-buddhayah, having impure intelligence (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.32). In text 4 of Anuccheda 16 of Sri-Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami goes on to explain, “The false ego covers the awareness of the pure individual soul (jivam), which is one of the Lord’s spiritual potencies.” 4.5.1.4 “The individual soul becomes bereft of his natural spiritual opulences” In text 1 of Anuccheda 25 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites SrimadBhagavatam 10.87.38. Here follows an excerpt from the translation to this text given by Srila Prabhupada in Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the chapter on the prayers of the personified Vedas. “When there is cosmic manifestation, the jivatma, or the individual soul, appears in the creation in different forms, according to his previous fruitive activities, and due to his long forgetfulness of real existence, he identifies himself with a particular form awarded to him by the laws of material nature....While he is enwrapped in such ignorance, his natural opulences, although existing in minute 131

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quantity, become almost extinct.” The Sanskrit for this part of the text is: sa yad ajaya tv ajam anusayita gunams ca jusan bhajati svarupatam tad anu mrtyum apeta-bhagah In text 2 of Anuccheda 25, Jiva Goswami cites Sridhara Swami’s commentary on this text. Sridhara Swami says: In this verse the word sah means “the individual spirit soul.” Yat means “because.” ajaya means “by the material energy maya,” ajam means “ignorance,” anusayita means “embraces,” gunams ca means “the material body and senses,” jusan means “serving, or considering the material body as the self,” svarupatam jusan apeta-bhagah means “absorbed in the material energy, the individual soul becomes bereft of his natural spiritual opulences, such as bliss and knowledge,” mrtyum means “the material realm of birth and death,” [and] bhajati means “attains.” But the position of the Lord is different. The last part of Bhagavatam text 10.87.38 is: “The distinction between You and the conditioned soul is that You maintain Your natural opulences, known as sad-aisvarya, asta-siddhi, and asta-guna.” So the indication from Jiva Goswami, Sridhara Swami, Srila Prabhupada, and the Bhagavatam (which Jiva Goswami calls the highest evidence) is that the jiva in its original position was actively displaying its spiritual opulences. In the brahmajyoti, there is no display of such opulences, since the brahmajyoti is an impersonal state devoid of personal opulences. Sridhara Swami calls these opulences ananda-adi—bliss and others. This indicates variety. So what happens? Because of forgetfulness of his original position, the jiva is covered by the material energy. The distinction between the Lord and the living entity is that the conditioned living entity cannot maintain his spiritual opulences in the material world whereas the Lord can. All of this is perfectly in line with what we have repeatedly heard from Srila Prabhupada, namely that we are originally Krsna conscious living beings but due to forgetfulness our real spiritual nature has been covered. But we can go back to our original position in the spiritual world. 4.5.1.5 “One’s own home, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead lives” That a spiritual planet in Vaikuntha is our original home is made clear in Anuccheda 71 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha. In text 1 of Anuccheda 71, Jiva Goswami 132

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cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.48, wherein Narada Muni says: “Those who are less intelligent accept the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies as all in all. They do not know that the purpose of the Vedas is to understand one’s own home, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead lives. Not being interested in their real homes, they are illusioned and search after other homes.” The translation is by Srila Prabhupada. The Sanskrit is: svam lokam na vidus te vai yatra devo janardanah ahur dhumra-dhiyo vedam sakarmakam atad-vidah In text 2 of Anuccheda 71 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha Jiva Goswami says: In this verse Narada Muni says, “Those who are less intelligent (dhumra-dhiyah) accept (ahuh) the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies (veda sa-karmakam) as all in all. They know of Svargaloka and the other planets in the material universe, but they do not know that the purpose of the Vedas is to understand one’s own home (svam lokam) where (yatra) the Supreme Personality of Godhead (janardanah) lives.” 4.5.1.6 “The fault of ignorance, which makes the living entity forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead” In text 6 of Anuccheda 100 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites SrimadBhagavatam 10.87.14, which is one of the prayers of the personified Vedas. jaya jaya jahy ajam ajita dosa-grbhita-gunam tvam asi yad atmana samavaruddha-samasta-bhagah aga-jagad-okasam akhila-sakty-avabodhaka te kvacid ajayatmana ca carato ‘nucaren nigamah The translation given by Srila Prabhupada in Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the chapter “Prayers by the Personified Vedas,” is (in part): “All the living entities, being Your parts and parcels, are naturally joyful, eternal, and full of knowledge, but due to their own faults they imitate You by trying to become the supreme enjoyer. Thus they disobey Your supremacy and become offenders. And because of their offenses, Your material energy has taken charge of them. Thus their transcendental qualities of joyfulness, bliss, and wisdom have been covered by the clouds of the three material qualities.” 133

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In text 12 of Anuccheda 100 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami comments on this text of the Bhagavatam. The most relevant part is his discussion of the words dosa-grbhita-guna. Jiva Goswami says: Dosa here is the fault of ignorance, which makes the living entity forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead [atmavismrti]. Forgetting implies that the knowledge of the Supreme Lord was once there. This is what we have always heard from Srila Prabhupada, namely that we were once with Krsna but we have simply forgotten Him. By Krsna consciousness, we can regain our original relationship with Krsna. 4.5.1.7 “The material ignorance potency makes the conditioned souls in the material world forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead” In text 6 of Anuccheda 103 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami discusses the potencies of the Supreme Lord, as they are listed in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.39.55. Jiva Goswami says: The pastime potency is divided into knowledge and ignorance potencies. The ignorance potency, which makes one forget the Supreme Lord’s powers and opulences, brought the bliss of ecstatic love to Krsna’s mother (Yasoda). In the same way, it also bewildered the gopis, as is described in the Gopala-tapani Upanisad. This will be described in detail at the proper time. The material ignorance potency makes the conditioned souls in the material world forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It covers their true knowledge. The Sanskrit used by Jiva Goswami for the last part of this statement is: sah bhedah samsarinam sva-svarupa-vismrty-adi-hetur avaranatmakavrtti-visesa. The word vismrti, is a clear reference to forgetfulness, and forgetfulness means that there is some original knowledge that has been forgotten. It is also said that the ignorance potency covers the true knowledge of the soul. This is what we have always heard from Srila Prabhupada. We were originally Krsna conscious, but we have forgotten this. It is simply a question of remembering our original condition.

4.5.2 SRI PARAMATMA-SANDARBHA In the Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami explicitly discusses the nature of the 134

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marginal potency. Evidence discussed in this section is thus explicitly in the context of the marginal potency’s characteristics. 4.5.2.1 “By nature pure” In text 4 of Anuccheda 1 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami describes the jiva as suddho ’pi mayatah parah: “by nature pure, that is to say beyond the touch of the illusory potency.” This answers the suggestion that some jivas are by nature impure, i.e., eternally fallen. 4.5.2.2”The individual soul . . . is, in his original spiritual nature, a servant of Lord Hari” In text 2 of Anuccheda 19 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says “the individual spirit soul is the marginal potency of the Supreme Lord.” From the Uttara-khanda of the Padma Purana he then cites several verses describing the nature of the soul. The most important of these is cited in text 5 of Anuccheda 19: makarenocyate jivah ksetrajnah paravan sada dasa-bhuto harer eva nanyasyaiva kadacana “In the sacred syllable om, the letter ‘m’ stands for the individual spirit soul. The individual soul is the knower of the field of activities. He is transcendental, and he is, in his original spiritual nature, a servant of Lord Hari. He is not a servant of anyone else.” The most important point is that the jiva is originally a servant of Lord Hari. It is here that Jiva Goswami is directly discussing the original nature of the jiva, and not in the parts of the Bhagavat-sandarbha where he discusses the distinction between the residents of Vaikuntha and the residents of the heavenly planets. The Bhagavat-sandarbha sections about Vaikuntha do not say anything at all about the conditioned souls and their original position and so cannot be used as direct evidence for that question. It is the statements of Jiva Goswami that directly deal with the original position of the jiva that can best be used in this connection. In text 7 of Anuccheda 19, Jiva Goswami cites Jamata Muni, who says of the jiva: “He has his own original spiritual form, which is full of spiritual knowledge and bliss.” And in text 8 of Anuccheda 19, Jiva Goswami cites an additional text by Jamata Muni, who says of the jiva: “He is an individual person, different from other persons. He is 135

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atomic in size. He is eternally pure (nitya-nirmalah). In his original spiritual nature he is a knower, a doer, and an enjoyer (tatha jnatrtva-kartrtva-bhoktrtva-nija-dharmakah). Eternally, he is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Here we learn that the soul is originally a knower, doer, and enjoyer. Thus the original position cannot be in the brahmajyoti. One might propose that while these characteristics represent the real nature of the soul, they will be revealed only for the first time after the eternally conditioned soul achieves Krsna consciousness. But this reading defies the normal use of language and logic, as well as the teachings of the major acaryas in our line. 4.5.2.3 “The ignorance that covers their true knowledge” In text 5 of Anuccheda 22, Jiva Goswami cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.5, which says that the conditioned souls are “illusioned by the knowledge-covering feature of the illusory energy.” In text 7, Jiva Goswami cites Bhagavad-gita 5.15: “Embodied beings are bewildered, however, because of the ignorance that covers their true knowledge.” This indicates that originally living beings had true knowledge of their relationship with Krsna, unless one wants to say that true knowledge means some kind of impersonal spiritual awareness. 4.5.2.4 “The individual soul becomes bereft of his natural spiritual opulences” In text 1 of Anuccheda 23 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami again cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.38, which he cited in text 1 of Anuccheda 25 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha. Since Jiva Goswami thought this text and the accompanying commentary by Sridhara Swami were important enough to include twice, I will also include them again, since they help define exactly what the illusory energy (as mentioned just above) is covering. Here follows an excerpt from the translation to Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.38. given by Srila Prabhupada in Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the chapter on the prayers of the personified Vedas. “When there is cosmic manifestation, the jivatma, or the individual soul, appears in the creation in different forms, according to his previous fruitive activities, and due to his long forgetfulness of real existence, he identifies himself with a particular form awarded to him by the laws of material nature. . . . While he is enwrapped in such ignorance, his natural opulences, although existing in minute quantity, become almost extinct.” The translation by Hridayananda Goswami and Gopiparanadhana reads: “The illusory material nature attracts the minute living entity to embrace her, and as a result he assumes forms composed of her 136

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qualities. Subsequently, he loses all of his spiritual qualities and must undergo repeated deaths.” The Sanskrit for this part of the text is: sa yad ajaya tv ajam anusayita gunams ca jusan bhajati sarupatam tad anu mrtyum apeta-bhagah In text 2 of Anuccheda 23 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami again cites Sridhara Swami’s commentary on this text. Here I reproduce Kusakratha Prabhu’s translation of this same commentary from Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha: Sridhara Swami says: “In this verse the word sah means ‘the individual spirit soul,’ yat means ‘because,’ ajaya means ‘by the material energy, maya,’ ajam means ‘ignorance,’ anusayita means ‘embraces,’ gunams ca means ‘the material body and senses,’ jusan means ‘serving, or considering the material body as the self,’ svarupatam jusan apetabhagah means ‘absorbed in the material energy, the individual soul becomes bereft of his natural spiritual opulences, such as bliss and knowledge,’ mrtyum means ‘the material realm of birth and death,’ [and] bhajati means ‘attains.’“ The point to note is this: what is being covered are the natural spiritual opulences of the living entity. This indicates that the original position was one in which these opulences were displayed. That cannot have been in the brahmajyoti, because there are no variegated personal opulences displayed there, nor can it have been in some hypothetical dormant state apart from Krsna’s pastimes. In text 1 of Anuccheda 28 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says “the soul is manifested from the Lord’s internal potency.” 4.5.2.6 “The pure soul enters the material world” In text 1 of Anuccheda 29 of Sri-Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says: When that blissful spiritual consciousness (anandatmake) is pervertedly reflected in material consciousness, the individual soul thinks, ‘I will not act for Your benefit (yusmad-arthatvam na bhavati). I will act only for my benefit (asmad-arthatvam eva).’ In this way, the individual soul comes under the grip of materialistic false ego. Thus influenced by false ego, the pure soul enters the material world (suddha atma prakrty-avesah).” In text 2 of Anuccheda 29 of Sri-Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites in this connection Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.26.6. evam parabhidhyanena kartrtvam prakrteh puman karmasu kriyamanesu 137

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gunair atmani manyate

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Srila Prabhupada’s translation is: “Because of his forgetfulness, the transcendental living entity accepts the influence of material energy as his field of activities, and thus actuated, he wrongly applies the activities to himself.” In text 3 of Anuccheda 29 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami gives this commentary: Here the word parabhidhyanena means “by entering the material world and thinking ‘I am made of matter.’” In this way the transcendental living entity accepts the influence of material energy as his field of activities, and thus actuated, he wrongly applies the activities to himself. A person who is free of false ego does not think in this way. Only when a person is covered by materialistic false ego does he think in this way. A soul who is convinced of his spiritual identity has no reason to enter the material world. That is clear. The last two sentences are important. The Sanskrit of Jiva Goswami for them is: suddha-rupa-matra-nisthatvan—because of confidence in the spiritual form; na—not; samsara—of the material world; hetuh —cause; spastam—clear. The indication is that the soul has an original spiritual identity as servant of Krsna. If one is convinced of this, one “has no reason to enter the material world.” If one is not convinced, one enters the material world and is covered by false ego. This is what we have always heard from Srila Prabhupada. The soul has free will. If it properly uses its free will, it remains in the spiritual world with Krsna. If it misuses its free will, it comes to the material world. 4.5.2.7 “In his original constitutional position” In text 19 of Anuccheda 37 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says: When he becomes free from ignorance and situated in his original constitutional position, the soul is said to be liberated. In this liberated condition his spiritual nature is like that of the Lord Himself. The Sanskrit is: ata evavidya-vimoksa-purvaka-svarupavasthiti-laksanayam muktau tal-linasya tat-sadharmyapattir bhavati 139

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The word meanings are: ata eva—therefore; avidya—ignorance; vimoksa— liberation; purvaka—before; svarupa—own form; avasthiti—situation; laksanayam —in the nature; muktau—liberated; tal-linasya—merged into Him; tatsadharmyapattih—attainment of His nature; bhavati—is. The words purvaka-svarupavasthiti indicate that the original constitutional position was in fact experienced in the past, before the soul entered the conditioned state. The soul’s state after liberation is thus the same as the soul’s state before the soul became conditioned. This state is described as being of the same nature as that of the Lord, who displays various opulences. We can therefore conclude that the soul, before it became conditioned, was displaying opulences, just as it will after final liberation. 4.5.2.8 “In his original spiritual nature he is a knower, a doer, and an enjoyer” In texts 2-4 of Anuccheda 45 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.16-18, in which Lord Kapila describes the nature of the soul. Then in text 5 of Anuccheda 45, Jiva Goswami says, in part: The meaning of these verses is clear. These verses are explained by Jamata Muni in the passage quoted in this book in Anuccheda 19, texts 6-8. The soul described in the first of these Srimad-Bhagavatam verses is explained to be nitya-nirmala (eternally pure) in the parallel passage of Jamata Muni. The word atmanam (the self) in the second of these Srimad-Bhagavatam verses is explained to be aham-arthah (conscious of his identity as an individual person) in the parallel passage of Jamata Muni. The word kevalam in the second of these SrimadBhagavatam verses is explained to be eka-svarupa-rupa-bhak (he has his own original spiritual form) in the parallel passage of Jamata Muni. . . . The word akhanditam, in the second of these Srimad-Bhagavatam verses, means that the potency of knowledge and the other potencies are not limited or incomplete, and is explained by the word jnatrtva-kartrtvabhoktrtva-nija-dharmaka (in his original spiritual nature he is a knower, a doer, and an enjoyer) in the parallel passage of Jamata Muni. All of this contradicts the idea that the original position of the soul is as a nityabaddha soul in the brahmajyoti, or as a dormant entity outside Krsna’s pastimes. Jamata Muni describes the soul as being in a pure state, conscious of its unique personal nature, endowed with a spiritual form, and with potencies of knowledge, action, and enjoyment. Some have proposed that these potencies might exist in a dormant form, but they are here described as not limited or incomplete. It would really twist the ordinary, logical use of language to say that all of the characteristics are simply the dormant, potential characteristics of a soul that is in fact in a fallen, imperfect state, merged in impersonal Brahman, where there is no variegated manifestation of personal potencies. That idea is 140

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certainly not expressed in this passage. 4.5.2.9 “His conception of life is reversed” In text 1 of Anuccheda 47 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says: 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 Lord (anadita eva bhagavad-unmukhah), and 2. the rebellious souls who, from time immemorial, are averse to the Supreme Lord (anadita eva bhagavat-paranmukhah). This is because one group is aware of the Lord’s glories and the other group is not aware of them. The latter group of souls is sometimes called eternally conditioned, but Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura all explain that this simply means that the time of conditioning cannot be traced out in material time. Originally, however, the conditioned soul was Krsna conscious. That Srila Jiva Goswami also accepts this is shown by the following texts. In text 3 of Anuccheda 47 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says, after having described the eternally liberated souls in text 2: aparas tu tat-paranmukhatva-dosena paribhutah samsari. labdha-chidraya mayaya

In this part of text 3, aparas tu means “but others.” Tat-paranmukhatva-dosena means “with the defect of being averse to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Labdha-chidraya is defined by Kusakratha as “faulty.” But I would like to further refine the definition. Labdha means “get” or “obtain.” Chidra means “fault,” and chidraya is the instrumental case. So labdha-chidraya would appear to mean something like “by having obtained the state of being faulty.” Labdha is generally used when one obtains something that one did not previously have. This indicates the original state of the soul is “not faulty.” But by becoming averse to Krsna, the soul becomes faulty. Then what happens? Mayaya paribhutah samsari. Such souls, says Jiva Goswami, “become conquered (paribhutah) by the illusory potency maya and must live in the material world (samsari).” That Jiva Goswami understood the conditioned soul was originally Krsna conscious is also made clear in text 4 of Anuccheda 47 of Sri Paramatmasandarbha. There Jiva Goswami cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.37, the famous bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syat verse. The translation by Srila Prabhupada is: “When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krsna, he is overpowered by fear. Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed. In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Krsna, he becomes Krsna’s competitor. This is called viparyayo ’smrtih.” 141

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The words “instead of being the eternal servant of Krsna” indicate that the original position is servant of Krsna. Instead of remaining in this position, the soul “becomes Krsna’s competitor.” “Becoming” indicates that the original position was something else, and that original position has already been described as “being the eternal servant of Krsna.” If one wants to propose that originally the soul was in a neutral or undefined position, then the proper expression would have been “instead of becoming the eternal servant of Krsna, he becomes Krsna’s competitor.” But then the expression “his conception of life is reversed” makes no sense. Reversal means the original position has to be servant of Krsna. I have already shown elsewhere that Srila Prabhupada’s translation perfectly follows the Sanskrit. Some might prefer a different translation of this verse, but I will stick with Srila Prabhupada’s. The evidence from this verse of the Bhagavatam clearly shows that the original position of the conditioned souls was one of service to Krsna. And in text 5 of Anuccheda 80 of Sri Krsna-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says, “The Supreme Vedic literature, Srimad-Bhagavatam, should be always taken as the final authority, and any statement contradicting the Bhagavatam should be rejected.”

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4.5.2.10 “The soul’s natural spiritual knowledge” In text 6 of Anuccheda 54 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami describes the avaranatmika (covering potency) of maya. He says it “covers the soul’s natural spiritual knowledge (svabhavikam jnanam avrnvana).” What is this natural spiritual knowledge that is covered? According to the brahmajyoti theory, the soul would have been originally absorbed in impersonal liberation. But impersonal liberation, merging in the Absolute, is called maya’s last snare by Srila Prabhupada. It does not make sense that the natural spiritual knowledge of the soul is impersonal consciousness of the Absolute. The natural spiritual knowledge of the soul is the conception “I am the eternal servant of Krsna.” As Lord Caitanya says, jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya-dasa. 4.5.2.11 “When the gross and subtle bodies die, the living entity within resumes his spiritual identity” In text 2 of Anuccheda 72 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami discusses the liberation of Maharaja Pariksit. Although Maharaja Pariksit is a liberated soul, he was, like Arjuna, playing the role of a conditioned soul. Therefore the instructions about his passing from this world should be taken in that context. In text 3 of Anuccheda 72, Jiva Goswami cites in this connection Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.5.5, where Sukadeva Goswami says to Maharaja Pariksit: ghate bhinne ghatakasa akasah syad yatha pura evam dehe mrte jivo brahma sampadyate punah The key word meanings are: dehe—the body, mrte—when it is given up, in the liberated condition, jivah—the individual soul, brahma—his spiritual status, sampadyate—attains, punah—once again. The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “When a pot is broken, the portion of sky within the pot remains as the element sky, just as before. In the same way, when the gross and subtle bodies die, the living entity within resumes his spiritual identity.” We must remember that the Bhagavatam is not some impersonalist tract. We cannot say that Sukadeva Goswami is describing some impersonal kind of liberation to King Pariksit during his last moments. When he says the soul regains its original spiritual identity, this can only mean that it regains its constitutional position as Krsna’s eternal servitor. If we take the position that the liberation described herein is impersonal, then the original state must also be impersonal, since it is said that the soul again (punah) attains it. The Bhagavatam will not allow such an interpretation. 143

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4.5.2.12 “He regains his original spiritual awareness” In text 2 of Anuccheda 83 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites SrimadBhagavatam 12.4.33 in a discussion about the false ego of the conditioned soul: ghano yadarka-prabhavo vidiryate caksuh svarupam ravim iksate tada yada hy ahankara upadhir atmano jijnasaya nasyati tarhy anusmaret The translation given by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu is: “When the cloud originally produced from the sun is torn apart, the eye can see the actual form of the sun. Similarly, when the spirit soul destroys his material covering of false ego by inquiring into the transcendental science, he regains his original spiritual awareness.” The key word meanings are: yada—when, hi—indeed also, ahankarah—false ego, upadhih—the superficial covering, atmanah—of the spirit soul, jijnasaya—by spiritual inquiry, nasyati—is destroyed, tarhi—at that time, anusmaret—one gains his proper remembrance. In this text, there is a definite reference in the Sanskrit to regaining memory (anusmaret). This shows that the original state cannot be a covered state. This is also shown by the use of the word upadhih to describe false ego. Upadhih means an artificial or temporary imposition of something upon the natural state of a thing. Some might propose that this original uncovered state of awareness is not awareness of Krsna. The whole structure of the Bhagavatam goes against this. The Bhagavatam is not an impersonalist tract. The whole message of the Bhagavatam is that the final liberation of the soul is devotional service to the Supreme Lord. The uncovering of the soul means uncovering its remembrance of Krsna. That this is true in this specific case is made absolutely clear in the following comments by Jiva Goswami. In text 5 of Anuccheda 83 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami gives this commentary on the above-quoted verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam: Sometimes a person is so eager to see the sun that he sees the sun in his memory. Thus, in the second part of this example the word anusmaret (he remembers) means “seeing Him in his memory, a person searches for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” This passage indicates that the original consciousness of the soul was Krsna 144

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consciousness. We remember what we have forgotten. What we have forgotten is Krsna, as Srila Prabhupada so often said. 4.5.2.13 “He loses all of his spiritual qualities” In text 20 of Anuccheda 90 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami, in discussing how the soul becomes conditioned, again cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.38: “The illusory material nature attracts the minute living entity to embrace her, and as a result he assumes forms composed of her qualities. Subsequently, he loses all of his spiritual qualities [apetabhagah] and must undergo repeated deaths.” Especially worthy of note is the compound apeta-bhagah, which indicates that the soul loses its variegated opulences. This means the original position of the soul must have been a situation where these opulences were displayed. This cannot have been the brahmajyoti, because there is no variegated display of personal opulences there, no can it have been any other position outside Krsna’s lila. 4.5.2.14 “The conditioned soul has forgotten his true identity” In text 1 of Anuccheda 91 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says: The conditioned soul in this material world, who is bewildered by the Lord’s illusory potency maya, is also described in these words of Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.7.10. Text 2 of Anuccheda 91 gives the Bhagavatam text: yad arthena vinamusya pumsa atma-viparyayah pratiyata upadrastuh sva-siras-chedanadibhih “The living entity is in distress regarding his self-identity. He has no factual background, like a man who dreams that he sees his head cut off.” This text gives us a scripturally authorized way of adjusting statements that “no one falls from Vaikuntha.” We do not really fall. Krsna simply creates a situation in which we forget our real identity and think that we no longer have it, just like the person who dreams he sees his head cut off. Actually, we retain our spiritual identity, even though it appears not to exist at present, because we are falsely identifying with the material body. 145

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In text 3 of Anuccheda 91, Jiva Goswami interprets the above-quoted Bhagavatam verse along these same lines: Although he is eternal, always existing in the three phases of time (past, present, and future), the individual soul does not know this truth about himself. Here the word atma-viparyayah indicates that the conditioned soul has forgotten his true identity. In text 5 of Anuccheda 91 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami describes the soul who “in a dream believes that his head has been cut off.” In truth the head is not really cut off. Indeed, it is not possible for anyone to sit in one place and see his own head being cut off in another place. The sight of this is only an illusion created by the Lord’s maya potency. This is described in the following words of the Vedantasutra (3.2.3): “It is like a dream created by the maya potency.” (Note: The Sanskrit for Vedanta-sutra 3.2.3 is maya-matram tu kartsnyenanabhivyakta svarupatvat. The word meanings given by Kusakratha are: maya-matram—only maya; kartsnyena—completely; anabhivyakta—not manifested; svarupatvat—because of the original form.) In text 1 of Anuccheda 92 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says: In this way the pure (suddhasya) spirit soul misidentifies with the material body. This means the actual spiritual body is still there. It is not destroyed by time, as is the body of a demigod in the heavenly planets. So in this sense, the conditioned soul is not “fallen,” although he has forgotten Krsna and his own original spiritual form. 4.5.2.15 “The maya potency, which covers the real forms of the individual spirit souls” In text 36 of Anuccheda 105 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami comments on the first text of Srimad-Bhagavatam: In the first verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the word kuhakam means “that which bewilders.” This word refers to the maya potency, which covers the real forms of the individual spirit souls and throws them into the material world. This suggests that originally the real forms of the spirit souls were manifest.

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4.5.3 SRI TATTVA-SANDARBHA In Anuccheda 34 of the Tattva-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami states: atra jivasya tadrsa-cid-rupatve api parama-isvaratah vailaksanyam. The word meanings to this text excerpt are: atra—here; jivasya—of the individual living entity; tadrsa—like this; cid—spiritual; rupatve—form; api—also; paramaisvaratah—from the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vailaksanyam—difference. The translation is: Although the individual living entities originally have spiritual forms just like that of the Supreme Lord, they are nevertheless distinct persons, different from the Lord Himself. The important thing to note is that the living entities have forms just like that of the Supreme Lord. According to the brahmajyoti theory, the jivas would be existing simply as atomic particles in the brahmajyoti.

4.5.4 SRI BHAKTI-SANDARBHA 4.5.4.1 “Because the living entity has turned away from the Supreme Lord, the material energy makes him forget, and thus his own original spiritual form is no longer manifested” In Anuccheda 1, Text 1, of the Bhakti-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says: paramatma-vaibhava-ganane ca tatastha-sakti-rupanam cid-ekarasanam ap anadi-para-tattva-jnana-samsargabhavamaya-tadvaimukhya-labdha-cchidraya tan mayayavrta-sva-svarupa-jnananam tayaiva sattva-rajas-tamo-maye jade pradhane racitatma-bhavanam jivanam samsara-duhkham ca jnapitam. Word meanings: paramatma—of the Supersoul; vaibhava—of the powers; ganane— in the enumeration; ca—also; tatastha—marginal; sakti—potency; rupanam—of the forms; cid-eka-rasanam—spiritual; api—also; anadi—without beginning; para— supreme; tattva—truth; jnana—knowledge; samsarga—the material creation; abhavamaya—nonexistence; tad—that; vaimukhya—averse; labdha—attained; chidraya—by the defect; tan mayaya—made of it; avrta—covered; sva—own; svarupa—form; jnananam—knowing; taya—by that; eva—certainly; sattva-rajastamo-maye—made of the modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance; jade—in the material world; pradhane—in the unmanifest material energy; racita—made; atma —own; bhavanam—nature; jivanam—of the individual living entities; samsara—of the world of repeated birth and death; duhkham—pain; ca—also; jnapitam— informed. 147

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The translation is: Also, in the description of Paramatma, was described the suffering in the material world of the individual living entities (jivas), who are the Lord’s marginal potency, who are spiritual in nature, and who because of ignorance of the beginningless Supreme Truth and because of the crime of being averse to Him had the knowledge of their original spiritual identity covered by illusion (maya) and were placed in the material world of the modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance. If the living entities were originally in the brahmajyoti, they would not have had any knowledge of their svarupa to be covered up. This explanation by Jiva Goswami goes right along with what we have always been told by Srila Prabhupada. We were originally in the spiritual world with Krsna, we became averse to serving him, and thus our original spiritual identity was covered over. But we can revive it by the practice of Krsna consciousness. Jiva Goswami gives no suggestion at all that we were originally in the brahmajyoti. Jiva Goswami then quotes Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.22.34, in which Krsna criticizes the speculative philosophers “who have turned their attention away from Me.” Jiva Goswami then suggests that the real medicine for the conditioned souls is submissive hearing of the Vedic literature, especially the Bhagavatam. But Prahlada Maharaja laments in one of his prayers to the Lord (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.8.30) that his mind “has become most polluted and is never satisfied in topics concerning you.” But hearing the messages of the Lord in the Vedic literature is the only cure. Jiva Goswami then says that the Vedic literature explains the active relationship between the Lord and the jiva (abhidheya) and the goal of that active relationship (prayojana). Regarding the relationship, Jiva Goswami says in Anuccheda 1, Text 7, of the Bhakti-sandarbha: Because it is the opposite of being averse to the Supreme, that relationship is one of turning one’s face to the Lord and is characterized by service to the Lord. Jiva Goswami then cites text 11.2.37 from the Bhagavatam: bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya viparyayo ‘smrtih tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam bhaktyaikayesam guru-devatatma Some key word meanings given in the Bhagavatam continuation by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu are: isat—from the Supreme Lord; apetasya— for one who has turned away; and asmrtih—forgetfulness. Translation by Srila Prabhupada: “When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is 148

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separate from Krsna, he is overpowered by fear. Because he is separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the material energy, his conception of life is reversed. In other words, instead of being the eternal servant of Krsna, he becomes Krsna’s competitor. This is called viparyayo ‘smrtih. To nullify this mistake, one who is actually learned and advanced worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his spiritual master, worshipful Deity, and source of life. He thus worships the Lord by the process of unalloyed devotional service.” In Anuccheda 1, Text 9, Jiva Goswami then gives Sridhara Swami’s commentary on this Bhagavatam verse: Sridhara Swami comments: “The fear here is created by the Lord’s material energy. Budhah means ‘an intelligent person,’ and abhajet means ‘should worship.’ Fear is created by absorption (abhinivesatah) in material things, beginning with the material body. It is created by the false ego of identifying with the material body and other material things. It is created because the original spiritual form of the living entity is not manifest. Why does the material energy (maya) do this? Because the living entity has turned away from the Supreme Lord (isad apetasya), the material energy makes him forget (asmrtih), and thus his own original spiritual form is no longer manifested. From this comes the misidentification (viparyayah) of thinking ‘I am this body.’ Thus, from being absorbed in something other than the Supreme Lord (dvitiyabhinivesatah) fear (bhayam) is created.” So here again we find what we have always been told by Srila Prabhupada. We were once absorbed in consciousness of Krsna, in our original spiritual form. But we turned away from Krsna, and therefore our original spiritual form is now covered, and we are absorbed in the bodily concept of life. But we can “nullify this mistake” by becoming Krsna conscious again. In the brahmajyoti, the souls are not aware of Krsna. One of the functions of the brahmajyoti is to veil Krsna and His pastimes. Neither are original spiritual forms manifest by the souls in the brahmajyoti, who are described as atomic in form. Here it is also stated that we have forgotten our original form and relationship with Krsna. But if we are eternally fallen in the brahmajyoti, there is no question of forgetting this. There would be nothing to forget. 4.5.4.2 “Originally pure” In Text 3 of Anuccheda 60 of Sri Bhakti-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami describes the jiva as suddhe api, “originally pure.” 4.5.4.3 “He regains his ability to see Me” 149

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In Text 1 of Anuccheda 80 of Sri Bhakti-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites text 11.14.26 of the Bhagavatam, which has been translated by Hridayananda dasa Goswami and Gopiparanadhana Prabhu as follows: “When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see. Similarly, as a conscious living entity cleanses himself of material contamination by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of my glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the Absolute Truth, in My subtle spiritual form.” 4.5.4.4 “Returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world” In text 22 of Anuccheda 111, Jiva Goswami says: “It may be understood that devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternal.” This does not make sense if we say that some souls were originally, eternally, in a state of nondevotional service in the brahmajyoti.. Actually, such souls could take up devotional service only if they decided to fall down from the brahmajyoti, their original position, according to some. But according to the view that Srila Prabhupada so often gave, we were originally servants of Krsna, but that service tendency has been misdirected. Eternally we are servants. We have simply forgotten our real object of service. In text 1 of Anuccheda 112 of Sri Bhakti-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami goes on to quote Bhagavatam 11.14.25: “Just as gold, when smelted in fire, gives up its impurities and returns to its pure brilliant state, similarly, the spirit soul, absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga, is purified of all contamination caused by previous fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world.” Jiva Goswami comments: “This verse means: ‘With love shaking away (vidhuya) past karma, the devotee attains his original pure spiritual form and then engages in serving (bhajati) Me (mam).” The words Jiva Goswami uses for “attains his original pure spiritual form” are suddha svarupam ca prapya. 4.5.4.5 “Engagement in pure devotional service is the natural position of all living entities” In Anuccheda 178 of Sri Bhakti-sandarbha, text 1, Jiva Goswami says: iyam akincanakhya bhaktir eva jivanam svabhavata ucita. svabhavika-tadasraya hi jivah. 150

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Word meanings: iyam—thus; akincanakhya bhaktih—pure devotional service; eva— indeed; jivanam—of the living entities; svabhavata—by nature; ucita—is said; svabhavika-tad-asraya—taking shelter of their own natures; hi—indeed; jivah—the living entities. Translation: Engagement in pure devotional service is the natural position of all living entities. Jiva Goswami adds: Thus the individual spirit souls are part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are His potencies. They naturally take shelter of Him (tad-asrayatvam). 4.5.4.6 “The individual soul’s original nature is to be a servant of the Supreme Lord” In text 3 of Anuccheda 178 of Sri Bhakti-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami gives an explanation of the sacred syllable om (aum). The letter a is said to be Lord Visnu. The letter u is said to be the goddess of fortune. The letter m is said to be their servant, the individual spirit soul. . . . In texts 7-8 of Anuccheda 178, Jiva Goswami says: The eight-syllable mantra (om namo narayanaya) is described in the following words: “In all times, places, and situations I render every kind of service to the goddess of fortune’s husband, glorious Lord Visnu.” In this way it is affirmed that the individual soul’s original nature is to be a servant of the Supreme Lord. One who thus understands the true meaning of this mantra should then engage in the Lord’s service.

4.5.4.7 “When the spirit souls . . . become averse to the Lord” In Text 13 of Anuccheda 178 of Sri Bhakti-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says, commenting on a prayer by the personified Vedas: When the spirit souls, who are by nature always dependent on the Supreme Lord for their maintenance (nitya-tvad-asrayaika jivanam), become averse to the Lord (api tesam tvadvaimukhyena), they find themselves suffering the miseries of life in the material world of repeated birth and death. 151

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Clearly, in their original position, the jivas are in a direct relationship with the Lord, who personally maintains them. But when they become averse to the Lord’s service, the find themselves in the world of birth and death. Altogether, the evidence of the Sandarbhas of Jiva Goswami gives no support for the idea that the original position of the jiva was as a soul eternally averse to Krsna, existing in the brahmajyoti in an impersonal state or in any other state less than a fully developed relationship with Krsna. Rather, the evidence suggests that the soul was originally in the spiritual world with Krsna, displaying its personal opulences by serving the Lord in His lila, and that by misuse of free will the soul’s original position of service became reversed to competition with Krsna. Therefore maya has covered the original spiritual form of the living entity, and thus deprived of its original spiritual opulences, it takes on material bodies in the cycle of birth and death. But this is like a dream. Actually, the original form is retained. And in this sense the jiva does not “fall.” In this way, apparently contradictory statements about falling and not falling can be adjusted in a way directly given in scripture. In any case, when one practices Krsna consciousness, one’s memory of Krsna is reawakened, and after becoming purely Krsna conscious one returns to one’s original position. All of these statements can be directly supported by Jiva Goswami’s statements in his Sandarbhas, especially Sri Paramatma-sandarbha. Of course, if one wants to ignore the direct meaning of the words, one can come up with many other scenarios. But in text 26 of Anuccheda 29 of Sri Krsna-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami warns, saksad upadesas tu srutih: “The instructions of the srutisastra should be accepted literally, without fanciful or allegorical interpretations.”

5. GENERAL CONCLUSION Let us now retrace our steps. First of all we concluded that the teachings of Srila Prabhupada should be our primary resource in answering philosophical questions. We cannot immediately jump over to the previous acaryas, nor can we properly understand the Vedic scriptures without taking guidance from Srila Prabhupada. By careful study of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, we learn that he answered the question of the origin of the conditioned souls as follows: The conditioned souls now in this material world were originally in a direct relationship of service to Krsna in the spiritual world. By misuse of free will, manifested as a desire to imitate the Lord and become the supreme enjoyer, some souls have given up their natural position. They have been placed in the material world, but by proper use of free will they can regain their original position. What about statements that “no one falls from Vaikuntha”? Srila Prabhupada has explained that in one sense we do not really fall. Our position is like a person who is dreaming. The person is lying on his own bed, but he is dreaming he is elsewhere. When he wakes up, he finds himself on his own bed. Actually, he never left his bed. He was just dreaming. So our position is like that. We never leave our original position. Krsna simply creates a situation where we dream we have left. 152

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But when we wake up from the dream of material life, we find ourselves in our original position. The position never changes. We simply forget it for some time. So in that sense no one falls. Nevertheless, the original position is one of service to Krsna in the spiritual world. This is the way that Srila Prabhupada consistently answered questions about the fall of the jiva. He directly rejected suggestions that we were originally in the brahmajyoti or that we have been eternally in this material world. He never said we were from the Viraja River, nor did he say our original position was different from the position we will attain upon going back to Godhead. These conclusions are in harmony with those of the previous acaryas and the sastras, especially Srimad-Bhagavatam. The proper conclusions for ISKCON members, or for anyone else who claims to be a faithful follower of Srila Prabhupada, is summarized as follows: 1. The origin of the souls now in this material world is undoubtedly a question beyond the range of our direct perception. We can therefore answer this question only by repeating the answer that Srila Prabhupada repeatedly gave when asked the same question. We were once in a direct and developed relationship of service to Krsna in a spiritual planet in the spiritual world. By misuse of independence we desired to imitate Krsna or take His position. Therefore we have been placed in the material world. But by becoming Krsna conscious we can regain our original position. No other view shall be presented as conclusive in any ISKCON media (print, video, electronic), classes, seminars, etc. 2. Srila Prabhupada directly rejected the idea that we are from the brahmajyoti. 3. In resolving philosophical controversies, the teachings, instructions, and personal example of Srila Prabhupada are the first and primary resource. If a conclusion, recognized by the GBC, can be drawn from careful study of this resource, it shall guide further research into the Vedic literature, the writings of previous acaryas, and the teachings of current bona fide Vaisnava acaryas outside ISKCON. Everything that can be harmonized to the conclusion arrived at from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings shall be accepted. Any contradictions that cannot be resolved shall be placed in the category of “differences among the acaryas.” But ISKCON members shall follow the conclusion of Srila Prabhupada when there is such a difference. [End]

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