a) Is bhakti inherent or inherited in the jīva? Or, b) does bhakti in the jīva actually include, i.e., accommodate, both the above-mentioned characteristics harmoniously?

Note: Bhakti means love divine, devotion, loving devotion, devotional love and ecstatic love in devotion (at a higher stage).

The term ‘bhakti’ herein not only refers to exclusive prema, but also its other gradations, levels or qualities, such as primary, secondary, higher secondary, etc., accordingly, in relation to the specific context of analysis or explanations.

It’s already known that there are different levels and qualities of bhakti – kaniṣṭha, madhyama and uttama; sādhana-bhakti, niṣṭha-bhakti, rāga-bhakti, bhāva-bhakti and, finally, prema-bhakti.


The precise answer in brief is that bhakti in the jīva is traced in both ways – as inherent and as inherited. In other words, the functioning of bhakti in the jīva accommodates both characteristics – that of inherence and inheritance, through a harmonious inter-relational system. So, it’s not just in one way or the other, but both ways have their respective roles to play in inter-relationship.

Generally, there are two categories of jīvas (manifested as Kṛṣṇa’s marginal energy) – ‘anādi-mukta’ or ‘nitya-mukta‘ (eternally liberated) and ‘anādi-baddha‘ (conditioned from time immemorial, i.e., the point of time, beginning of which is simply beyond all mundane time-calculations, and therefore long unknown).

So, for the anādi-mukta or nitya-mukta jīvas, no such question really arises whether or not bhakti is inherent in them, since it’s obvious or self-evident that they did already have a certain kind of ‘svābhāvika-bhakti‘, or natural loving attraction, towards the Lord from their very constitutional position of the marginal state and that was something inherent which inspired them, led them, guided them towards the Lord (instead of driving them away towards the māyic jagat, or material world). This fundamental intuitive loving attraction could not really be inherited from any other devotee from without, since no sādhu-saṅga or mahānta-guru-saṅga was normally available on that marginal plane. But, definitely there was a prominent role of the caitya-guru (guru in the form of heart or heart’s feelings of a jīva), which came into play. Thus, the first intuitive loving attractions towards Kṛṣṇa were understood as inherent in those nitya-mukta jīvas and later, as they entered the divine plane or abode of Lord (Kṛṣṇa-loka), i.e., the world of svarūpa-śakti (the Lord’s internal potency), they were, of course, specially graced by Her and inherited so much bhakti further (in abundance and in depth) from the Guruvarga over there in nitya-līlā.

Note of clarification: Although the jīvas on the marginal plane have no materially made physical body, yet they (spirit souls) do have some sort of spiritual body or ‘being’ which is made of pure consciousness. Since, in that state, they do have the functions of certain ‘freewill’ (in some mysterious way) and ‘feeling-thinking-willing’, that clearly indicates toward some ‘heart’s function’ or ‘heart’s feelings’ (in a more individually-oriented or personal sense of meaning). It’s not a concept of material or biological heart’s feeling, but rather a ‘spiritual heart’s feelings’ of a fully conscious being. It’s mystically sublime to conceive of it. While ‘heart’ is meant in a figurative sense, its real concept herein is that of a non-figurative ‘conscious being’ endowed with ‘the functions of ‘feeling-thinking-willing’ (figuratively represented by mind and heart).

Again, what is meant here is the spiritual concept of the heart or heart’s function (which can be considered as performing the role of a ‘caitya-guru‘), represented in the being of an individual spirit soul.

When finely examined or carefully observed and considered, it’s fairly understood that some innate notion or tendency of bhakti is also found in anādi-baddha jīvas (conditioned from time immemorial, as explained earlier) and baddha-mukta jīvas (who attained liberation after having passed through the conditioned state) in their constitutional nature on the marginal plane. But this bhakti, characteristically, remains more in a dormant state, or in a potential or prospective seed-like state (and not prominent or developed).

Why and how should such minute inherence of bhakti in the jīva happen to be a reality?

To receive a clear answer, let us try to understand the nature of jīva-śakti tattva in relation to its origin – Bhagavat tattva. The very nature of the relationship between the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa (śaktimān) and the jīvaśakti is to be realised through acintya-bheda-abheda siddhānta (conclusions based on the philosophy of simultaneous oneness and difference of an inconceivable nature, i.e., which cannot be fully conceived) as taught by Lord Caitanya.

Note of clarification: Though it cannot be absolutely understood, i.e., impossible to fully comprehend, yet we may humbly try to make the best out of it, by His grace, as much as possible, within our limited human ability.

Note of clarification: The term ‘svarūpa‘ means one’s true constitutional nature or identity. In other words, it refers to one’s own original divine self or identity-form, which is made of pure spirit or consciousness, cinmaya-rūpa or bhāva-deha.

In the world of Vaiṣṇava siddhānta, the word ‘svarūpa‘ contains three different levels of meanings, according to the context. In other words, it (svarūpa) can be understood in three different ways or qualities (as per the context), namely, that of a) nitya-siddha and b) sādhana-siddha levels of svarūpa (i.e., constitutional identity and position) on the transcendental planes of perfection (in Vaikuṇṭha and Goloka) and that of c) the jīva’s constitutional position on its marginal plane of existence.

Herein, right at this phase of explanation or illumination, the main focus will be on the issue of the ‘jīva’s inherence of bhakti in the marginal constitution’, since some confusion seems to be going on in this regard. (And the topic of the ‘jīva’s blessed inheritance, or reception, of bhakti from the śuddha-bhakta or pure devotee, which is so obvious and self-evident, without a doubt, will be discussed later). 

References from the Holy Scripture or sayings of the Mahājanas:

jīvera svarūpa haya kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa
kṛṣṇera taṭasthā-śakti bhedābheda-prakāśa
sūryāṁśa-kiraṇa yaiche agni-jvālā-caya
svābhāvika kṛṣṇera tina-prakāra ‘śakti’ haya”

Translation: “It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, because he is the marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Kṛṣṇa has three varieties of energy.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.108-109)

Quotes from Jaiva Dharma (by Śrīla Bhakti Vinoda Ṭhākura):

“Śrīmān Mahāprabhu has instructed us on this subject in the book named Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 20.108) as follows:

jīvera svarūpa haya kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa
kṛṣṇera taṭasthā-śakti bhedābheda-prakāśa 

The constitutional nature of the jīva is to be an eternal servant of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is the marginal potency of Kṛṣṇa, and is a manifestation simultaneously one with Him, and different from Him…”

 “…Kṛṣṇa is the eternal Lord of the jīvas, and the jīvas are Kṛṣṇa’s eternal servants. This interrelationship is natural. Kṛṣṇa is the attractor, and the jīvas are attracted…” 

“…Therefore, the eternal svabhāva or dharma of the jīva is kṛṣṇa-dāsya, eternal service and obedience to Kṛṣṇa…”

Kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa‘ or ‘eternal servitor of Kṛṣṇa’ is very significant (i.e., meaningful) here. The concept of being a servitor of Kṛṣṇa, in other words, the concept of being in service of Kṛṣṇa without bhakti is very unnatural or abnormal. Bhakti is the essential quality of the services performed on that constitutional plane. This main criteria or essence (i.e., bhakti) must be present in the character of eternal servitude. Hence, any concept of eternal service done merely with a dry temperament of formal duties is very, very unlikely, i.e., totally untenable.

Quoted below is a description from Jaiva Dharma, in this connection:

…What is the nitya-dharma, or eternal, constitutional function of the jīva? You must examine this question carefully. Transcendental love for Kṛṣṇa (prema) is the jīva’s nitya-dharma. The jīva is a substance transcendental to mundane matter, and consciousness is that which he is constituted of. His eternal function is divine love, and the nature of that pure prema is service to Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the constitutional function of the jīva is service to Kṛṣṇa, which is the nature of prema…”

For the sake of a logical argument, on one side, this point regarding the nitya dāsatva or eternal servitude of the jīva can be taken or considered as something meant to be only potential or prospective, for indicating the jīva’s subsequent (i.e., not yet manifested) sādhana-siddha constitutional position, and not his present constitutional position of marginal character; because there is no real scope or function of bhakti-service in that marginal situation, as, by nature, the marginal character means it (the jīva) is neither averse nor attracted towards the Lord’s service. Hence, the jīva remains kind of neutral in such a situation; so, bhakti is not really possible in such a position. 

But, on the other hand, the marginal character does not only mean that of neutrality, but also that of dual partialities, as it does connect or relate to both sides of the unifying line or border between the two worlds – spiritual and material, which are respectively governed by svarūpa-śakti and māyā-śakti

Here is an explanation from Jaiva Dharma:

“…The action of the marginal potency is to create an entity (vastu) which exists between the animate objects (cid-vastu) and inanimate objects (acid-vastu) and which can maintain a relationship with both the spiritual and material worlds. Purely transcendental entities are by nature quite the opposite of inanimate objects, and therefore have no connection whatsoever with them. Although the jīva is an animate spiritual particle, he is capable of a relationship with inanimate matter due to the influence of aiśi-śakti, a divine potency, which is known as the taṭasthā-śakti.

The boundary region between land and the water of a river is known as taṭa, or shore. This taṭa may be considered to be both land and water; in other words, it is situated in both. The divine aiśi-śakti, which is situated in the border region, upholds the properties of both land and water, as it were, in one existential entity.”

Note of clarification: Well, sometimes, some portion of the movements or activities of the jīva souls in the marginal position is of a mysterious or mystical character, which can’t be fully detected or defined by human intelligence.

Hence, endowed with freewill, a jīva can make a free choice to relate to or connect with both sides (of the border of the two worlds), and thus it’s thereby clearly understood that he has this dual character – aversion from Kṛṣṇa, and attraction for Kṛṣṇa as well, besides that of neutrality. Now, the fact that a jīva has already got an inborn tendency or dormant notion to feel attracted towards Kṛṣṇa, his own origin, is definitely of immense value and credit for his marginal constitution (despite his disqualifying notion to be averse from Him [Kṛṣṇa] due to the influence of māyā, i.e., temptations of separate material enjoyment). Such an innate quality or attribute, though remaining in a dormant way, has been credited with recognition in the statement of Lord Caitanya – ‘jīvera svarūpa haya kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa‘. The expression ‘eternal servitor’ indicates ‘eternal servitude’, which indicates ‘eternal bhakti‘ – because the conception of eternal servitude cannot stand without bhakti. And this bhakti is eternal, which means it permanently exists in the jīva’s constitution. Mahāprabhu actually referred to both types of constitutions or svarūpa of the jīva 1) that of the marginal nature, and 2) that of the sādhana-siddha nature – when He uttered in the aforementioned way, ‘jīvera svarūpa haya…prakāśa.’ The difference between the two is as follows: Bhakti (the basic instinct of loving taste for the Lord) in the marginal constitutional position is an initial or seed-like basic state, whereas it (the same bhakti) is further added, matured, ripened or greatly developed, i.e. blossomed, in the constitution of the sādhana-siddha state. On this sādhana-siddha constitutional position, the bhakti in the jīva is of course greatly inherited from or mercifully given by the sādhu-gurus. (On this stage or level, besides having received bhakti from the sādhu and guru, the jīva is also graciously given or has bhakti bestowed upon him by the svarūpa-śakti.) In other words, it’s further added or newly given to, cultivated, developed or blossomed in the jīva’s life by the association and grace of the pure devotees (sādhu, guru) and svarūpa-śakti, for sure. Yet, some basic and instinctive taste of bhakti has already been there in the jīva’s marginal constitution, at the very root of his eternal existence, even before the manifest sādhu-saṅga actually occurred. Otherwise, what would be the specific role of a jīva’s caitya-guru (Kṛṣṇa’s presence or representation as guru in the heart, i.e., in the form of pure inspiration of the heart and guidance)? And this function of caitya-guru is actually dependent on Kṛṣṇa (as Paramātmā) directly. It (caitya-guru) may somewhat or may not be fully dependent on sādhu-saṅga, although the great importance or necessity of sādhu-saṅga is unquestionable or undeniable in the overall development of bhakti.

References on caitya-guru:

kṛṣṇa yadi kṛpā kare kona bhāgyavāne
guru-antaryāmi-rūpe śikhāya āpane

Translation: “When Kṛṣṇa shows His mercy to any fortunate individual, He teaches him from without as the greatly advanced devotee who acts as the spiritual master and from within as the indwelling Supersoul, also known as the caitya-guru.”
Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.47)

Note: When Kṛṣṇa gives His mercy as the caitya-guru, then He gives the kind of firm and pure intelligence through which the devotee gains expertise in bhajan, or sasaṅga-bhajana.

guru kṛṣṇa-rūpa hana śāstrera pramāṇe
guru-rūpe kṛṣṇa kṛpā karena bhakta-gaṇe”

Translation:According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees.
(Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā, 1.45)

śikṣāguruke ta’ jāni kṛṣṇera svarūpa
antaryāmī, bhakta-śreṣṭha,- ei dui rūpa

Translation: “According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees. One should know the instructing spiritual master to be the Personality of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa manifests Himself as the Supersoul and as the greatest devotee of the Lord.”
Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā, 1.47)

Quotes from Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda:

“So Kṛṣṇa is advising that “I am in everyone’s heart.” You can take advice from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is ready. Kṛṣṇa’s another name is Caitya-guru. Caitya-guru means the guru who is situated within your heart.”
(Lecture on Bhagavad-gītā 13.3Bombay, September 26, 1973)

“Kṛṣṇa is within everyone. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe’rjuna tiṣṭhati” (Bhagavad-gītā 18.61). So, He is called caitya-guru, means guru within the heart…

…From within He’s helping. Therefore, He’s called caitya-guru; and from without, He sends His representative to help how to become advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”
(Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā – London, August 22, 1973)


“…and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caitya-guru, Kṛṣṇa, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity.”
Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā.1.58, purport)

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased to guide a devotee from within and without. From within He guides him as the Supersoul, and from without He guides him as the spiritual master.”
Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 8.79)

From Amṛta Vāṇī Q&A by Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda:

“…The Supersoul or internal spiritual master directs all living entities. The Supersoul also guides us to a spiritual master…”


Let us now have a look into the message of a verse of the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad. Addressing all, it declares:

“…śṛṇvantu viśve amṛtasya putrā ā ye dhāmāni divyāni tasthuḥ” [SU. 2.5]

Translation: “O children of immortality, children of nectar, (or immortal bliss), please listen (to me)….”

Herein, the description or announcement as ‘amṛtasya putrāḥ‘ means ‘children of immortal bliss’, which significantly tells us, reveals to us that we, the jīvas, are all ultimately the children of immortal bliss personified (who is none other than the Supreme Lord).

Being a child of immortal bliss personified (God), the jīva naturally inherits such quality of God’s blissfulness within his own constitutional character too (albeit, in a minute form on the marginal state).

As per the system of life, it’s quite normal for one to inherit some qualities or characteristics of his own origin (no matter how minute or dormant they may be).

Once such blissfulness is inherited by the jīva (from God), it doesn’t just remain there in him as a joy of self-enjoyment, but it also manifests as the joy of love in relation to his nectarine origin – divine God. And such natural love of God (due to gratefulness), no matter how meager or minute it could be, is none other than a fundamental sign of bhakti, (at least, in the initial awakening stage), which is immortally inherited (from God) by the jīva and is therefore inherent in him.

Note of clarification: Such inheritance in a jīva is of immortal character because it never dies – therefore, it’s of a permanent or eternal nature and so this can be defined as inherence also, from the ‘abheda‘ or non-different perspective. In other words, in this context, there is ultimately no difference between eternal inheritance and eternal inherence, because both these aspects are actually unified by the same principle – that both are factually given or sanctioned by God.

Back to the point – so, certain kinds of bhakti (love-taste) or, at least, certain tendencies of bhakti are found inherent in the jīva

Now, let’s have a look into the ‘mahā-vākyas‘ (great sayings) in other Vedic scriptures:

ayam ātmā brahma” – “this self, or ātman, is brahman” (Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad 1.2 of the Atharva Veda).

tat tvam asi” – “thou art that” or “that essence (tat referring to sat, the existent) you are” (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 6.8.7 of the Sāma Veda).

ahaṁ brahma asmi” – “I am Brahman.” (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.4.10 of the Yajur Veda).

Herein, “brahma” is understood to be the same as or identical with the Supreme God and not less than that in any way, such as it’s only a luster or halo of God (emanating from God).

All the above references clearly express the insight that the jīva (the individual soul or self), which appears as a separate existence, is constitutionally none but a partial manifestation of the Brahman, the All-Pervading Whole, the Supreme Absolute Being. Thus, they precisely tell us about the original or fundamental relationship between the jīvātmā and the Supreme Absolute, who is none other than ‘rasa‘ (‘ānandam‘) or bliss personified.

For example:

“…raso vai saḥ, rasaṁ hy evāyaṁ labdhvānandī bhavati…”

Translation: “….it is no other than the delight behind existence. When he has gotten him this delight, then it is that this creature becomes a thing of bliss… It is He that is the fountain of bliss…”
Taittirīyopaniṣad 2.7.1)

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

Translation: “Kṛṣṇa, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He is the embodiment of eternal existence, truth, consciousness and BLISS. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.”
Brahma-saṁhitā 5.1)

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is the complete embodiment of eternal existence, truth, consciousness and bliss. As a part and parcel or potency of Kṛṣṇa, in other words, being born of Kṛṣṇa, a jīva also inherits from his source the same or similar qualities in a very minute form (just like the sparks of a huge fire).

The following verses clearly indicate such nature or character of certain eternal inheritance of the jīva.

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

Translation: “The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”
Bhagavad-gītā 15.7)

nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān.” 

Translation: “The Supreme Lord is eternal and the living beings are eternal. The Supreme Lord is cognizant and the living beings are cognizant. The difference is that the Supreme Lord is supplying all the necessities of life for the many other living entities.”
Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13)

The jīva soul is described herein as a minute part and parcel (vibhinnāṁśa) of God. The jīva by his inborn relations with Him, duly inherits His qualities such as ‘sat‘ (eternity + existence or eternal existence) and ‘cit‘ (consciousness) and therefore is defined as ‘sanātana‘ or ‘nitya‘ (eternal or perpetual) and ‘cetana‘ (conscious). In a similar way, the jīva also minutely inherits the quality of ‘ānanda‘ or bliss (from His sat-cit-ānanda svarūpa) as already stated in the previous references (in “amṛtasya putrāh“, “raso vai saḥlabdhvānandī bhavati” and “īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ…”). Although the functions of ‘ānanda‘ (bliss) or ‘hlādinī‘ (bliss-giving energy, potency) is primarily and more prominently found in the domain of Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpa-śakti (internal potency), yet, some dim reflections, seed-like representation, potential tendencies or intuitive tastes of it (ānandam or bliss) can be traced or detected (in small units or minute forms) in the marginal constitution of a jīva following the law or system of natural inheritance.

After all, every living being looks for or searches for some real happiness or joy. That is so self-evidently normal or natural for every living entity….

Now, what is this inherited minute bliss? How does it feel? The answer is that it’s primarily felt as ‘ātmānanda‘, meaning some basic self-satisfaction with ‘self-joy’ or ‘self-love’ (just as a baby can have it in a natural intuitive way). But besides this ‘ātmānanda‘, also found in the jīva is another intuitive attraction (love-attraction) or loving taste that leads him towards some higher or deeper happiness in connection with his own blissful origin – Kṛṣṇa, who is ‘akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti‘ or the embodiment of unlimited bliss-mellows. Such tendency, intuitive loving attraction or taste, no matter how small, basic or minute, is also considered to be an aspect of bhakti, in an awakening stage or of a primary (neophyte) level and this is inherent in the jīva’s constitution (svarūpa) on the marginal plane. (It’s a function of the caitya-guru or guru in the heart, who is also a representation of Kṛṣṇa.) But such a basic tendency of bhakti becomes much covered up, suppressed or inactive when a jīva becomes influenced by māyā-śakti and thereby gets conditioned by her due to the misuse of his own freewill, tempted by the separate interest of selfish material enjoyment that takes him away from God.

Some of the expressions of our Guruvarga in their writings or compositions also kindles or ignites our feelings about the inherence-prospects of the jīvātmā.

For instance,

kṛṣṇa bhuli’ sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsāra-duḥkha

Translation: “Forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore, the illusory energy (māyā) gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.117)

‘kṛṣṇa-nitya-dāsa’—jīva, tāhā bhuli’ gela
ei dose māyā tāra galāya bāndhila

Translation: “Because the soul has forgotten that he is the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, the illusory energy (māyā) has chained him by the neck.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.24)

bhuliyā tomāre, saḿsāre āsiyā,
peye nānā-vidha byathā

Translation: “I forsook You, O Lord, and came to this world of pain and sorrow. Now, I submit my tale of woe at Your lotus feet.”
Śaraṇāgati, by Śrīla Bhakti Vinode Ṭhākura)

cit-kaṇa jīva, kṛṣṇa cinmaya bhāskara
nitya-kṛṣṇa dekhi’ kṛṣṇe karena ādara

Translation: “The soul is a spiritual spark, and Kṛṣṇa is the spiritual sun. Seeing eternal Kṛṣṇa, the soul adores Him.”
Prema-vivarta, Chapter 6)

 kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga-vāñchā kare
nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare

Translation: “When souls become averse to Kṛṣṇa and desire enjoyment, nearby māyā seizes them.”

“‘āmi nitya kṛṣṇa-dāsa’ ei kathā bhule
māyāra naphara hañā chira-dina bule

Translation: “Forgetting ‘I am an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa’, souls become slaves of māyā and wander indefinitely.”
Prema-vivarta, Chapter 6)

Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Prabhupāda’s purport: “…When the living entity forgets his constitutional position as an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, he is immediately entrapped by the illusory, external energy…” 

In his book Jaiva Dharma, Ṭhākura Śrīla Bhakti Vinode has also explained about this ‘forgetting factor’ or forgetfulness by quoting from Śrī Caitanya- caritāmṛta

…The nitya-dharma of the jīva is servitorship to Kṛṣṇa. When he forgets this, he is subjected to the tyranny of māyā, and from that very moment he becomes diverted from Kṛṣṇa…”

Herein, ‘forgetting’ clearly implies that the knowledge of and some relationship with the Supreme Lord were once there. One may try to argue that ‘bhuli‘ or ‘bhuliyā‘ in such statements is to mean that the jīva soul has always been forgetting Kṛṣṇa – that it is ‘an ever unchanged state of forgetfulness’, but then, that could have been expressed differently with some other words, like ‘the jīva is eternally without the remembrance, knowledge and vision of Kṛṣṇa’ – by simply stating in that way. Hence, ‘forgetting’ clearly indicates going from ‘knowing’ to ‘ignorance’.

Thus, the statements such as “forgetting Kṛṣṇa…”, “forgetting You, my Lord, I came to this world…” or “Forgetting, ‘I am an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa…’” clearly indicates that at his original or fundamental stage, before forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the jīva was fully aware or conscious of the fact that he is constitutionally an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa and he naturally had some feelings of the relationship with Kṛṣṇa accordingly, through some basic, instinctive taste of servitude of eternal character (although he was not directly or actively engaged in Lord’s services yet). The term ‘eternal’ in this context means it’s something ‘permanently existing’ in the jīva’s nature.

This forgetfulness is the consequence of aparādha, or misuse of the free will that every soul potentially has in its nature. Free will means it is FREE – not predestined, and it can be used properly or misused (by some wrong type of curiosity, for example) and thus result in aparādha. This can happen in the marginal state, but never in the close company of Krishna in His divine abode.

This forgetfulness is the consequence of aparādha, or misuse of the free will that every soul naturally have. Free will mean it is FREE – not predestined – and it can be used properly or misused (by some wrong type of curiosity, for example) and thus result in aparādha. This can happen in the marginal state, never in the close company of Krishna in His divine abode.

Point to be noted: Though this taste of servitude permanently exists, yet, such taste in the conditioned souls is understood to be of a very dormant type, whereas, in the liberated souls, it’s quite prominent or developed, with more direct and active service-participation.

Point to be noted: Regarding the jīva’s constitutional love attractions or love- relationship with the Lord, Prema-vivarta describes, “Seeing eternal Kṛṣṇa, the soul adores Him.” It’s clearly understood that this statement actually refers to or relates to the liberated souls of the marginal plane, but there is also the other category of the non-liberated jīvas on the same plane (who are neither conditioned, nor liberated yet, but still staying neutral), who also have some dormantly intrinsic taste for Kṛṣṇa by virtue of their own constitutional inheritance (being His energy), but due to their less-strong taste (of Kṛṣṇa), unlike liberated souls, they were simply overpowered by the temptations of separate material enjoyment as they came in contact of māyā and forgot Kṛṣṇa. Certain misuse or misguidance of their freewill that brings them in contact of māyā is considered as mainly responsible for such conditioning.

On the other hand, we have often heard from some of the Guruvarga phrases such as “back to God, back to home”, “back to Godhead”, etc. Again, the word ‘back’ indicates that ‘there was a previous position from which something or someone has come forth.’ Thus, it means that the currently conditioned jīvas already had in the past, prior to their conditioned position, some kind of relationship with God as being His servant (no matter in what minute form or small volume of servanthood or servitude-relationship they had). And this they (the jīvas) have had constitutionally, blessed with the fortune of (eternally) being the Lord’s marginal potency.

Note of clarification: Here, in this context, the above servanthood refers to either that of a potential or latent one, or something basic, that of a neophyte level, but not yet the advanced or developed type of servanthood.

Hence, if the very basic or instinctive bud-like taste for Kṛṣṇa is also considered as the bhakti of an initial level, then it has to be accepted as inherent in the jīva’s constitution through timeless, beginningless, eternal inheritance from his divine origin – Kṛṣṇa, the source of all blissful love. The reality of such natural, instinctive, basic taste or attractions to relate to his (jīva’s) own origin cannot be totally denied or just be concluded as zero. Certain things of the higher spiritual world cannot always be understood or realized merely in a black and white manner. There are also other colors, i.e., other interrelated, interwoven, interacting ways of understanding and realising those realities.

In other words, some portions or aspects of the siddhānta about transcendental realities can be understood through a straightforward fashion, whereas certain other parts or aspects of the same siddhānta must be realised in beautifully interwoven, mystically combined artistic ways. We may not forget that, after all, we are dealing with transcendental subject matter, which is much beyond our conventional limited worldly concepts and ability to conceptualize. Therefore, Lord Caitanya realistically propounded the ideal siddhānta of ‘acintya-bheda-abheda‘, i.e., the aspects of the absolute reality, simultaneously of one and distinct nature, which is ultimately incomprehensible, inconceivable; in other words, not to be fully comprehended. And the ‘taṭasthā-śaktijīva-tattva has also been described as the Lord’s ‘bheda-and-abhedaprakāśa, i.e., simultaneously one-and-different manifestation.

Note of clarification: A question may arise whether the constitutional identities of all the individual jīva souls on the marginal plane are of equal nature or not?

The answer to this should also be that of a marginal nature, between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, or a combination of ‘yes’ and ‘no’, depending on the situation. In other words, some part of the answer is ‘yes’ – meaning, yes, they mostly have the same nature because their common base or background is the same – but the other part of the answer is that in spite of such equality, they, at the same time, are also somewhat different from each other, being individual units or entities endowed with independent freewill. So, the jīvas have both characters amongst themselves – something in common and something in particular; therefore, they are not, and cannot be, completely equal to each other. Hence, the constitutional nature of every jīva soul cannot be judged or understood fully and appropriately only in the same, equal and identical manner, but rather should also be understood simultaneously in the distinct ways according to the jīva’s own individual character, natural taste, desires and deserving qualities. So, each jīva’s specific individual constitutional nature, quality and taste may vary from another, despite the many common characteristics and similarities they do share in general with each other. Thus, the very nature of every individual jīva soul’s constitutional taste or attraction in relation to the Supreme Lord may not be understood in the very same way (without discrimination).

Now, on the other hand, although there is some basic, seed-like potential inherence of love-taste or love-spirit of God (bhakti of an initial level) in the jīva’s constitution, the main and most part of the bhakti, in quality and quantity, with progressive development is actually inherited from or awarded by the sādhu, guru and Kṛṣṇa and never self-created by the jīva. There are many clear and prominent evidences in the holy scriptures in support of this.

smarantaḥ smārayantaś ca mitho ’ghaugha-haraṁ hari
bhaktyā sañjātayā bhaktyā bibhraty utpulakāṁ tanum

Translation:The devotees of the Lord constantly discuss the glories of the Personality of Godhead among themselves. Thus they constantly remember the Lord and remind one another of His qualities and pastimes. In this way, by their devotion to the principles of bhakti-yoga, the devotees please the Personality of Godhead, who takes away from them everything inauspicious. Being purified of all impediments, the devotees awaken to pure love of Godhead, and thus, even within this world, their spiritualized bodies exhibit symptoms of transcendental ecstasy, such as standing of the bodily hairs on end.
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.3.31) 

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura quotes the above verse from Śrīmad Bhāgavatam to provide evidence that bhakti comes from bhakti. The part “bhaktyā sañjātayā bhaktyā” in the above verse means bhakti is awakened by the bhakti, or bhakti comes from bhakti

 There are other references from the scriptures, such as:

bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-saṅgena parijāyate
sat-saṅgaḥ prāpyate puṁbhiḥ sukṛtaiḥ pūrva-sañcitaiḥ

Translation: “The inclination toward bhakti is awakened by association with the bhaktas of Bhagavān. The jīva obtains such sat-saṅga through the accumulated effect of its bhakti-sukṛti, generated over a long time.”
Bṛhad-nāradīya Purāṇa 1.4.33)

brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja

Translation: “According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 19.151)

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-janma-mūla haya sādhu-saṅga
kṛṣṇa-prema janme, teṅho punaḥ mukhya aṅga

Translation: “The root cause of devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa is the association with advanced devotees. Therefore, in the appearance or awakening of ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa, the association with devotees is most essential.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.83)

Note of clarification:

1. “Kṛṣṇa-bhakti-janma-mūla” means the “root cause of the birth or appearance of Krsna-bhakti“, meaning sādhu-saṅga or association of the sādhus actually helps to make the bhakti take birth or appear in the lives of the jīvas; it (sādhu-saṅga) does not newly create that same bhakti, which is eternally existent by nature and principle. It’s like a baby – bhakti is already there before taking its birth. It’s like the Sun, which appears or disappears (through sunrise and sunset).

Sādhu-saṅga can definitely add to, renew, cultivate or develop the bhakti more, but it cannot actually create the fundamental bhakti, which is already eternal by nature and principle. Another close example, just as certain quality of fire or fire-energy is already there in the coal, metals, woods, air, etc., in an invisible, subtle form and it’s just ignited through the process of ignition, similarly, sādhu-saṅga works as the igniting factor of bhakti, and side by side, also gives that treasure as well as help in the cultivation or development of the same (bhakti), but not as newly creating that bhakti (since it is transcendental to any mortal birth and death). Hence, the fact says that certain basic bhakti can exist in the marginal constitution of a jīva even before receiving sādhu-saṅga.

2. The above statement (‘kṛṣṇa-bhakti-janma-mūla haya sādhu-saṅga‘) should also be considered and understood as per the context. As you read or study Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.83, you can clearly see the above statement was made actually in a relative sense. In other words, it was particularly told in relation to the ‘baddha-jīvas‘ or ‘conditioned souls’ of the mundane world and not the ‘tatastha-jīva sakti’ or unconditioned jīva souls on the plane of Lord’s marginal energy. Hence, such a statement is not meant to be applicable to the ‘taṭasthā-jīvas‘ (who are not yet conditioned by ‘māyā’), but meant to be applied for the ‘baddha-jīvas‘ in particular, whose inherent bhakti got thickly covered or conditioned by māyā, and fortunately the sādhu-saṅga comes there to help the discovering or unconditioning of that bhakti, i.e., making the same bhakti take re-birth or appear in the lives of the conditioned jīvas wandering in the mundane world. (Again, besides causing the birth of bhakti, sādhu-saṅga also further adds or gives more treasure of bhakti to the jīvas, helping in its proper cultivation and development).

cakṣu-dāna dila yei / janme janme prabhu sei / divya-jñāna hṛde prokaśito
prema-bhakti yāhā haite / avidyā vināśa jāte / vede gāya yāñhāra carita

Translation: “Śrī Guru, who is the opener of my spiritual eyes by manifesting in my heart the divine knowledge of Kṛṣṇa and from whom the love of Kṛṣṇa is inherited in life and by whose blessings our illusory mundane vision disappears, is my master birth after birth. His glories are sung by the Vedic scriptures.”
Śrī-guru-vandana by Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura Mahāśaya) 

There are more such references from the holy scriptures and the Mahājanas. So, it’s clear from the above quotes that besides its basic, initial, instinctive constitutional inherence, the seed of bhakti and/or the genuine feelings of bhakti are also prominently given by or received from sādhu-saṅga, also expressed as sādhu-guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpā, for further cultivation. Therefore, the conclusion is that on one hand, some basic instinctive part of bhakti is inherent in the jīva through eternal inheritance from his own divine source, and on the other hand, the principal portion of the same bhakti, with greater power and advanced quality, is factually inherited from the sādhus (i.e., guru and the Vaiṣṇavas) by the jīva, which is graciously given or awarded to him by sādhu-guru-kṛṣṇa. That’s how it is, a unifying system in which both the ways of bhakti – that of inherence and inheritance – is integrated together in harmony. Some part, already there in jīva, is again awakened, while the other principal portion is dynamically given to him by or received by him from a sādhu anew for further cultivation and development through sādhana (in order to attain sādhana-siddha svarūpa).

A question may arise as follows: What if a jīva’s inherent taste and the taste of bhakti he inherits from a sādhu are somewhat different from each other? Then, how can that be adjusted or reconciled? The answer is that Lord Kṛṣṇa’s merciful sweet will and the grace of His svarūpa-śakti (internal energy) is so powerful that all such relative differences can easily be wonderfully harmonized by Their absolute power and capability. “Kartum akartum anyathā karite samartha” – He is able to do and undo everything, and also do things in seemingly contrary ways as well, just by His sweet will. The entire function, how it all occurs or how it may take place, is of a transcendental character and ultimately ‘acintya‘ or inconceivable. In other words, such simultaneously one-and-different-way (yugapat bheda-abheda-way) of functioning, though partially understood, can never be fully conceived by the human brain.

Although, in order to describe the svarūpa nature of a jīva or living entity, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmīpāda (in Anuccheda 19 of Paramātmā Sandarbha) has cited the verses from Padma Purāṇa and Jamātṛ Muni of the Śrī-sampradāya, in which the word ‘cidānanda-ātmaka’ [meaning that the jīva has knowledge (cit) and bliss (ānanda) in him] is mentioned as one of the characteristics of the jīva, yet, it’s often pointed out that what he has actually said in his commentary is that there is no real positive knowledge and bliss in the marginal constitution of the jīva. Referring to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s explanation of this term (‘cidānanda-ātmaka‘) in section 28, it’s shown that what he had actually written was that the meaning of the jīva being of the nature of cit, or jñāna (knowledge), is that he is not inert, and the meaning that he is of the nature of bliss, or ānanda, is that he is simply devoid of suffering. “Tatra tasya jaḍa-pratiyogitvena jñānatvaṁ duḥkha-pratiyogitvena tu jñānatvam ānandatvam ca.” Here, ‘duḥkha-pratiyogitvena‘ indicates merely being free of suffering, and not a positive state of ‘ānandam‘ or bliss in itself, such as brahmānanda or bhaktyānanda.

Explaining the term ‘sat-cit-ānanda‘ in relation to the soul, in his Paramātmā-sandarbha (28), Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī states that when the soul is said to be of the nature of cit, this actually implies that the jīva is not inert or unconscious. And while the jīva is said to be of the nature of ānanda, it simply implies that it is devoid of suffering. (Thus, the term ‘sat-cit-ānanda’ does not mean that the soul is full of knowledge and bliss, but that it is merely devoid of non-consciousness and suffering).

In relation to the above argument, let us first carefully examine the term ‘pratiyogitvena‘ in Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s commentary. ‘Pratiyogitva‘ also means ‘opposite’ (or ‘in opposition to’); hence, ‘duḥkha-pratiyogitvena‘ means ‘characteristic opposite or opposed to suffering’ and that denotes nothing other than happiness or bliss. Thus, he means that a jīva, prior to his conditioned state (i.e., before getting conditioned), has got some kind of real spiritual happiness or bliss, but in a minute form. It’s true that such a small, minute type of bliss is not yet qualified to be called as bhakti in prominence or bhakti of a matured state, which can attract the Lord’s attention, but yet the fact cannot be denied that it IS a very basic kind of natural love-happiness or love-taste (i.e., dormant or initial stage of bhakti or brahmānanda-type bhakti) in the unconditioned jīva (still situated in a neutral marginal state and not completely liberated yet) in relation to his own divine origin. Although very small or little, yet the original quality of divine love (love-taste) is there, similar to the sparks of a blazing fire. The sparks can also turn into a big fire as soon as they receive fuel in the form of the grace of the svarūpa-śakti and/or pure devotees. 

On the other hand, when it’s said ‘devoid of suffering’, what does it really mean? How is such absence of suffering caused or becomes possible without even the slightest presence of the positive pleasure (bliss) inherited from the divine origin? Absence of darkness means it’s replaced by the presence of some real light – at least by a small amount with its basic quality. Otherwise, how can a problem be solved without a positive solution? How can a sickness be cured without the positive influence of health? How can a weakness disappear without gaining strength? How is the absence of negative points really possible without the presence of positive points? An argument may be put forward that there is a marginal place between plus (positive) and minus (negative) and that is called zero, or that there is a neutral position between pain and positive pleasure, which is called a state of peaceful equilibrium. Peace experienced in that state is not directly backed by positive pleasure. Rather, that particular state of peaceful equilibrium is mostly experienced in the deep slumber-like situation of samādhi and not really found in the active status of a jīva soul, who is a living entity endowed with some freewill and free choice, engaged in conscious activities. Hence, the character of the pleasure he experiences, cannot be merely like that of a neutral peace, just devoid of suffering, but that of more active nature of happiness through his minute inheritance from his own origin. If the nature of ‘sat‘ and ‘cit‘, i.e., eternal existence and consciousness/instinctive knowledge (not referring to the transcendental divine knowledge, but only some basic intuitive knowledge as befitting to his marginal constitutional nature), could be eternally given, granted or awarded to him by the Lord, why would the Lord not, in a similar way, also kindly award a little bit of His ‘ānanda‘-quality or bliss-quality to the jīva‘s constitution for perpetual inheritance?! 

If the Godly qualities of eternal existence and consciousness can be inherent in a jīva, why not the quality of ānanda or bliss (in a minute amount as befitting to a jīva) be also considered as inherent in a jīva through perpetual inheritance?! Perpetual inheritance is as good as inherence, since it’s eternally granted in the constitution. In the ultimate sense, all such inheritance and inherence are all factually given, sanctioned or granted by Lord’s will – without which nothing can come into being or nothing can exist. Therefore, the absence of suffering can also mean having a backing of some inheritedly inherent bliss in the neutral marginal self of a jīva (before entering into the conditioned state), although the character of such bliss is of minute quality and quantity, which can otherwise be called (or recognized) as a basic, instinctive love-taste or bhakti of an awakening state, connecting naturally to his own origin. We may not forget that every individual jīva has got its heart’s function, and therefore has heart’s feelings, some part of which naturally contains certain love- feelings that cannot be denied. It’s self-evident.

Note of clarification: With regards to the issue of ‘anādi-baddha‘, ‘anādi-ajñāna‘, etc., there is often some confusion due to the lack of clarity. Again, the word ‘anādi‘ is definitely used in a relative sense, rather than as an absolute statement. ‘Conditioned from the time beyond beginning’, ‘ignorant from the time beyond beginning’, simply means that the conditioning never began or ignorance never began within the concept of mundane time measurement – implying that it all began beyond the concept of mundane calculation of time. (This has already been explained by Ṭhākura Śrīla Bhakti Vinode in Jaiva Dharma.) But this never, in the absolute sense, refers to a real eternal conditioning or ignorance. 

Note of clarification: Sometimes, words like ‘anādi’, ‘śāśvata’ and ‘ananta’ have been used in certain places of the scriptures in a relative sense (indicating a very long term) and not really in the literal absolute sense. For example, anādiḥ – the firstborn, Lord Brahmā. The demigods are called ‘amara‘, literally meaning ‘immortal’, but actually this indicates they have a very long life. Similarly, the words ‘śāśvata‘ (or permanent) and ‘ananta‘ (or endless) are also used in a non-literal way – ‘for a very long time’, but not really as ‘permanent’ or ‘endless’.

Otherwise, it would be a huge injustice for the Lord to allow those jīva souls to be eternally conditioned, helplessly, without any reason or choice or fault, which is simply opposed to His natural, gracious character, an essential quality of His, thus bringing blame upon Him.

However, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmīpāda and other ācāryas, like Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura and Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmīpāda, have also written their commentaries in different ways or lights according to the contexts of the verses.

Please see the quotations from an internet discussion at the end of this article, they are found to be useful for certain necessary clarifications.

According to some opinions, when Mahāprabhu said, “jīvera svarūpa haya kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa”, what He actually meant was that a jīva, by nature of his constitution, is just subordinate to or dependent on Kṛṣṇa, forever. In other words, by his constitutional position, a jīva soul is always subordinate to or dependent on the Lord. And such a position does not really mean that he is recognized as the Lord’s loving servitor in eternity. The above opinion has definitely got some reasonable grounds if it means that a jīva in that marginal constitutional position is not a ‘devoted servitor’ yet. (That’s understandable.) But, if it means that a jīva in the same position (before getting conditioned) can never at all have even the very basic, natural taste of loving servitude relating to his own Lord, his own divine origin, then it’s certainly not according to the siddhānta or conclusion of Mahāprabhu and our Guruvarga. (They have never meant it that way.) What They have meant or referred to is that an unconditioned jīva soul definitely has some basic intrinsic taste of being the loving servitor of his own divine origin – the Supreme Lord. And such love-taste and the relationship of loving servitorship with his own Lord is always present in his constitutional nature, but in a basic, undeveloped initial form, yet to be enriched and developed further (by the beneficial association of sādhus and the grace of svarūpa-śakti).

Note of clarification: With regards to the role of ‘caitya-guru‘, one may say that the caitya-guru exclusively refers to only the Paramātmā or Supersoul and that it functions as ‘guru of the heart’. So, it’s not the function of the jīvātmā at all.

The above statement is very true – no doubt about it. But there is an unavoidable and eternal relationship between the jīvātmā (jīva soul) and Paramātmā (Supersoul), which is evidenced in the scriptures. Therefore, our Guruvarga have explained in accordance with certain scriptural views that Kṛṣṇa in the form of Paramātmā is sitting by the heart of a jīvātmā to guide him, direct him as desired and deserved by him. The natural right of a jīva soul to be receiving such guidance is eternally inherited from Paramātmā. In other words, such a right to receive guidance is eternally given or granted to the jīvātmā by Paramātmā and, therefore, this right is considered as good as inherent in the jīva’s constitution through perpetual inheritance. Thus, Paramātmā’s guidance can also manifest through the jīva’s deeper heart’s feelings or inspiration, which is otherwise known as the function of the ‘caitya-guru‘ or ‘guru in the heart’. So, this internal guru or Paramātmā does also guide a jīva soul towards Himself, often depending on that jīva’s desire and deserving qualities.

Another question or argument that may come up is that māyā-śakti can never take over or condition any jīva soul if he has bhakti in him in any way or in any form, since bhakti is the property of svarūpa-śakti and māyā-śakti has no right or capacity to overpower anything belonging to svarūpa-śakti. Kṛṣṇa and His svarūpa-śakti are like the sun (and sunlight) and māyā is likened to darkness; hence, darkness cannot remain in the presence of light. In other words, darkness cannot take over the light. Similarly, māyā, which is compared to darkness, cannot take over bhakti, which is compared to light.

In reply, it’s explained by the knowledgeable Mahājanas that the minuteness of the jīva always needs to be born in our minds. The reason māyā-śakti can take over a jīva soul voluntarily participating in her (māyā’s) functions of tempting material enjoyment is because he is very minute by nature (in comparison with the enormity of the strength or influence of māyā-energy). For example, although a spark of fire has the quality of fire (a spark of fire is also fire by quality), yet it cannot dispel the darkness of its surroundings totally or effectively because of its minuteness. Rather, it appears to be surrounded by the darkness. In other words, it’s often found in a situation where the darkness is all around. Similarly, a very tiny or thin ray of light in the huge, wide expanse of darkness cannot dissipate the darkness in full or very effectively. All it can do is to create a shady situation, more or less, in which some part of the darkness still remains in the absence of enough light. Another example-sometimes, a tiny piece of gold or gemstone can fall into garbage, by mistake; though, by its original quality, it is not to be mixed with garbage, yet it gets conditioned by its garbage surroundings, temporarily. In a similar way, a jīva, who is like a spark of fire or a very thin ray of light or a piece of gold or gem by his original quality, i.e., being endowed with some miniscule form of bhakti, still gets conditioned by the darkness-like, garbage-like surroundings – that of inappropriate material temptations.

In other words, a jīva soul, although having an inherent, intrinsic, basic tendency of bhakti or love for God, gets conditioned by māyā-śakti due to his minuteness. Therefore, we also find certain examples of some devotees who became conditioned again temporarily, despite having bhakti, i.e., devotional mood and service engagements, because the nature of their bhakti was still at a primary (neophyte) or lower secondary level (kaniṣṭha- madhyama adhikāra), and not yet matured enough to be recognized as of a higher secondary level (uttama- madhyama adhikāra) or the best level (uttama adhikāra). But we cannot totally deny, saying there was no bhakti at all in the lives of those devotees who fell conditioned for a while for certain reasons. For example, Bharata Mahārāja, King Indradyumna, King Citraketu, Ajāmila, Deva-guru Bṛhaspati, Cintāmaṇi, Kāla Kṛṣṇa Dāsa, etc. (Although they all ultimately remained protected and sheltered by the grace of Lord, their examples were used to teach us something.) Texts from scriptures such as ‘tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer‘, ‘sva-pāda-mūlaṁ bhajataḥ priyasya‘, ‘api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk‘ actually reflect on the fact that even after achieving a certain stage of bhakti, devotees may sometimes be conditioned by māyā for the time being, due to the misuse of their own freewill (though temporarily) and also due to non-spiritual environmental influences. 

We also find another relevant example of explanation from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta which says,

tāhāṅ vistārita hañā phale prema-phala
ihāṅ mālī sece nitya śravaṇādi jala
yadi vaiṣṇava-aparādha uṭhe hātī mātā
upāḍe vā chiṇḍe, tāra śukhi’ yāya pātā

Translation: “The creeper greatly expands in the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet, and there it produces the fruit of love for Kṛṣṇa. Although remaining in the material world, the gardener regularly sprinkles the creeper with the water of hearing and chanting.”

There, the creeper takes shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord, and that is its final destination. At that time, the creeper begins to grow the fruits of ecstatic love of God.…”

 Even at that stage,

“If the devotee commits an offense at the feet of a Vaiṣṇava while cultivating the creeper of devotional service in the material world, his offense is compared to a mad elephant that uproots the creeper and breaks it. In this way, the leaves of the creeper are dried up.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 19.155-156)

Therefore, the most important advice is given therein, that 

tāte mālī yatna kari’ kare āvaraṇa
aparādha-hastīra yaiche nā haya udgama

Translation: “The gardener must defend the creeper by fencing it all around so that the powerful elephant of offences may not enter.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 19.157)

kintu yadi latāra saṅge uṭhe ‘upaśākhā’
bhukti-mukti-vāñchā, yata asaṅkhya tāra lekhā
‘niṣiddhācāra’, ‘kuṭīnāṭī’, ‘jīva-hiṁsana’
‘lābha’, ‘pūjā’, ‘pratiṣṭhādi’ yata upaśākhā-gaṇa

seka-jala pāñā upaśākhā bāḍi’ yāya
stabdha hañā mūla-śākhā bāḍite nā pāya

Translation: “Sometimes unwanted creepers, such as the creepers of desires for material enjoyment and liberation from the material world, grow along with the creeper of devotional service.”

“Some unnecessary creepers growing with the bhakti creeper are the creepers of behavior unacceptable for those trying to attain perfection, diplomatic behavior, animal killing, mundanely profiteering, mundane adoration and mundane importance.”

“If one does not distinguish between the bhakti-latā creeper and the other creepers, the sprinkling of water is misused because the other creepers are nourished while the bhakti-latā creeper is curtailed.”
Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 19.158-160)

Hence, it is clearly understood from the above explanations that there are some possibilities that sometimes, even during the cultivation of the life of devotional service, the state in which bhakti has already began to develop, certain mundane contaminations of offences or other ‘anarthas‘ may still appear, against which the devotees should always stay vigilant. In the verse “ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅga tha bhajana-kriyā tato ‘nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt…”, we see that alongside bhajana-kriyā or practising bhakti, still some anartha or material contamination can be there, though it is meant to go away soon by the effects of bhajana-kriyā. That means in the initial state of bhakti, certain anārtha or mundane conditioning can still remain (though waiting to be removed soon by the power of bhakti, i.e., bhajana-kriyā).

Note of clarification: The bhakti as defined through the following verses is actually the pure bhakti, that of a much higher and developed stage:

kleśa-ghnī śubha-dā mokṣa-laghutā-kṛt su-durlabhā
sāndrānanda-viśeṣātmā śrī- kṛṣṇākarṣiṇī ca sā

Translation:The unique characteristics of bhakti are: its ability to destroy suffering; its bestowal of auspiciousness; its disregard for liberation; its rarity of attainment; its manifestation of concentrated bliss; and its ability to attract Krsna.
(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Pūrva 1.17)

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam
hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate

Translation:Bhakti is defined as service to the Lord using the senses. It should be done with the intention of pleasing the Lord, free from other desires, and unobstructed by other processes.
(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.12)

Such bhakti as described above is not actually inherent in the jīva’s marginal constitutional position; rather, it is received or inherited from the sādhus’ gracious association and the Lord’s mercy. Again, a question may arise: Then why do some of the Guruvarga sometimes say, “You have got so much divine treasure with your own inner self, eternal self (svarūpa). Just discover it, find it (recognize it) within, in relation to the Supreme God, and you will become so rich.”? By all such statements, they actually mean, “You have all got the good potential to become so rich in life, provided that you continue with your spiritual business or sādhana with dedication.” It’s like telling a student getting education, “You know, you can become a big doctor, big engineer or professor or a great scholar, as you continue with your studies appropriately.” It’s like saying to a businessman, “You can become so rich (at one point) as you continue with your business intelligently.” It’s like saying that a baby fruit tree can grow so big and be a producer of a huge amount of fruits in the future, etc. So, such statements are made considering the potential or prospective achievements yet-to-come through a course of development, but not that it’s already there within you, right at the present moment and that it’s just simply waiting for a discovery. No. 

Approaching towards the conclusion, again, this should be clearly understood that things in the spiritual world happen not only in a single pattern, straight-cut, black-and-white way, but also in artistically interwoven, interrelated, corresponding, unifying ways. A rainbow-like siddhānta in the spiritual world is one, but composed of many colors, creating a harmoniously combining united beauty of understanding. There are relative ways of seeing, conceiving or realising the siddhānta and there is also the absolute way of conceiving and realising the siddhānta, accommodating all the relative ones within.

Our human body and mind, for example – all its parts, such as the senses (like eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin-touch), organs (like heart, lungs, stomach, liver, kidney, reproductive system, etc.) and brain, are of separate natures, identities and functions, so different from each other. Yet they are all closely connected or related with one another and work together in mutual co-operation as an organic whole, as one entity or being, which is its wholesome (holistic) or absolute identity through uniting and interrelating harmony. The same principle applies in regard to the cooperative nature of body-mind-spirit, with a little extended view.

Similarly, in the vast, colorfully decorated, multi-dimensional, multi-aspected, multi-charactered, unlimited (unobstructed) and cooperative world of the wholesome siddhānta, different principles, realities and realisations are not merely understood in the very particular (specific) and individually identified relative ways, but also in the holistic absolute way or system through its wonderfully harmonious interrelationships with the Infinite, just as the functions of all the senses (like eye, ear, nose, tongue, etc.) and organs (such as heart, lungs, etc.) are inherent in our brain constitution, or as the function of producing a mango fruit is inherent in the mango tree and a prospective mango tree is also inherent in its fruit-seed, or as fatherhood and motherhood are also naturally inherent in the biological system of males and females.

Note of clarification: A comment may arise—”Well, all such above-mentioned inherence is all actually inherited from their inner and outer nature or situation. So, it cannot be a direct or independent inherence. In reply, it can be confidently said that no function of inherence can factually be totally independent of the functions of inheritance. In other words, most of the jīva’s inherence is actually inherited from the fundamental and inate life-law or life-principles as sanctioned by the Supreme Absolute.

Another example is that the young kids’ natural, intuitive love for their parents and other dear ones (even before consciously learning about how to love) is inherent in their nature. Similarly, a natural tendency to have some love-feelings for God, i.e., certain kind of basic and instinctive bhakti for Kṛṣṇa, is also inherent in the jīva’s unconditioned constitution. That’s undeniable due to his relation to his very source, origin – Him, one of whose essential characteristics is being “love personified”. 

Hence, it can be concluded that whereas a very basic or initial kind of bhakti or love-taste for Kṛṣṇa is inherent in the marginal state of the jīva’s constitution, which is still free of conditioning, on the other hand, the pure and more developed form of bhakti, which culminates in prema, is undoubtedly always inherited from the sādhus, or the Lord’s pure devotees, and His svarūpa-śakti.

Edited by Saksi Gopal das (Singapore), bh. Jan Mareš, Tattva-darsi das, Malati devi dasi

Another note: (quoted from the Internet, found to be helpful for bringing certain clarity, might be necessary.) 

Discussing about the ānanda (bliss of love), jñāna (knowledge) whether or not, or how much are they inherent and inherited in a jīva’s constitution? Also it touches on the point of the anādi-bahirmukha nature (that of being eternally averse from Lord) on the part of a jīva, etc…  

Anonymous (Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 1:40:00 PM):

Satya Narayan Das translates duhkha-pratiyogitatva as “devoid of suffering”. There are many ways of expressing the “absence of” something in Sanskrt, such as “abhava”,“rahita”, “vihina”, “sunya”, etc. Never have I seen pratiyogitatva used in the sense of “devoid of”. Can you share with us the name of the dictionary from which this meaning is derived? All the dictionaries I have access to define pratiyogitatva in the sense of “antithetical”, “possessed of the opposite nature.” Thus duhkha-pratiyogitatva does not mean “the absence of suffering.” Rather it means “the opposite of suffering”, which would of course be “happiness”.

 This is consistent with other verses in Priti Sandarbha: 

ato nataram jivasya svarupananda-rupa atyanta ksudratvat tasya

Nor can one consider the bliss existing in the form of the jiva (to be the cause of bliss for the Lord) because it is extremely minute.”
Priti Sandarbha 65)

If the ananda in the jiva is “ksudra” (minute), then interpreting ananda as “the absence of suffering” is untenable, since one cannot speak in terms of “a minute amount of absence”. Thus ananda is present in the jiva, albeit in a minute amount.

In his Madhurya Kadambini commentary, Sri Ananta Das Babaji also says the ananda in the jiva is minute:

Nor can one consider bhakti as the bliss existing in the eternal form of the jéva since the bliss of jévänanda is extremely minute.”
Kadambini commentary pg17)

In Brhad Bhagavatamrta 2.2.183 Dig-darsini-tika, Srila Sanantana Gosvami describes the Lord as ghanananda (condensed bliss) in contrast to the jiva’s ananda-matra (merely a measure of bliss):

(QUOTE)The bhakti-sastras say, “Yet, the opinion of Sri Parasara and others is that in reality, all jivas, by principle (tattva) – in other words, by their nature, or svarupa – are parts and parcels (amsas) of Brahman. However, in the antonym of the word ghana (referring to Bhagavan, who is of concentrated of bliss), namely, in the word aghana (not concentrated), there is an indication of another entity also, which, in comparison (to ghana), represents proportionately less, or a mere amount, of bliss (ananda-matra). That other, aghana entity must be understood to be atma-tattva (pure, conscious reality), or the jivas. The plurality of that other entity – atma-tattva – is due to the variegated natures of the jévas. An example using the sun clarifies this. As the diffused rays of light (aghana) are part of the dense sphere (ghana) of the radiance of the sun, in the same way, the living beings are parts of Brahman. Nothing exists apart from Him.” (UNQUOTE)
Brhad Bhagavatamrta 2.2.183 Dig-darsini-tika)

 Concurring with this conclusion, Srila Jiva Gosvami describes that when the jiva takes shelter of svarupa-sakti, the jiva’s ananda, which was incomplete, becomes complete:

tatah svarupa-saktyaiva pratyuta tesam sukhaikaprada purna saktir bhavisyatiti bhavah.

On the other hand, it is only by Bhagavan’s svarupa sakti that the energy of the living beings will be completed, becoming exclusively delightful.”
Bhagavat Sandarbha. Anu. 98.5)

The jiva must be possessed of an aspect of ananda, other wise his energy could not be completed by the svarupa-sakti any more than a gold bracelet could be completed by a substance other than gold.

Thus the conclusion is that the phrase “duhkha-pratiyogitatva” does indeed mean “the opposite of suffering” not “the absence of suffering” as claimed by Satya Narayan Das.

Satyanārāyan Bābājī’s reply (Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 9:24:00 PM):

Anonymous has asked “Can you share with us the dictionary from which this meaning is derived?“

He is objecting to my meaning of duḥkha-pratiyogitva as “devoid of suffering”. He says that such a meaning is not found in any dictionary. My reply to this is that first of all, the dictionary does not give all the meanings of a word. Many times commentators give meanings to words which are not found in the dictionaries. To give an example, while commenting on the word “aṁśa-bhāgena” in verse 10.2.9 of Srīmad Bhāgavatam, in Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha, Anuccheda 92, Srī Jīva Gosvāmī glosses the word bhāga as “entry into” (aṁśena bhāgo bhajanam praveśo yatra). Such a meaning of the word bhāga is not found in any dictionary. I can cite many such examples from the commentaries. Nonetheless, if you want to see the meaning of pratiyogitva as absence, then please see the Sanskrit Dictionary by Apte. In the second entry under pratiyogin, it is explained how pratiyogi and absence are related as counterparts. This is common knowledge in Nyāya. In Nyāya, abhāva or absence is of two types: samsarga abhāva (this is the very word used by Jīva Gosvāmī in Prīti Sandarbha, Anu. 1 and Bhakti Sandarbha Anu. 1, which I cited in my previous reply). The second type of abhāva is called anyo‘nya abhāva. The first type of abhāva has three divisions in it, prāg abhāva, pradhvamsa abhāva and atyanta abhāva. The counterpart of abhāva is called pratiyogi. The relationship between abhāva and pratiyogi is called pratiyogita. So it is in this sense, that Jīva Gosvāmī is using the word duḥkha-pratiyogitva to imply the absence of suffering. This is a very common meaning in Nyāya language. Anybody who has studied any book on Nyāya will understand this. If you want to know more about this term, please consult the famous Nyāya Koṣa (Dictionary of Nyāya-terminology) by Bhīmācārya Jhalkikar.

Otherwise, just to say that sukha, or happiness, is “the opposite of suffering,” as Anonymous has proposed, does not need the caliber of Jīva Gosvāmī. Even the most illiterate person knows this fact by experience. If Jīva Gosvāmī is thus commenting, he must tell us something which is unknown to a common person.

At the same time, I do agree with you that there is some ānanda in the jīva, as you had cited various references. However, this ānanda of the jīva is not a positive type of ānanda. This is what Jīva Gosvāmī is trying to explain. To throw some more light on it, the word jnāna in case of jīva svarūpa means mere consciousness. It means that this jnāna has no content. Usually jnāna has some content or a subject, but when the word jnāna is used to explain the svarūpa of the jīva, it is without any content. In the same way as jnāna is of two types, ānanda, or happiness, is of three types – 

  1. Material happiness is nothing but getting rid of suffering, i.e., when one is suffering from hunger, one feels happy by eating food, but once the pangs of hunger are satisfied, food does not give any more pleasure. This is indicated by Kṛṣṇa in verse 5.24 in Bhagavad Gītā. This type of happiness comes from sense objects. 

  1. The second type of happiness is being situated in one’s own svarūpa without any contact of sense objects. It is considered to be happiness because there is no suffering at this state, but it is also not a not a positive type of happiness. This is what Jīva Gosvāmī called kṣudra in Prīti Sandarbha 65, cited by Anonymous. This is the happiness Jīva Gosvāmī calls duḥkha pratiyogitva because there is no suffering. It is has no viṣaya, or sense object. It is the happiness one experiences in deep sleep or dreamless sleep. In, this regard Srī Viśvanātha Cakravarti Thākur writes as follows while commenting on SB 6.16.55: “When the jīva sleeps, then in that state of deep sleep, the jīva experiences happiness which is beyond the guṇas and without any subject, by the grace of Paramātma (prasuktah puruṣo jīvo yadā svapaṁ veda tad eva susuktau ātmanah svasya nirgunam nirviṣayam sukhaṁ ca yena eva hetunā veda tam atmanam antaryāminam avehi). 

  1. The third type of ānanda is the happiness of bhakti. It is this happiness of bhakti which makes the jīva complete. 

In comparison to the third type of happiness the second type is sometimes called “insignificant” and sometimes “absence of suffering”. The first type is not even considered as “absence of suffering” but just suffering. Kṛṣṇa says that happiness is beyond both so called happiness and suffering and suffering is the very desire for material happiness (SB11.19.41). The same is said in Yoga Sūtra 2.15.

I had already explained the meaning of “IN” logically as by samvaya sambandha or samyoga sambandha, and refuted the idea of inherent knowledge of Veda in the jīva.

As for the rest of comments of Anonymous, I do not wish to say more about it, but at least he agrees that knowledge comes from Paramātma. Whether Paramātma is external or internal is immaterial.

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:04:00 PM):

From Paramātma Sandarbha and Bhagavat-sandarbha – we use translation of His Holiness Bhanu Swami Maharaja: 

Using the descriptions found in Padma Purina, Jāmitr, an esteemed guru of the ancient Śrī-sampradāya following Rāmānuja’s philosophy, has described the jīva’s primary (svarūpa) qualities. In explaining pranava,the following is found in Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda (6.226.34-37):

jñānāśrayo jñāna-gunas cetanah prakrteh parah
najāto nirvikāraś caeka-rāpah svarūpa-bhāk

The jīva is the shelter of knowledge, has the quality of knowledge, is conscious and beyond prakrti. It has no birth and no change. It has its own individual form. 

anur nityo vyāpti-śīlascid-ānandātmakas tathā
aham-artho ’vyayah ksetrī bhinna-rūpah sanātanah

The jīva is small, eternal, and spreads out. It has knowledge and bliss, and the sense of “I.” It does not decrease, is the knower of the body, and is different from other jīvas eternally.

Based on this, Jāmātr Muni teaches as follows: 

ātmā na devo na naro na tiryak sthāvaro na ca
na deho nendriyam naiva manah prāno na nāpi dhīh

The jīva is not a devatā, not a human not an animal or plant. It is not a body or a sense, nor is it mind, prāna or intellect. 

Each jīva has its own identity, and is separate from other jīvas. It is very small and eternally pure.

paramātmaika-śesatva-svabhāvah sarvadā svatah

It is a knower, doer, and enjoyer by its very nature. By its nature it is subservient to Paramātmā at all times.

The explanation of Jāmātr is according to Rāmānuja’s commentary. 

The qualities never leave the ātmā as long as the ātmā exists over all time with no beginning and no end. The śruti shows this. Na hi vijñātur vijñāter vipañlopo vidyate: knowledge never leaves the ātmā. (Brhād-āranyaka Upanisad 4.3.30)

These qualities manifest in the jīva in liberation, just as qualities of male and female manifest in a person as they mature.

pumstvadivat tv asya sato ’bhivyakti-yogāt

You cannot say that the jīva’s knowledge is not eternal, because it exists during deep sleep and simply manifests on waking. It is like maleness which is unmanifest in a child but appears when he grows up. (Brahma-sūtra 2.3.29)

Jīva’s qualities which are similar to the Lord’s are hidden. From meditation on the Supreme Lord, a śakti which defies darkness appears by the mercy of the Lord, like the power of a medicine.

If it were not a matter of these qualities manifesting or not manifesting in the jīva, one would either percieve the qualities at all times (being eternally manifested) or not perceive them at all (not being present at all in the jiva). This is the case of material objects which have no consciousness. If the jiva did not have these qualities inherent in his svarūpa, there would be no tendency to manifest them. Thus the jiva is anu by nature, but pervades the body by his qualities.

Rāmānuja explains it in this way. Just as a fiery object remains with a glowing form, so the consciousness remains with its conscious form. Even if the effulgence arises as a quality of the substance, it is also the fiery substance, not a mere quality like whitness. It is the substance, since it takes shelter of itself, it can be present elsewhere, it has a form and it reveals things. This is different from whiteness. The ability to reveal things means its natural ability to reveal other things. Effulgence is sometimes classed as its quality because it always takes shelter of the substance and depends on it. It can never be said that the object with it parts is depleted when it spreads its effulgence since one would then see gems and the sun disappear after radiating effulgence.

Just as a lamp is termed the source of qualities since it has unfailing qualities like effulgence, so the jīva is the source of qualities, since it is endowed with unfailing qualities. Though the jīva is anu, it pervades by its qualities. That quality of consciousness is unbroken, but by the śakti called avidya-karma, the consciousness contracts or expands.


Knowledge in the jīva is eternal because of teachings in the scriptures.
Brahma-sūtra 2.3.26)

Madhva quotes from Kauśika-śruti in this regard for proof:

bhinno ‘cintyah paramo jiva-sañghāt
pūnah paro jīva-sañgho by apūrnah
yato ’py asau nitya-mukto ’py ahamś ca
bandān moksam tata evābhivanchet

The Lord is different from the jīvas and inconceivable. He is supreme and complete. The jīvas are incomplete. Because I am eternally liberated, he desires liberation from bondage.

The jīva is a knower. According to the previous logic, being a knower is a quality of the jīva.

Since the jīva is eternal, being the shelter of knowledge is jīva’s natural quality. Śruti says vijñātaram are kena vijāniyāt: by what should the knower be known? (Brhad-āranyaka Upanisad 4.3.30) The jīva knows. (Paramātmā Sandarbha Anuccheda 19 )

Others describe nondifference among all atmas in two ways. Some say that there is actual non-difference between atmas since difference is due to upadhis only. The separate identities are caused by the respective upadhis in each atma in the material world. Others say that even in the material world there is identity of all as one jīva but, like a dream, individuality is created. Both ideas can be rejected since it is impossible to explain the origin of ignorance, which is the basis of upadhis or dream state. The ideas are not intelligible. The concepts of bifurcation, shadow and reflection (Brahman becoming a jīva) will all be shown to be faulty. (Paramatma Sandarbha Anuccheda 19)

Comment. “be rejected since it is impossible to explain the origin of ignorance”

Ajnanenavrtam jnanam tena muhyanti jantavah: the living entities are bewildered by that ignorance and blame the Lord. (BG 5.15) (Paramatma Sandarbha Anuccheda 22)

Another sakti (māyā) is described:

sayad ajayā tv ajām anuśayīta gunāmś cajusan
bhajati sarūpatām tad am mrtyum apeta-bhagah

The jīva contacts matter by the influence of māyā, takes on similar form due to upādhis, and enjoys material objects. He thus experiences samsāra. (SB 10.87.38)

Śridhara’s commentary is as follows: 

Because the jīva (sah) embraces ignorance (ajām) caused by māyā (ajayā), it serves (jusān) the body and senses (gunān) or identifies with them as his self. After that (tad anu), with its qualities such as bliss (ānanda) hidden (apeta-bhāgah), it adopts similar qualities and attains (bhajati) saiiisāra (mrtum). (Paramatma Sandarbha Anuccheda 23)

Comment. Māyā influences and the jīva falls into material world. 

The bewildered jīva is further described as follows: 

tat-sañga-bhrarhśitaiśvaryam samsarantam kubhāryavat
tad-gatīr abudhasyeha kim asat-karmabhir bhavet

The man in the story is the jīva who, like a householder with an unfaithful wife (intelligence), loses all his powers in her association. What is the use of insubstantial karmas performed by a person who does not know his destination? (SB 6.5.15)

Comment. The jīva had Krishna, but lost Krishna. The jīva loses all his powers in māyā’s association. He had all qualities of a bhakta

Jiva Gosvami continues: By association with māyā, represented by a woman (taysāh), the jīva loses all his powers, his capacity for inherent knowledge etc. and follows her (samsarantam). Anuccheda 24

seyam bhagavato māyā yan nayena virudhyate
īśvarasya vimuktasya kārpanyam uta bandhanam

This māyā, which cannot be understood by logic and which belongs to the Supreme Lord but is not his svarūpa, is the cause of deprivation and ignorance for the jīva who has the possibility of knowledge and liberation. (SB 3.7.9) Anuccheda 25

vipralabdho mahisyaivamsarva-prakrti-vañcitah
necchann anukaroty ajñahklaibyāt kñdā-mrgo yathā

Specifically conditioned by the Queen, cheated of his own nature, the foolish King, though he did not want to, followed her like a pet animal because of falling under another’s control.(SB 4.25.62) Anuccheda 26

Comment. “cheated of his own nature” the king had his own fully developed nature, but then gave it up then Jiva Gosvami comments:

Advaitadas (December 25, 2015 at 6:01:00 PM):

Comment. The jīva had Krishna, but lost Krishna. The jīva loses all his powers in maya’s association. He had all qualities of a bhakta.

Comment. “cheated of his own nature” the king had his own fully developed nature, but then gave it up. 

These comments I could not find in these paragraphs of Paramatma Sandarbha. Quote evidence.

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:05:00 PM):

Puranjana, cheated by his queen, gave up (vañcitah) his nature of knowledge and other qualities (sarva-prakrti), not by his will, but by her will, and adopted her qualities (anukaroti) as his own. Though the jīva has acapacity for knowledge, his position of bondage is described in the following sūtra:

parābhidhyānāt tu tirohitam tato hy asya bandha-viparyayau

Dreams disappear by the will of the Lord. This is not surprising since the Lord (through māyā) is also the cause of bondage and liberation of the jīva. (Brahma-sūtra 3.2.5) (Anuccheda 26)

Jāmātr mentions that the jīva is not just knowledge. The reason was given, but another reason is that the jīva is cid-ānandātmaka. It is knowledge as the opposite of insentience (jada-pratiyoga) and it is bliss and knowledge (cid-ānandātmaka) as the opposite of suffering (duhkha-pratiyoga). Its nature of knowing was already illustrated. Jīva accomplishes his nature as bliss by being the shelter of unconditional prema. Anuccheda 28

The jīva’s knowledge composed of bliss is not experienced second-hand “for you” as in the case of a reflection, but rather it is experienced for the self (aham-artha), since the jīva is ātmā or the self. This knowledge “for the self’ is the sense of “I.” The word “I” indicates knowledge. The pure ātmā, though covered by prakrti, never becomes something else, since by the covering he merely identifies that self with the body. Anuccheda 29

The jīva has a pure svarūpa (nitya-nirmalah). That was already illustrated in śuddho vicaste hy aviśuddha-kartuh: the jīva, though pure, becomes absorbed in the activities of the impure mind. (SB 5.11.12, explained at the beginning).

Even the jīva in his pure state is also a knower (jñātritva). That was illustrated also. Knowledge is eternal since it is the intrinsic quality of the eternal jīva. Therefore that knowledge is without change. (Paramātmā Sandarbha Anuccheda 35 )

Comment. nitya-nirmalah pure means a completely manifested nature, else it would be handicapped, deficient. 

Now the jīva as a dependent (śesatva) of Paramātmā will be discussed. The jīva is an amśa (śesah) of Paramātmā or is secondary to Paramātmā. That is the jīva’s nature (svabhāva). This is the case at all times (sarvadā) even when the jīva is liberated. That is jīva’s svarūpa (svatah), not that Brahman when cut in pieces becomes jīva. By the Lord’s intrinsic, inconceivable śakti, the jīva is by nature dependent as an amśa, like a particle of a ray of light. This is the meaning of svatah.

Thus, though jīva is a śakti, it is different from the material śakti, since it is called tatastha. It is called tatastha because it cannot be classed as māyā since it surpasses māyā-śakti (being conscious) and it cannot be classed as Paramātmā since Paramātmā is not subject to jīva’s fault of being overcome by ignorance. Though it is the śakti of Paramātmā, Paramātmā is not tinged by jīva’s faults just as the sun is not covered though one ray of the sun can be covered by shadow. Nārada-pañcarātra describes the tatastha position:

yat tatastham tu cid-rūpam sva-samvedyād vinirgatam rañjitam guna-rāgena sajīva iti kathyate

The jīva is called tatastha because it is a conscious form which, leaving its knowledge of itself, becomes tinged by the attraction to material gunas.

Comment. 1. “leaving its knowledge of itself “ It had jnana and lost it.

tasmāt priyatamah svātmā sarvesām api dehinām tad-artham eva sakalam jagad etac carācaram

Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists. (SB 10.14.54)

Paramātma Sandarbha Anuccheda 37

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.

Advaitadas (December 30, 2015 at 7:25:00 PM):

I think it is better to wait for the Sandarbha-translations of the Jiva Institute. Then we can compare the different dṛṣṭi-koṇas of these profound texts.

Anonymous (January 1, 2016 at 5:23:00 PM):

Comment 2 was left out. Should come after comment 1

Comment. 1. “leaving its knowledge of itself “ It had jnana and lost it.

Eternal fault?– unprecedented. Our experience is different; SOMEBODY makes a fault and then suffers the consequences. Not also that God makes a fault and jīva has to suffer.

It is claimed that the fault is produced by ignorance from time without beginning, but that ignorance has no cause. This is like saying that the warmth of the fire which arises from its nature, is without any creating agent (no fire).

One is forced to accept this theory because one refuses facts which should not be given up– eg. the law of cause and effect.

Thus this theory is tinged with impersonalism or voidism; things just are or happen but there is no cause.

Advaitadas (January 1, 2016 at 6:30:00 PM):

This is all mathematical western logic. There is no reason for something which has no beginning, Visvanātha clearly and rightly said in his ṭīkā to 3.7.9. The śāstras do not wait for the approval of rationalists. Do not try to understand beginninglessness.

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:06:00 PM):

The Sanskrit is:

Ata evavidya-vimoksa-purvaka-svarupavasthiti-laksanayam muktau tal-linasya tat-sadharmyapattir bhavati

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; tat-sadharmyapattih—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.


The individual jīva (in contrast to the totality of jīva or samasti mentioned in the previous verse) is described:

ekasyaiva mamāmśasya jīvasyaiva mahā-mate bandho ’syāvidyayānādir vidyayā ca tathetarah

O intelligent Uddhava! The bondage of the jīva, who is my one part or tatastha-śakti, is created by avidyā and is without beginning. By vidyā, he achieves liberation which has a beginning. (SB 11.11.4)

Comment. Created by. The bondage had a beginning. The term “Beginningless” is figurative.

(Paramātma Sandarbha Anuccheda 38)

The same in Paramātmā Sandarbha, Anuccheda 54 :

The first two functions of the nimitta form of māyā are described:

vidyāvidye mama tanū viddhy uddhava śarīrinām moksa-bandha-karī ādye māyayā me vinirmite

O Uddhava! Understand that vidyā and avidyā are my śaktis. They are created by my māyā, are without beginning, and create liberation and bondage for the living beings. (SB 11.11.3)

The commentary of Śrīdhara Svāmī says, “Since bondage and liberation are manifested (tanyete) by avidyā and vidyā, they are called tanū. They are śaktis made of my māyā (māyayā me vinirmite). Since they are functions of māyā they cause bondage and liberation. …‘Since they are effects of māyā they should not be eternal or without beginning.’ No, they are without beginning (ādye). As long as I inspire avidyā, bondage appears (verb is understood). When I give vidyā, then liberation appears.”

Though it is said they are made (vinirmite), this means that they merely manifest by māyā whose actions are really infinite – in time – since they are actually without beginning.

The jīva is by nature in a liberated state. Bondage however appears just by ignorance.

Avidyā has two functions: covering (āvaranātmikā) and confusing (viksepātmikā). The covering function sits in the jīva and covers his natural knowledge. The confusing function sits in the jīva and produces false knowledge.

Jīva’s tatastha nature is clear from the statement sa ajayā tyajā anuśayīta: the jīva contacts matter by the influence of māyā, takes on similar form due to upādhis, and enjoys material objects. (SB 10.87.38) (Paramātma Sandarbha Anuccheda 39)

Akhanditam (indivisible) indicates the jīva is a knower, doer and enjoyer intrinsically and eternally (jñātrtva-kartrtva- bhoktrtva-nija-dharmaka), since knowledge and other qualities are never separated from him

(Paramātma Sandarbha Anuccheda 45 quoting Jāmātr-muni commenting on SB 3.25.16-18)

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.

In text 3 of Anuccheda 47 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami says, after having described the eternally liberated souls in text 2: 

Advaitadas (December 30, 2015 at 7:33:00 PM):

I protest at your interpretation of SB 11.11.4 – the word ‘ created’ is nowhere in that śloka. And to dismiss ‘ anādi‘ as ‘figurative‘ is totally frivolous and false. No ṭīkākāra has said anādi is figurative! 

Anonymous (January 9, 2016 at 9:07:00 PM):

In scripture the words sat, anadir, ananta, nitya can also be non-literal. 

anadih—the firstborn, Lord Brahma

 “After being born, Daksha, by the superexcellence of his bodily luster, covered all others’ bodily opulence. Because he was very expert in performing fruitive activity, he was called by the name Daksha, meaning “the very expert.” Lord Brahma therefore engaged Daksha in the work of generating living entities and maintaining them. In due course of time, Daksha also engaged other Prajapatis [progenitors] in the process of generation and maintenance.” (SB 4.30.51) 

Lord Brahma is anadi, “the beginningless one.” 

The demigods are amara – immortal. 

When the sun-god and moon-god exposed the plot of wicked Rahu to steal the celestial nectar, a lasting (sasvata) enmity was sealed among them, which endures to the present day.” (Mbh. 1.17.8)

The five sons of King Vasu each became kings in their own right, all five establishing permanent (sasvata) dynasties bearing their names.” (Mbh. 1.57.30)

Defeated by his old friend Drona, King Drupada diplomatically solicits from him his ‘constant (sasvata) favor’ (Mbh. 1.128.13)

The brahmana host of the Pandavas at Ekacakra condemns the incompetent king of the region who cannot provide the people with sasvata safety from harm.” (Mbh. 1.148.9)

Jaratkaru assures his forefathers that he will marry and beget a son who will preserve the family line and keep the forefathers in heaven:

Surely for your deliverance offspring will arise in that [marriage]. May my forefathers enjoy, having reached the permanent status (sasvata-sthanam)!” (Mbh. 1.13.28) 

When King Indra of heaven convinces the earthly King Vasu to give up the attempt to take Indra’s position, Indra promises that by sticking to his earthly duties, Vasu will eventually attain to the sasvata worlds:

 “Ever protect the dharma that will take you to higher worlds, engaged and with attention, for being so engaged in dharma you shall then attain the pious, everlasting worlds (sasvatan lokan).” (Mbh. 1.57.6)

The sage Mandapala attempts to enter heaven on the strength of his pious credits, but he is turned back by the gatekeepers with these words:

These very worlds are concealed from you because of [your lack of] progeny. Beget progeny and then you shall enjoy these everlasting (sasvatan lokan) worlds.” (Mbh. 1.220.13)

After begetting good sons, the same Mandapala then offered this prayer to the fire-god, Agni, when the blazing inferno of Khandava threatened to consume his young sons: 

Offering obeisances unto you, the sages go with their wives and sons to the everlasting destination (sasvatim gatim), won by their own work.” (Mbh. 1.220.25)

After having ruled the citizens according to dharma for endless years (sasvatih samah), King Yayati, son of Nahusha, accepted a very ghastly old age that ruined his beauty.” (Mbh. 1.70.33)

The Rakshasi Hidimba refused her hungry brother’s order to kill the Pandavas, reasoning that: 

If they are killed (and eaten), there will be but a moment’s satisfaction for my brother and me. But by not killing them (and thus marrying Bhishma), I will enjoy for endless years (sasvatih samah).” (Mbh. 1.139.16) 

When the Pandavas are defeated at dice, the wicked Duhsasana declares that Pritha’s sons have now been driven to hell for a long, virtually unlimited time, and that they are bereft of their happiness and kingdom, and ruined for endless years (sasvatih samah). (Mbh. 2.68.5) 

Having achieved the worlds of the pious doers, and having dwelt there for endless years (sasvatih samah), a fallen yogi takes birth in the home of pure and opulent persons.” (Bg. 6.41)

One should eat very frugally and should always (sasvat) remain secluded so that he can achieve the highest perfection of life.” (Bhag. 3.28.3) 

O Lord, with a corpselike body that is always (sasvat) fearful, we bear the burden of the dreamlike happiness of kings.” (Bhag. 10.70.28)

O almighty Lord, we shall no longer desire a mirage-like kingdom that is to be attentively served by a material body that is always (sasvat) declining, and is the source of sufferings.” (Bhag. 10.73.14)

The Pandavas have been driven into hell for an endlessly long time-dirgha-kalam anantakam. They have been deprived of their happiness and their kingdom. They are lost forevermore.” (Mbh. 2.68.5) 

As a friend of Krishna, I alone with my chariot, crossed over the ocean of the Kuru army, an invincible ocean with no end [of the distance] to its far shore (ananta-param).” (Bhag. 1.15.14) 

Lord Rishabhadeva warns His sons that a blind materialist does not see his own unlimited (or unending) misery (ananta-duhkham). (Bhag. 5.5.17)

Sukadeva Gosvami announces the benefits of the pumsavana vow, which is said to cause “unlimited satisfaction (ananta-triptih) for the forefathers and demigods” (Bhag. 6.19.27).

Formerly, O King, that very Supreme Lord expanded the reputation of Rudra, after that god’s fame had been struck down by Maya Danava, who possessed unlimited (ananta) mystic power.” (Bhag. 7.10.51)

-In Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.10.37, Uddhava says to Lord Krishna:

The same, single entity is said to be eternally liberated and eternally conditioned. That is my confusion.”

The answer is that ‘eternal’ is figurative; the nitya-mukta can become bound, and the nitya-baddha can become liberated.

Advaitadas (January 10, 2016 at 8:49:00 AM):

Anonymous I must remind you that I’m not obliged to post your comments here because they are off-topic. The topic is ‘Veda in the heart’, not your conditioning to Christian thought and rationalism. I never said that all words are to be taken literally, but anādi is, because all śāstras say that our ignorance not only has no beginning but no reason. SD 3.7.9

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:07:00 PM):

aparas tu tat-paranmukhatva-dosena labdha-chidraya mayaya paribhutah samsari.

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 “faulty.” Or Labdha “get” or “obtain.” Chidra means “fault,” and chidraya is the instrumental case. So labdha-chidraya means “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 Krishna, the soul becomes faulty. Then what happens? Mayaya paribhutah samsari. Such souls, says Jiva Goswami, “become conquered (paribhutah) by the illusory potency māyā and must live in the material world (samsari).”

Another translation: “The other type, overcome by māyā which has gained access to the jīva because of jīva‘s aversion to the Lord, is born repeatedly in the material world.” 

There is no anadi-patita vada here. The jīva ‘became’overcome by māyā. Māyā gained access to the jīva.

Text 4 of Anuccheda 47 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha. There Jiva Goswami cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.37.: 

bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad
isad apetasya viparyayo ‘smritih

bhayam—fear; dvitiya—in something seeming to be other than the Lord; abhinivesatah—because of absorption; syat—it will arise; isat—from the Supreme Lord; apetasya—for one who has turned away; viparyayah—misidentification; asmritih—forgetfulness; tat—of the Lord; mayaya—by the illusory energy

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 his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is effected by the potency for illusion, called māyā.”

Another translation: “For the jīva averse to the Lord, there will be samsara consisting of identity with body and lack of identity with the soul, because of his absorption in the material coverings on the soul, arising from the Lord’s māyā.

Another: “When the living entity is attracted by the material energy, which is separate from Krishna, 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 Krishna, he becomes Krishna’s competitor. This is called viparyayo ’smrtih.”

Another: “The first result of contact with māyā (ignorance) was mistaken identity concerning the jīva‘s true form. Forgetting his spiritual form, the jīva took on a material form, and through his self-identity fell into deep forgetfulness of his role as servant of the Lord. Māyā bestowed two coverings–the gross and subtle bodies- over the spiritual form.”

In Bhakti-sandarbha 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 (māyā) 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.”

 Advaitadas (December 30, 2015 at 7:43:00 PM):

The jīva‘s forgetfulness of the Lord is anādi, kṛṣṇa bhūli sei jīva anādi bahirmukha. labdha and any other statement that suggests a historical sequence must all be understood in this way. SB 11.2.37 is explained in Satyanārāyan Dāsji’s book ‘From Vaikuṇṭha not even the leaves fall.’ 

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:08:00 PM):

Comment: Again this word asmrtih. Māyā induces forgetfulness.

The words “instead of being the eternal servant of Krishna” indicate that the original position is servant of Krishna. Instead of remaining in this position, the soul “becomes Krishna’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 Krishna.” If one wants to propose that originally the soul was in a neutral or undefined position or somewhere outside of Krishna-lila, then the proper expression would have been “instead of becoming the eternal servant of Krishna, he becomes Krishna’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 Krishna. And again this word asmrtih. Māyā induces forgetfulness. The soul knew Krishna, and then ‘’fail to remember or recall, lose the memory of, neglect stop thinking about, put out of one’s mind.’’

Text 2 of Anuccheda 72 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.5.5:

“Just as when a pot is broken the sky [within the pot] would continue to be sky as before, similarly when the body is dead the jiva again attains to the absolute status.”

Srila Sridhara Svami explains this verse as follows:

“Just as before (yatha pura) means just as before the designation of ‘pot’ [i.e. before the sky in the pot became designated by the shape and covering of the pot as ‘the air in the pot’], so again when the pot is broken the sky that was within that pot would be sky alone [without the designation ‘pot’]. So as that is the case, similarly when the body is dead, that is when by knowledge of the truth the body is merged [back into matter].”

There is nothing in the commentaries of Vamsidhara, Viraraghava, Vijayadhvaja Tirtha, Sri Jiva Gosvami, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura or the other commentators that in any way changes or even gives an indirect additional sense for what is obviously being stated here in Srimad-Bhagavatam: that the soul, once existing in a pure state, becomes covered by a material body and then returns to the same pure state as before. The words yatha pura, “just as before,” are significant, for if one wishes to claim that the soul originally comes from the brahma-jyotir or some other surrogate pure status that is not the abode of the Lord, then the soul will return to the same state. 

In text 2 of Anuccheda 83 of Sri Paramatma-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.4.33:

ghano yadarka-prabhavo vidiryate
caksuh svarupam ravim iksate tada
yada hy ahankara upadhir atmano
jijnasaya nasyati tarhy anusmaret

The translation of SB 12.4.32 as introduction and 12.4.33 is:

Although a cloud is a 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. brahma-amsakasya—of the partial expansion of the Absolute Truth; atmanah—of the jiva soul 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. (anusmaret—one gains his proper remembrance)

Comment: he regains his original spiritual awareness. (anusmaret—one gains his proper remembrance)

Advaitadas (December 30, 2015 at 7:56:00 PM):

Where is the word ‘ competitor’ anywhere in SB 11.2.37 or in any of its tikas? or anywhere in Vedic siddhānta for that matter?

Anusmaret just means ‘ he should constantly remember’. You are seeing things in these texts that are not there.

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:08:00 PM):


deśatah kālatoyo ’sāv avasthātah svato ’nyatah aviluptāvabodhātmā sa yujyetājayā katham

How can the jīva whose knowledge cannot be destroyed by place, time, condition, nature or other cause become associated with ignorance? (SB 3.7.5)

How does the jīva (asau) whose knowledge cannot be overcome by place, time, condition or nature become associated with ignorance (ajayā)? Knowledge cannot be reduced by distance (place) or defects of a place as in the case of the eye’s ability to see. Knowledge of the jīva is not destroyed by time, like lightning (which vanishes after a moment). It is not destroyed by circumstance, like memory. It cannot be destroyed by itself, like the illusion of silver in the shell. Knowledge cannot be reduced by other objects such as the pot since ātmā is the shelter of unimpeded knowledge inherent in its svarūpa. (Paramatma Sandarbha Anuccheda 88)

Comment. “unimpeded knowledge inherent in its svarūpa”. Who can say the jīva is like an empty container since eternity and only in the human form of life can get filled up. 

bhagavān eka evaisa sarva-ksetresv avasthitah amusya durbhagatvam vā kleśo vā karmabhih kutah

The Lord is situated in all bodies. Why does the jīva then suffer from ignorance and become afflicted by karmas? (SB 3.7.6)

The one Lord, Paramātmā is also situated in all bodies of all jīvas. Then why should the jīva (amusya) lose his inherent knowledge (durbhagatvam) and suffer from karma?

(Paramatma Sandarbha Anuccheda 89)

By māyā, the jīva (vimuktasya) who has the ability to realize his svarūpa (īśvarasya), has his knowledge of ātmā covered (kārpanyam) and enters the net of gunas previously shown (bandhanam). It is said tat-sañga-bhramśitaiśvaryam: the jīva in association with māyā loses all his powers. (SB 6.5.15)….Because of māyā (yat), though it is without purpose in past, present and future (arthena vinā api), the jīva forgets his identity and thinks he is something else (ātmā-viparyayah).

(Paramatma Sandarbha Anuccheda 90)

Text 2 of Anuccheda 91 gives the Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.7.10 text:

yad arthena vinamusya
pumsa atma-viparyayah
pratiyata upadrastuh

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.”

Jiva comments: Because of māyā (yat), though it is without purpose in past, present and future (arthena vina api), the jīva forgets his identity and thinks he is something else (atma-viparyayah). Because of māyā, the jīva‘s loss of knowledge and bliss makes its appearance. This is the meaning. In a dream it is perceived by the jīva (upadrastuh) that his head is cut off, which is impossible. His head has not been cut off and no one has seen this take place. But the Lord’s māyā, accomplishing this, imposes this display on the jīva. Atma-viparyayah indicates that the conditioned soul has forgotten his true identity.

Another translation of this verse. “Because of māyā, the jīva’s loss of knowledge and bliss makes its appearance without cause or purpose. The loss is illusory, just the seer of a dream experiencing his head being cut off is illusory.“

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura comments. The jīva situated behind the Lord with beginningless aversion loses knowledge by beginningless ignorance which is also situated behind the Lord. There is no cause and no purpose for the jiva doing this. This is the nature of tamas that it eclipses the power of the jiva, who has only small power.

Advaitadas (December 31, 2015 at 8:19:00 AM):

The last sentence of this comment sums it all up and answer the questions of 3.7.5-6 and all western[ized], Christian-raised logicians too.

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:09:00 PM):

Because of māyā, the loss of knowledge and bliss (atma-viparyayah) of the jīva (pumsah) appears to be without cause or goal (arthena). Medini says that artha means object of the senses, wealth, cause, thing, meaning of a word, prevention and goal. An example is given. The seer of a dream (drashtuh), near himself (upa), sees his head is cut off. Though his head is intact, in the dream state he experiences that his head is gone. Though the jiva does not actually have a destruction of knowledge and bliss, in a state of ignorance he perceives this destruction. The brilliant luster of gold and silver is not lost by darkness, but is only covered. Just as a very brilliant ruby destroys even darkness, the life of the devotee destroys even ignorance. 

Our comment: The pure spiritual body, his true identity, sat-cit-ananda-vigraha was eternally, completely there, before the forgetfulness.

No cause” means the cause is in the spiritual world. And ‘no purpose’ means no substance but shadow.


Though the jīva is pure, he takes on the quality of upādhis because of the upādhis….the qualities of the material upādhis appear on the pure ātmā who becomes the seer—the ātmā in a covered state (drastuh)…

The ātmā is pure but he sees himself as a material body by identification. It is said:

nrtyato gāyatah paśyan yathaivānukaroti tān evam buddhi-gunān paśyann anīho ’py anukāryate

Just as one may imitate persons whom one sees dancing and singing, similarly the soul, although never the doer of material activities, is thus forced to imitate the qualities of the intelligence. (SB 11.22.53)

It is also said śuddho vicaste hy aviśuddha-kartuh: the pure jīva becomes absorbed in the actions of the conditioned soul. (SB 5.11.12)

Comment. Pure means Krishna conscious. Brahman realization or residence in the māyā is not complete, it is without cit and ananda. Eternal existence in māyā is also excluded; the jiva was never pure in that idea and does not take on the quality of upadhi but has this eternally. (Paramatma Sandarbha Anuccheda 92)

The word kuhaka means “cheating.” Kuhaka refers to the power of māyā since it covers and bewilders the svarūpa of the jīva. (Paramatma Sandarbha Anuccheda 105)

Comment. The svarupa is there, and got covered over.

yo ’syotpreksaka ādi-madhya-nidhane yo ’vyakta-jiveśvaro yah srstvedam anupraviśya rsinā cakrepurah śāsti tāh yam sampadyajahāty ajām anuśayī suptah kulāyam yathā tarn kaivalya-nirasta-yonim abhayam dhyāyed ajasrath harim

He is the Lord who eternally watches over this universe, before, during and after its manifestation. He is the master of both the unmanifest material energy and the spirit soul. After sending forth the creation he enters within it, accompanying each living entity. There he creates the material bodies and then remains as their regulator. By surrendering to him, the jīva covered with upādhis can escape the embrace of illusion, just as a dreaming person forgets his own body. One who wants liberation from fear should constantly meditate upon this Lord, who destroys māyā by his pure svarūpa and gives freedom from fear. (SB 10.87.50) (Paramātma Sandarbha Anuccheda 105)

Comment. “just as a dreaming person forgets his own body” we were awake in our original spiritual body. Then we fell asleep on the lap of maha-māyā, now wake up and return back to awakened life.

sa tvahi hi nitya-vijitātma-gunah sva-dhāmnā kālovaśī-krta-visrjya-visarga-śaktih cakre visrstam ajayeśvara sodaśāre nispīdyamānam upakarsa vibho prapannam

O Lord! O supreme power! You conquer the material gunas contained in the jīva’s intelligence at all times by your svarūpa- śakti. You are time which agitates the gunas. You destroy ignorance in the subtle body. Please bring near you that person who has been thrown in the wheel in the wheel of sixteen spokes by ignorance and is being squeezed like a piece of sugar cane. (SB 7.9.22)” (Anuccheda 19 Bhagavat sandarbha)

Comment. Thrown in jail, from outside of the jail.

Advaitadas (December 31, 2015 at 12:56:00 PM):

The pure spiritual body, his true identity, sat-cit-ananda-vigraha was eternally, completely there, before the forgetfulness. “

If it is eternally pure, how can it become impure? It is called siddha deha, or perfect body. Perfect means perfect, if you fall down it’s not perfect. 

No cause” means the cause is in the spiritual world. And ‘no purpose’ means no substance but shadow.”

Comment. “just as a dreaming person forgets his own body” we were awake in our original spiritual body. Then we fell asleep on the lap of maha-māyā, now wake up and return back to awakened life.

“Comment. Thrown in jail, from outside of the jail.”

These are just your own wilful misinterpretations, NOWHERE in ANY sastra or ANY tika.

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:10:00 PM):

In text 1 of Anuccheda 22 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha, Jiva Goswami cites SB 10.87.38

sa yad ajaya tv ajam anusayita gunams ca Johan
bhajati sarupatam tad anu mrityum apeta-bhagah
tvam uta jahasi tam ahir iva tvacam atta-bhago
mahasi mahiyase ‘shta-gunite ‘parimeya-bhagah

sah—he (the individual living entity); yat—because; ajaya—by the influence of the material energy; tu—but; ajam—that material energy; anusayita—lies down next to; gunan—her qualities; ca—and; jushan—assuming; bhajati—he takes on; sa-rupatam—forms resembling (the qualities of nature); tat-anu—following that; mrityum—death; apeta—deprived; bhagah—of his assets; tvam—You; uta—on the other hand; jahasi—leave aside; tam—her (the material energy); ahih—a snake; iva—as if; tvacam—its (old, discarded) skin; atta-bhagah—endowed with all assets; mahasi—in Your spiritual powers; mahiyase—You are glorified; ashta-gunite—eightfold; aparimeya—unlimited; bhagah—whose greatness.

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 his spiritual qualities and must undergo repeated deaths. You, however, avoid the material energy in the same way that a snake abandons its old skin. Glorious in Your possession of eight mystic perfections, You enjoy unlimited opulences. (Sarva-samvadini of Sri Jiva Gosvami)

Comment. According to the dictionary:

apeta adj. having retired from
apeta adj. free from
apeta adj. escaped
apeta adj. departed
apeta adj. gone.

The commentary of Sridhara Swami (partly):

In this verse the word sah means “the individual spirit soul.” Yat means “because.” ajaya means “by the material energy māyā,” 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.”

Another translation:

Because ([yat = yasmAt]) he, the [jIva,] however (in spite of the fact that the material world is unreal), by the influence of MAyA ([ajayA = mAyayA]), embraces ([anusayIta = A`linget]) ignorance ([ajAm = avidyAm]), thus he comes to serve ([juSan = sevamAnam]) her qualities, namely the body and senses, presumes them to be his own self ([A`tmatayAdhyasan]), subsequently ([tad anu = ,,tad-anantaram]) also assumes similarity to them, the acquirement of their nature ([sa-rUpatAm = tad-dharma-yogam]), becomes such that his qualities of happiness and so on are covered over, and obtains ([bhajati = prApnoti]) death. This, the implication is, is the subject matter of the [karma-kANDa]. You, on the other hand ([tvam uta = tvaM tu]), leave aside that MAyA ([ajAm = mAyAm]).

Another translation of this commentary – extended:

Because (yat) the jiva embraces avidya (ajam) through māyā, he serves the gunas, body and senses and mistakes them for himself. After that (anu) he takes on similar qualities (sarupatam) and, with qualities like bliss covered (apeta-bhagah), attains samsara (mrtyum). You however reject that māyā. Māyā is situated in me. How do I give it up? Just as a snake does not think its skin to be himself just by thinking of its good qualities, so you give up māyā, because you do not identify it as yourself. Your profusion of continuous bliss and knowledge is not produced by māyā. You are indifferent to it, because you have your eternal powers (atta-bhagah). You are glorious with your eight mystic powers. The powers are immeasurable (aparimeya-bhagah). Your eight qualities of power are not limited by time and place like the powers of others. They are unlimited because they are related to your complete svarupa.

Advaitadas (December 31, 2015 at 12:59:00 PM):

One meaning of apeta is ‘ free from’ – it is not an historical event, our turning away from Bhagavan. It is anadi.

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:10:00 PM):

Commentary of Sri Visvanatha: Although the jīva is pure spirit, qualitatively equal with God, he becomes degraded under the power of material illusion, māyā. Entranced by the allurements of Māyā, the pure jiva soul becomes covered by ignorance and the qualities of material nature. Thus tainted by material designations, he accepts (bhajati) bodies…Subsequently (tad anu), his qualities like bliss become covered, and he undergoes repeated birth and death (mrtyum) in this world.

Lord Narayana said, “But since I, the Supreme Soul, share the same spiritual nature as the individual spiritual soul (jiva), do I also get covered by ignorance?”

Srutis: “No, this can never happen! The jiva is an infinitesimal particle of consciousness, whereas You are the vast repository of consciousness. Smoke may engulf the glow of a small molten sphere of gold, brass or copper, but it can never cover the vast light of the sun.” 

Our commentary: Visvanatha makes Lord Narayana fearfully ask: “I can also fall.” The srutis reassure “no Lord, only jīvas fall down, You can not and will not at any time become fallen in the future.” The distinction between You and the conditioned soul is that You maintain Your natural opulences, known as sad-aisvarya, asta-siddhi, and asta-guna, But the soul loses all his spiritual qualities.

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.” 

gunair vicitrah srijatim
sa-rupah prakritim prach
vilokya mumuhe sadyah
sa iha jnana-guhaya

gunaih—by the threefold modes; vicitrah—variegated; srijatim—creating; sa-rupah—with forms; prakritim—material nature; prajah—living entities; vilokya—having seen; mumuhe—was illusioned; sadyah—at once; sah—the living entity; iha—in this world; jnana-guhaya—by the knowledge-covering feature.

Divided into varieties by her threefold modes, material nature creates the forms of the living entities, and the living entities, seeing this, 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.”

Bhagavad-gita 5.15-16.

nadatte kasyacit papam / na caiva sukrtam vibhuh
ajnanenavrtam jnanam / tena muhyanti jantavah
jnanena tu tad ajnanam / yesam nasitam atmanah
tesam aditya-vaj jnanam / prakasayati tat param

Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge. When, however, one is enlightened with the knowledge by which nescience is destroyed, then his knowledge reveals everything, as the sun lights up everything in the daytime.”

Sri Ramanuja’s commentary: “The atma is transcendental to material nature…How then is it that the atma is thus shrouded by this vasana. Lord Krishna reveals that it is because of ignorance. It is ignorance which shrouds and obscures spiritual knowledge. Ignorance and nescience is that which is opposed to spiritual knowledge and wisdom. By the shrouding of ignorance …the consciousness of the atma becomes obscured and the intelligence compromised, allowing the living entity to enter the perilous predicament of believing they are the enjoyer..

Although the intelligence may be shrouded by the veil of ignorance still it has been seen that there are those whose consciousness becomes awakened upon receiving Vedic knowledge.”

Our comment on this: knowledge of Krishna was present, became shrouded, compromised, obscured and clouded, then becomes uncovered and awakened.

Advaitadas (December 31, 2015 at 10:37:00 PM):

Your first comment: “covered by ignorance” is something totally different’from “fall” as the jivas‘ being covered by ignorance is beginningless.

Second comment: “Our comment on this: knowledge of Krishna was present, became shrouded, compromised, obscured and clouded, then becomes uncovered and awakened.” 

This is nowhere in Ramanuja’s tika, not even remotely.

Anonymous (December 25, 2015 at 4:11:00 PM):

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya: Nimbaditya – Kesava Kasmiri comments: “The living entity’s knowledge is obscured into a lesser quality like the light of a lamp is lessened when covered by a shaded glass although it does not change its nature. Contrarily when one has achieved atma tattva then in the state of moksa or liberation the destruction of the physical and subtle bodies reveals the knowledge of the atmas quality as the light of a lamp is more illuminating when the shaded glass cover is removed…. As the removal of the impurities obscuring a jewel allows its radiance to be seen; in the same way when the impurity of undesirable mundane qualities like lust and fruitiveness are removed and abandoned then the transcendental qualities of wisdom, renunciation and compassion reveal themselves in all their splendor. These qualities are always present without being created because they are eternally manifested as qualities of the atma.” 

Our comment on this: The metaphor is very enlightening. The soul was eternally effulgent with knowledge and bliss in the presence of Krishna. Just as the lamp shines by the energy of the powerhouse. Then these became ‘obscured into a lesser quality’. Wisdom, renunciation and compassion were manifest in all their splendor, as a jewel has its radiance. Then impurities obscured these. Then became again visible. In the brahmajyoti there is only sat (eternality), no cit (knowledge) and ananda (bliss). See CC. Adi 2.5. , thus is not the previous state of the soul.

Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya: Visnuswami – Sridhara Swami’s commentary: “Here Lord Krishna is emphasizing that persons whose spiritual knowledge has become awakened do not become deluded in the material existence.”

Our comment: “awakened” means Krishna-consciousness was present, then became dormant, and then returned.

Madhvacarya: “On account of the power of understanding being obstructed by nescience, the jīvas do not know or see Him.”

Comment: the soul’s powers are obstructed. Eternal dormant knowledge is already rejected; Brahman has only brahma-vadis who will fall to māyā; it is not a fountain of ‘new’ souls, for the first time aroused into activities after eternal coma. Nor are the souls eternally in the material world; why have the material world at all? Thus the soul was fully active, then obstructed and punished by māyā.

Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura: “One of the associates, His sakti called ignorance, covers the inherent knowledge of the jiva.“

Baladeva Vidyabhusana: “The knowledge of the jiva, though eternal, disappears from view (avrtam).” 

In Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha Anuccheda 71, text 1, Jiva Goswami cites Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.48, wherein Narada Muni says:

“They do not know their own or the Lord’s abode, where in fact there is God, Janardana. Those who have smoky intelligence say that the Veda facilitates fruitive activities because they do not know that [Veda].”

In his commentary, Sridhara Svami states:

“‘They do not know that’ means ‘they do not know the Veda’ because they do not know svam lokam, ‘their own abode,’ which means their constitutional position, the truth about themselves, which is the real purport that one is to perceive in the Vedas. [And that constitutional position] is where God is.” 

Those who speak only of parts of the Veda that advocate karma do not know his (te) planet which is the Lord’s svarupa (sva). They know only Svarga. In that planet (yatra) the Lord reside.

In text 2 of Anuccheda 71 of Sri Bhagavat-sandarbha Jiva Goswami says on this verse:

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.

Advaitadas (December 31, 2015 at 10:49:00 PM):

Our comment: “awakened” means Krishna-consciousness was present, then became dormant, and then returned.