LettersThe Material World Has Always Been a Nasty Place (08/15/12)
LettersI Am Not a Pluralist (08/25/12)

Paramātmā, Puruṣa and the Jīva (08/20/12)

Dear _______,

I’ve been quite busy, but here are your questions and answers below.

1. Does Lakṣmī Devī accompany the paramatma form of Kṣirodakśāyi Viṣṇu?

ANSWER: No, Lakṣmī Devī does not accompany the Paramātmā, but the Śrī Vaiṣṇavas argue over this point. They are divided… some say Lakṣṁī accompanies the Paramātmā and others say not.

The planet of the Paramātmā is Dhruva-loka (the Pole Star) and there I would expect that Lakṣmī Devī is in attendance.

Before one is a śuddha-bhakta, when one is a conditioned soul, the Paramātmā is Viṣṇu or Nārāyaṇa. When one is a śuddha-bhakta, then depending on the form of the Lord that he/she is most attached to — that form of the Lord becomes the Paramātmā for that devotee. It may be Viṣṇu, Narasiṁha, Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Mahāprabhu, etc.

2. The incarnations of Godhead in the material world generally appear through the Puruṣa. Are the incarnations like Rāma, Nṛsiṁha etc considered Puruṣa incarnations? In the Vaikuṇṭha planets, are the various viṣṇu-tattvas also manifested through the Puruṣa?

ANSWER: The Nārāyaṇa forms in Vaikuṇṭha are eternally manifest there. They only manifest thru the Puruṣāvatāras when they are appearing in the material worlds. Otherwise they are eternally manifest in Vaikuṇṭha.

3. Various devotees have suggested His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda being a śaktyāveśa-avatāra. What are the merits of an āveśa vs. a vibhuti manifestation?

ANSWER: Āveśa-avatāra means empowered by Kṛṣṇa for a particular purpose. Vibhuti manifestation means Kṛṣṇa Himself, complete with six opulences. Vibhuti usually means Baladeva.

When offering tulasī leafs to the āveśa-avatāra, the leafs are offered to his hand. When offering to a vibhuti-avatāra, the leafs are offered to his lotus feet.

4. I am trying to further develop this idea of the jīvātmā. I would like to clarify these ideas about the sat principle being a manifestation of the spiritual mind, the chit principle being a manifestation of spiritual intelligence, and ananda or spiritual bliss being the composite of spiritual self identity, which combine together to form the spiritual form. Can you comment on this idea?

ANSWER: No particular quote comes to my mind at present, but more or less what you have stated sounds correct. The body, mind and intelligence of the liberated soul is purely sat, cit and ānanda. So until something comes up I would say you are correct in your thinking. Though i would personally be inclined to think of the siddha-svarūpa (spiritual form of the living entity) as all parts being composed of all three, sat, cit and ānanda.

LettersThe Material World Has Always Been a Nasty Place (08/15/12)
LettersI Am Not a Pluralist (08/25/12)