Questions on Jīva-tattva (06/22/11)
I read your questions below and I give you my reply.
QUESTION: Some how I failed to understand the following points :On page no.12, para no.3, it is mentioned that,”The fallen souls of this world fall from the marginal position within the Brahman effulgence, never from Vaikuṇṭha.”
QUESTION: If this be the case, then how is that Śrīla Prabhupāda mentions in his books that all the jīvas are fallen down from Goloka-Vṛndāvana?
REPLY: Actually it does not say anywhere in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books that, “the jīvas are fallen down from Goloka-Vṛndāvana.” Someone must have mislead you on this point.
In the purport of verse 26, chapter 16, Canto 3 wherein the story of Jaya and Vijaya is being narrated, Prabhupāda states in paragraph 2 as follows:
“The conclusion is that NO ONE FALLS from the spiritual world, or Vaikuṇṭha planet, for it is the eternal abode.”
Prabhupāda also states in the purport to verse 16 of Īśopaniṣad, paragraph 19 as follows:
“The all pervading feature of the Lord — which exists in all circumstances of waking and sleeping as well as in potential states and from which the JĪVA ŚAKTI (living force) is generated as both conditioned and liberated SOULS — is known as Brahman.”
QUESTION: “He also names his magazine as BACK TO GOD HEAD.”
REPLY: In previous ages the civilization, particularly in India, was God conscious, conscious of Godhead. So “Back to Godhead” means that society will return to be God conscious as in previous ages.
Besides, “Back to Godhead” is the name of a magazine and not a philosophical conclusion. Everything and everyone comes from Kṛṣṇa but not from the lila of Kṛṣṇa. If you study the nature of the beings in Goloka Vṛndāvana, you will learn that they are all of the nature of Kṛṣṇa, they are ALL just like Prabhupāda in their purity and love of Kṛṣṇa. They are all pure devotees and thus they cannot fall down.
Did you ever stop to think how many living beings there are in the material world, in all the millions of universes and hundreds of millions of planets — all the humans, animal, plants, trees, fish, insects and microscopic creatures? And should we think that all these living beings were pure devotees of Kṛṣṇa and yet they have FALLEN from the spiritual world due to envy? As you must be realizing, this is not a very intelligent proposal. And in fact ‘envy’ is only found in the material world. Envy cannot enter the spiritual world even for a second to contaminate any living being there. If so, this would be a disturbance in Kṛṣṇa’s līlā and such never occurs.
You may also be interested to know that Kṛṣṇa does not kill demons in the spiritual world because there are no demons there. Demons are only found in the material world, just as envy is only found in the material world.
QUESTION: The scriptures mention that “As we elevate ourselves in devotional service to the Lord Kṛṣṇa, He reveals us our original and eternal relationship with Him in His abode.
REPLY: Yes, our ‘original position also known as rasa’ is innate within the jīva, but that does not mean that we were in Goloka-Vṛndāvana and in the līlā with Kṛṣṇa before we entered the material world. No Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava ācārya such as Jīva Gosvāmi, Rūpa Gosvāmī, Viśvanātha Cakravartī, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Sarasvatī Thākura or A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda has ever stated that the jīvas were in the eternal līlā with Kṛṣṇa and fell down from there to the material world. Also, India’s other great ācāryas such as Rāmānuja, Madhva and Nimbārka — they also have never stated that the jīva has fallen from Vaikuṇṭha.
Our original position is intended to be that of an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, but unfortunately we have chosen Māyā and not Kṛṣṇa. All jīvas come from the taṭastha-śakti which is the marginal plane between the material and spiritual worlds, also known as Brahma-jyoti. This is also nicely explained in Jaiva Dharma, chapters 15, 16 and 17, by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. You can read that for further clarification.
QUESTION: There are also many examples of highly elevated devotees describing their original position in Vaikuṇṭha, before they relinquish their body from this world. Best example is Ratnarañjanī Devī Dāsī of England as described in the book named “SIMPLE FOR THE SIMPLE” written by her husband Balabhadra Dāsa (now known as H.H. Bhaktibalabh Purī Mahārāja)
REPLY: As far as I know, this person that you have mentioned named Balabhadra or Bhaktibalabh Purī is from iskcon and unfortunately, these iskcon people are not very well read in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava siddhānta, or very sincere to understand the proper philosophy. They regrettably remain ‘Prabhupāda fanatics’ much like the ‘Jesus fanatics’ of Christianity. I might also add that ‘philosophy and siddhānta’ are never SIMPLE. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not for idiots as in “Computers for Idiots”.
Iskcon people want to say that it was Prabhupāda’s special realization that the jīva fell from Goloka Vṛndāvana and that Prabhupāda was the only ācārya in history to ever realize such a point. This iskcon way of thinking is utterly ridiculous! Prabhupāda did not have ‘realizations’ that go against 5000 years of philosophical tradition.
The inability to understand the siddhānta (philosophy) of the jīva-tattva is an anartha (contamination of the heart) called ‘tattva-bhrama’. This anartha is usually caused by aparādha (offenses) to great Vaiṣṇavas and pure devotees of Kṛṣṇa. Regrettably that seems to be the sad position of iskcon.
I hope this meets you well.