Found in Sanga, Sanga 2001.

Jiva-Tattva

February 27th, 2001 | No Comments

Q. My question has to do with the eternal position of the jiva. If each of us has an eternal spiritual relationship that is fixed, why is the Gaudiya conception almost exclusively concerned with Madhura rasa? If each jiva has a particlar relationship that they think is the highest, what about all of those who have a different eternal relationship from Madhura rasa?

A. According to Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the jiva’s love for Krishna is dormant in the soul. However, it cannot be activated without the connection with Sri Guru. Other Gaudiya Vaisnavas differ on this point. They say that the svarupa of the jiva is not dormant. They say that it is planted in the jiva in a seed form at the time of initiation.

I think that under scrutiny they are saying the same thing, although it sounds otherwise at first. At any rate, we follow Bhaktivinoda Thakura as represented by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati. In this lineage we are taught that the svarupa is dormant and it awakens through association. ‘Madhurya rati’ is stressed because this is the farthest reach of spiritual attainment that Mahaprabhu came to give. It is the essence of Vrindavana, where all the other rasas participate in facilitating madhurya directly or indirectly.

If we preach the glory of Radha-Govinda’s union, in due course we will find our own place in relation to it. In our group most devotees awaken attraction to either manjari bhava, or the love of Subala, Krishna’s bosom buddy, who assists him in his conjugal affairs as well as cowherding.

Q. One can say that qualitatively we are the same as God, but quantitatively we are different. That seems quite logical at first glance, but what does ‘quantity’ mean on that plane? Is that not merely quality again?

A. Under scrutiny we are quantitatively and qualitatively different from God. However, because we are a particle of one of his saktis, we are simultaneously one with him. His saktis have their ground in him with no independent existence.

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