Beginningless Bondage, Samsara-duhkha and Brahma-sayujya

Question:  I very much favor your interpretation of the shastras on the topic of Sayujya-mukti and Bliss in Brahman (http://www.jiva.org/suyujya-mukti-and-bliss-in-brahman/). It differs much, or so I view it, from the interpretation given by some other Gaudiya Vaishnavas. It seems to me that your approach of explaining things presents this tradition a bit more open-mindedly.

Answer: I am not presenting anything new or different. It is based on the works of the previous acaryas. Sri Jiva Gosvami clearly accepts Brahman realization as an eternal state of mukti. He does not say that one has to come down from it. For this you can consult the first nine sections of Bhagavat Sandarbha. He does say that realization of Bhagavan is superior to realization of Brahman. His analysis is based on Bhagavata Purana.

  *

 Question: I got the understanding from reading other books on bhakti that even if one has reached brahma-bhūta, one has to fall due to neglecting the Lord’s service. One will be falling again and again until one finally becomes intelligent enough to walk the right path. It just seems to me that practitioners of the other paths that ignore the Bhagavan aspect of the Absolute Truth are in the end doomed to come back to this material existence.

Answer: Sri Jiva Gosvami clearly accepts Brahman realization as an eternal state of mukti. He does not say that one has to come down from it. For this you can consult first nine sections of Bhagavat Sandarbha. He does say that realization of Bhagavan is superior to realization of Brahman. His analysis is based on Bhagavata Purana which accepts five types of mukti, Brahman-realization or Brahma-sayujya being one of them .

Question:  Are the jivas in Brahmajyoti satisfied with that position or is it possible that they desire something else?

Answer: You need to understand what it means to be in Brahmajyoti. The jivas within Brahmajyoti do not have a separate sense of ego. Therefore, there is no sense of will, beginning less or non-beginningless. It is completely non-dual, as far as ego is concerned. There is no sense that, “I am part of Brahman”. So who can desire? In Brahman there are no divisions, no distinctions of jiva and Brahman. Even Brahman has no will, what to speak of the jivas in it. It is homogeneous. You can desire when there is something else other than you. If you are the only reality, then what will you desire?

Question:  The jivas in Vaikunatha, the nitya-siddhas, are part of Krishna’s svarupa shakti, not tatastha. What are those jivas who have been anadi in Brahmajyoti? My understanding used to be that tatastha means not only the intermediary state between antaranga-shakti and bahiranga, but also that it implies the choice between either the spiritual or the material word. If that were true, then only the jivas in samsara can be tatastha, no?

Answer: Naturally those who attain Brahman realization from material world are tatastha. This idea of choice is faulty because it is based on the covert idea that one day we chose to be in the material world. This happens when one does not understand the meaning of the jiva’s beginningless bondage, anadi-baddhata

 

*

Question: I have been reading your excellent translation and commentary on the Bhagavat Sandarbha by Jiva Goswami. In Bhagavat Sandarbha,  Anu 22, p.209 of your translation, Jiva Gosvamin quotes Sridhara Swamin’s comments on Bhagavata 5.18.38 as saying that the Lord desires a “jīvārtha” a “purpose for the souls” when he creates the world and yet he has no desire of his own.

In your commentary, you write: “A doubt may be raised here. Living beings in the material world are suffering in the cycle of birth and death. How can this be the purpose of creation. Does the Lord enjoy watching the suffering of jīvas?” You then quote Bhagavata 10.87.2 as saying that the “true purpose” of creation is liberation. You imply that the purpose of the creation was not samsara-duhkha, but moksha. Thus, you are saying that the artha of the vishva that is ipsita by Bhagavan is moksha for the jiva.

But that seems to raise other questions:

1. Why was there a need for moksha in the first place?

2. What makes liberation require samsara-duhkha?

3. Could Bhagavan have made moksha the purpose and goal of life in this universe without having to undergo so much duhka (suffering)

Answer: 

1. Why was there a need for moksha in the first place?

 Your question is related to the conditioning of a jiva, because moksha means release from the conditioned state. Thus, to understand the need for moksha, one needs to understand the conditioning. However, the conditioning of a jiva is beginning less, anadi, and thus the need for moksha is also anadi. So there is no such thing as “the first place”. Actually speaking, the concept of anadi is very difficult to grasp because our mind thinks in terms of cause/effect relations.  The mind cannot go beyond that. It has no ability to understand anadi, because all its experiences have a beginning and an end. The mind itself is anadi but does not have the ability to grasp anything beyond time. It works within the bounds of time and space. But Reality is also beyond time and space. You cannot drag complete Reality within the limits of time and space or cause/effect relation. Some Reality stands beyond it. This troubles the philosophers like a thorn in one’s foot. But Hinduism is not philosophy. It is theology. So you need to accept the rules of theology to understand theology. And the rule is that philosophy has its limits, and beyond its limits we get knowledge from shastra.

For things which are beyond time and space there is no “why”.  There is only the “how”: “How does It work”, not “why does It work”.  Still, to satisfy the philosophical mind, “how” is explained in terms of “why”. But it remains unsatisfactory without accepting shastra.

2. What makes liberation require samsara-duhkha?

If you know the meaning of “liberation,” you know the answer. Liberation means freedom from duhkha.

3. Could Bhagavan have made moksha the purpose and goal of life in this universe without having to undergo so much duhka (suffering)?

Yes.  Duhkha is only an impetus for moksha. But you can also take to moksha without going through duhkha. You can imagine it. Or better even, you want moksha not for release from duhkha but for bliss. Release from duhkha is negative, but the desire for happiness or love is positive. But generally it is seen that people take to moksha only when troubled by material miseries. Therefore the Gita begins with Visada-yoga.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments ( 4 )
  1. Andrej

    Dear Maharaj,
    In 1984 in Rishikesh I read in a book of Yogeswarananda swami (founder of Yoga niketan ashram) something that was a shock for me. He says that liberation in Brahman, achieved through yoga, is in fact not eternal but it lasts for so very long that we may say it is eternal. He says that ultimately we will again have to take up the burden of our karma, which we can only temporarily lay aside.

    In the books of yoga and different non-bhakti sastras, which I have read, I have never come across such statement. But of course, from the perspective of bhakti the idea of temporal liberation seems more clear. It seems on one hand there is the burden of karma waiting for us, and on the other hand such liberation in Brahman could be essentially unnatural for an individual soul, which ultimately has desires. I can definitely believe that we cannot be completely free from our karmic burden without loving surrender to God, who then liberates us from sins, so that we can be with Him (like the famous Gita, 18.66).
    I don’t know whether my understanding is correct, so could you please say a word on this? And have you ever read in any yoga book about the temporarity of Brahman realisation, like Yogeswaranand says?

    • Malatimanjari Post author

      Babaji’s reply:

      Our pramana is Srimad Bhagavata Purana, and not the words of any yogi. SB clearly accepts five types of mukti, including sayujya. I have never read in any yoga book that Brahma-sayujya is temporary.

  2. Vikram majumdar

    Babaji Pranam
    Referring bhagavatam, Shishupal achieved sayujya mukti ( correct me if wrong). Then again he took birth as one of the brothers in Shri CHAITANYA Lila as Jagai/Madhai.
    So when he disappeared from this Lila it seems a bit difficult to accept that again he will got sayujya. Rather he should be a nitya parshad of Mahaprabhu in Goloka. If I am correct then it seems there are advancement from one state of mukti to another.
    Please elaborate.
    Vikram Majumdar

    • Malatimanjari Post author

      Babaji’s reply:

      Please supply scriptural references for what you write. Then I can reply to your question.

  • Subscribe

  • Videos with Babaji

  • Payment

  • Article Archive

  • Chronological Archive

  • Translate this Website

    Homepage Übersetzung

© 2017 JIVA.ORG. All rights reserved.