Reality & the Transcendental Body of a Vaiṣṇava – Part 3

Viśvanāth Cakravārtī Ṭhākura further elaborates on this as follows:

Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself has explained how a mortal being can attain Him (SB 11.29.34):

 martyo yadā tyakta-samasta-karmā

   niveditātmā vicikīrṣito me

tadāmṛtatvaṁ pratipadyamāno

   mayātma-bhūyāya ca kalpate vai

“When a mortal being has renounced all material activities and is totally surrendered to Me, then by My desire he is granted immortality and becomes situated in the self.”

The meaning of this verse is: Taking initiation from a qualified guru, a mortal being gives up all material activities (renounces all desire that can be fulfilled through varṇāśrama-dharma) and surrenders the ātmā (the sense of “I, me, mine”) to Me (represented by the guru).

An example of surrendering the ātmā: “O Lord, whatever I am and whatever I possess, here in this world and after death, I offer at Your feet.”

Creation of a Transcendental Body 

When a person surrenders in this way, then although his mind, body, and senses are mithyā – illusory – I desire to make him special (vicikīrṣita). Thus, as I have said (SB 11.25.26), one who takes shelter of Me becomes nirguṇa. This is how My devotee becomes free from the guṇas of material nature. He is not perishable as a product of māyā (Pariṇāma-vāda), nor is he illusory as an outcome of ignorance (Vivarta-vāda). Being a product of My own special attention, he becomes situated in his svarūpa – his own nature.

Moreover, instead of saying that he is “made special,” the word used in the above verse is vicikirsita, which is formed by applying the desiderative suffix –san on the root kr (to do),  the implication of which is as follows: When the Lord begins to make him nirguṇa, then slowly by the practice of bhakti he attains the stages of niṣṭhā, ruci, asakti and rati, and thus becomes completely nirguṇa. After that he has no dealings with any illusory objects. But before he attains this stage, he continues to deal with the material objects as needed by him in the service of the Lord.

The verse therefore indicates: “Already at the time of initiation, by My trans-logical power, I invisibly create the transcendental body, mind and senses of such a person, to demonstrate the greatness of devotion.”

Material Nature Dissolved through Devotion

In SB 5.1.35 also, Śukadeva Gosvami explains that the mind, body, senses of a devotee are not only freed from material bondage, but literally destroyed, yet the body remains visible. He refers to the wonderful act of King Priyavrata who once followed the sun in his chariot, so that there would always be light, and thus created seven oceans:

naivaṁ-vidhaḥ puruṣa-kāra urukramasya

   puṁsāṁ tad-aṅghri-rajasā jita-ṣaḍ-guṇānām

citraṁ vidūra-vigataḥ sakṛd ādadīta

   yan-nāmadheyam adhunā sa jahāti bandham

“Indeed such an achievement is not wonderful for those who have controlled the six enemies by the power of the dust of the feet of Lord Urukrama (Kṛṣṇa), who performs wonderful deeds. But what is wonderful indeed is that a person born as an outcast, e.g. not qualified for any Vedic rituals, becomes free from the material body immediately, just by chanting the name of the Lord once.”

The meaning of the verse is as follows:

Even a deed like creating seven oceans, as King Priyavrata had done, does not seem wonderful in comparison to the effect of bhakti: That even a vidūra-vigataḥ – the lowest born person – by chanting the name of Lord Urukrama even once, immediately at that very moment (adhunā), becomes free from the material body, (tanvam). Although his body remains visible, it is no longer material. The material body which was produced by prārabdha karma has fallen away.

This taken together with the previously cited SB 11.29.34, indicates: At that very moment (tadā), becoming freed from mortality (amṛtatvam) – acquiring a spiritual body, he or she becomes situated with Me (māyā, atma-bhavaya).

This means that wherever Krishna is situated, the devotee is also situated there, for the sole purpose of serving Krishna. In this way, whatever material objects he comes into contact with in this world, their material nature is dissolved by the Supreme Lord because of their contact with devotion. At that very moment, He creates supremely real objects according to the desire of His devotee. What is impossible for the Lord who has trans-logical powers?

Therefore, the statements of Kṛṣṇa, cited earlier, such as “My devotion is nirguṇa” and “My temple is nirguṇa,” are very appropriate.

The following verse from the Udyama Parva of Mahābhārata has been cited even by Bhāṣyakāra (Śaṅkarācārya), who believes that the world is not real, God is not real and śāstra is not real:

 acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā

na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet.

“One should not apply logic to trans-logical objects.”

In this context, we can also refer to the following verse of Sanātana Gosvāmī (from Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmritam, 1.3.61):

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-sudhā-pānād

deha-daihika-vismṛteḥ

teṣāṁ bhautika-dehe ’pi

sac-cid-ānanda-rūpatā

“After drinking the nectar of devotion to Kṛṣṇa, devotees forget about their material bodies and all things related to them. Even in their material bodies, the transcendental qualities of eternity, knowledge and bliss become manifest.”

Similarly, in Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya 4.191 – 93, Lord Caitanya says:

prabhu kahe,—“vaiṣṇava-deha ‘prākṛta’ kabhu naya

’aprākṛta’ deha bhaktera ‘cid-ānanda-māyā’

The Lord said, “The body of a Vaiṣṇava is never material. His body is transcendental, made of cit and ānanda. When a person surrenders himself at the time of dikśa, at that very moment, Kṛṣṇa makes him just like Himself.”

 

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Comments ( 1 )
  1. Dear Babaji,
    reading your article with great interest I am pondering over some of the statements I found therein and I would very much appreciate your guidance in clarifying these points.

    1.Question
    Refering to the quotes below I am wondering whether – this transcendental body – which is invisibly created by Krishna (1.quote) and – this spiritual body – which is acquired (quote 2) refer to the siddha deha of that bhakta ?

    2. Question
    Since spiritual/transcendental objects are beginningless (anadi) I am wondering in which sense the following words are to be understood in relation to the spiritual/transcendental body: 1. – created – (quote 1) and 2. – acquiring – (quote 2)

    Quote 1
    The verse therefore indicates: “Already at the time of initiation, by My trans-logical power, I invisibly create the transcendental body, mind and senses of such a person, to demonstrate the greatness of devotion.”

    Quote 2
    This taken together with the previously cited SB 11.29.34, indicates: At that very moment (tadā), becoming freed from mortality (amṛtatvam) – acquiring a spiritual body, he or she becomes situated with Me (māyā, atma-bhavaya).

    Yours sincerely
    Vrajesvara

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