Brahman and Jivas

Brahman

Question:  My understanding is that on a superior level of analysis, Brahman is made of persons: Jivas, like light is made of photons. Am I right?

 Answer: No, Brahman is not made of jivas.  Jivas are the tatastha sakti of Bhagavan and Brahman is Bhagavan with unmanifest qualities. Moreover, Brahman has no parts. If it were made of jivas, it would have parts in it.

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 Dharma

Question:  I am born in a particular family, so I have certain duties. It’s my dharma. I am also born in a certain country. The country is like a big family on a broad social level, so is it also my dharma to serve my country? Is patriotism also a dharmic duty?

Babaji at Sri Haridas Niwas

Babaji at Sri Haridas Niwas

Answer: There are two types of dharma, for the atma and for the body. Whatever you have described above is related with the body. We cannot neglect or avoid the body and its dharma. But we have to keep in mind that the execution of dharma related to body should be to support the atma dharma which is our real dharma. Previously in India there was Varnashrama dharma in relation to body and it was designed to support and lead to atma dharma. At present such is not the case. So my advice is that we do our duty to family, relations and country,  keeping in mind our real dharma, not independent of the real dharma. If you do them independent of atma dharma, they will only bring material result which means bondage and suffering.

 

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 Old age

Question:  The physical body loses its ability to properly function with time.  Is the subtle body also degrading with time? Is senility of senior people only due to bad living (mental and physical)? Can’t it be also an influence of the inexorable time (like for the physical body)?

Answer: The subtle body also changes with time. Everything material undergoes change constantly.

Senility is an outcome of time as well as lifestyle.

 

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 Krishna Consciousness

Question:  My mother, who has been a devotee for  20 years,  has diabetes. The last time she had a hypoglycemic crisis she almost lost consciousness and forgot everything….even Krsna! So it seems that her Krsna consciousness had disappeared and is only mental. Where is her Krsna consciousness in such difficult situation? Is Krsna so easily forgotten?

Answer: I cannot answer this question satisfactorily unless I know the person. Krishna consciousness is not black and white state i.e., either you have it or you do not. There is also an in-between stage before attaining perfection, the sadhana stage. KC is never lost if one has it. One may not be able to express it due to a defect in the senses and brain.

 

COMMENTS ARE CLOSED

  1. I would like to ask a question pursuant to the first question on this post. If brahmajyoti is not tatastha-shakti, what is? It demarcates the border between antaranga and bahiranga.

    Vraja Kishor

    02.18.2013

  2. Brahman is incomplete realization of Bhagavan. It is incomplete because in Brahman one does not realize the qualities or form of Bhagavan. It is like seeing a mountain or an ocean from a great distance which appears like a big uniform green or blue masses. One does not perceive any variety of fauna and flora existing on the mountain or the aquatics in the ocean.The experience is undifferentiated. But when you go closer to a mountain or an ocean you can see lot of variety existing on/in them. It is the same mountain/ocean which you saw from far. Only your vision is different. Experience of Brahman is something like that. Brahman is non-different form Bhagavan.

    snd

    02.19.2013

  3. Thank you. I think I understand and appreciate. However I have another question. What is brahmajyoti? Is it identical to Brahman?

    Vraja Kishor

    02.19.2013

  4. There is no difference between Brahma-jyoti and Brahman. Brahman has no divisions in it. However, depending on the context, sometimes Brahma-jyoti can be interpreted to mean jyoti or effulgence of Brahman i.e. Krishna.

    snd

    02.20.2013

  5. Thank you for confirming that. Have you read, “Reality the Beautiful” by Sripad B.R. Sridhar Swami? In that book, Swami ji makes a compelling presentation that atma is a brahman particle existing (not yet as a particle) in the brahmajyoti – and that “by some catalyst” the undifferentiated differentiates into a particle and the atma comes to exist. I was impressed by this presentation and contemplated it to the best of my ability and found it satisfying. However, I would like to know your thoughts on it.

    As always, thank you!

    Vraja Kishor

    02.21.2013

  6. No, I have not read it. But what you write does not make sense to me, nor is it supported by sastra. Jiva is part of tatastha-sakti of Paramatma. It is anadi, beginningless, as Sri Krsna says in Gita – na jayate nriyate va. Maybe you can explain it more clearly. Brahman is all-pervading and undifferentiated so how does it differentiate into a particle and where does the differentiated particle exist?

    snd

    02.21.2013

    • Here is a link to B.R. Sridhar Swami’s view: http://www.scsmathlondon.org/home/guardian-of-devotion/origin-of-the-soul/

      The relevant section is in the third and beginning of the fourth paragraph:

      “The brahmajyoti, the non-differentiated marginal plane, is the source of infinite jiva souls, atomic spiritual particles of non-differentiated character. The rays of the Lord’s transcendental body are known as the brahmajyoti, and a pencil of a ray of the brahmajyoti is the jiva. The jiva soul is an atom in that effulgence, and the brahmajyoti is a product of an infinite number of jiva atoms.

      Generally, souls emanate from the brahmajyoti which is living and growing. Within the brahmajyoti, their equilibrium is somehow disturbed and movement begins.”

      Here are follow up questions. I am sorry to pile questions on you, but I do not have contact with anyone as learned as you and as exacting and tireless in answering.

      “Jiva is the tatastha-shakti of paramatma” – Q: Paramatma is within the material world only. If jiva is the amsha of paramatma, how can it ever exist outside the paramatma’s domain – in the vaikuntha?

      “Beginningless” doesn’t mean without an origin; it means the emanation from the origin occurs outside the purview of history / time. <- if you disagree, please explain why.

      "Undifferentiated" doesn't mean it has no composition; it means that the components of the composition are homogeneous, not distinct from one another. For example if there is a solution entirely of hydrogen – with no other atoms in the solution, that is an undifferentiated substance. Though it is undifferentiated, it is composed of discrete parts which can BECOME differentiated if another element is introduced into the solution. <- if you disagree, please explain.

      When the differentiated brahman particle is awakened it becomes "atma" – it remains "where" it is objectively, but subjectively it's will makes a preference for or against cooperating with the supreme will. If it decides in favor, it is enfolded by antaranga-shakti and brought into some capacity in which it can serve the supreme will. If it decides against, it is enfolded by bahiranga-shakti and allowed to roam through various stations of serving it's own agendas. <- Again, please explain where your understanding differs, or where you find flaws in this view.

      Deeply indebted to you and greatly looking forward to seeing you soon, by your grace.

      Hare Krishna,
      Vraja

      Vraja Kishor

      02.22.2013

  7. VRAJA wrote: Here are follow up questions.

    1.“Jiva is the tatastha-shakti of paramatma” – Q: Paramatma is within the material world only. If jiva is the amsha of paramatma, how can it ever exist outside the paramatma’s domain – in the vaikuntha?

    Paramatma is an expansion of Bhagavan, which means that whatever is in Paramatma is also in Bhagavan. Bhagavan is the superset. If jiva is amsa of Paramatma, he is naturally the amsa of Bhagavan also. If Tokyo is part of Japan, it is naturally a part of earth. When a jiva becomes qualified to be in Vaikuntha then he is given the facility to be there and Bhagavan takes up the role of Paramatma also for such a jiva. In other words, Bhagavan does the function of Paramatma Himself in Vaikuntha.

    2. “Beginningless” doesn’t mean without an origin; it means the emanation from the origin occurs outside the purview of history / time;- if you disagree, please explain why.

    I disagree. If this is the case, then why call it beginningless? Why not call it beyond time or beyond history? Sanskrit does not lack words. It is the most rich language and has much facility to express with precision. Moreover, i find no sastric support for such an explantion. It would be a good explanation, even without sastric support, if it was not contradicted by sastra, which happens to be the case. Please know that logic in itself is not a pramana or means of knowledge in transcendental matters. Logic supported by sastra is welcome, not otherwise. Please read: Tarko'pratisthanat (Vedanta Sutra 2.1.11) Yatnenea (BRS 1.1.46), and suska-tarkam tu varjayet (1.2.17 BRS Tika of SJ Gosvami, cited from Kurma Purana).

    3. "Undifferentiated" doesn't mean it has no composition; it means that the components of the composition are homogeneous, not distinct from one another. For example if there is a solution entirely of hydrogen – with no other atoms in the solution, that is an undifferentiated substance. Though it is undifferentiated, it is composed of discrete parts which can BECOME differentiated if another element is introduced into the solution. <- if you disagree, please explain.

    I disagree. This is a dissimilar example. Brahman is qualitiless, formless and all-pervading. It is not homogenous like hydrogen gas which has qualities and is made of parts. There is hardly anything in common between your example and Brahman. A better example would be of space or time.
    The second point is the same as stated above. By mere logic you can neither prove nor disprove anything about the Absolute Reality. However, logic can be used to understand the description of the Absolute given in scriptures. For description of Brahman see SB 10.3.24.

    4. When the differentiated brahman particle is awakened it becomes "atma" – it remains "where" it is objectively, but subjectively it's will makes a preference for or against cooperating with the supreme will. If it decides in favor, it is enfolded by antaranga-shakti and brought into some capacity in which it can serve the supreme will. If it decides against, it is enfolded by bahiranga-shakti and allowed to roam through various stations of serving it's own agendas. <- Again, please explain where your understanding differs, or where you find flaws in this view.

    Will means ability to choose. Choice depends on knowledge. So if jiva is making a choice, it implies that he has knowledge of both the internal potency and external potency. Can u believe that a jiva who has such a knowledge would choose to be under Maya? Can u believe that millions, billions, trillions nay unlimited jiva's made such a foolish choice?
    Now take a sip of cool water, sit down, take a deep breath and imagine that u have the chance to choose now. What will u chosse? To be in Japan or in Vaikuntha (I mean Vrindavan)? Did u say Japan? Nah, never. You have a loving wife, beautiful kids, i am sure some credit card – i mean some objects of attachments – and u will not make a choice to be in Maya (I am hoping so, knowing that u are intelligent), so why a jiva who has no attachments in the material world, who has knowledge of Vaikuntha, would choose to come to this miserable place? This is as far as a logical answer is concerned. Next is what does sastra say?
    There are so many statements in sastra which say that jiva is anadi-baddha, or has anadi karma. I am sure u know them. There is no description of any such choice or begining. I wrote an article on abhava to explain this point. This explanation [as given above] is against what Sri Jiva Gosvami writes in Paramatma Sandarbha which is based on sastra.
    Conclusion: Logic by itself is not sufficent to know the Truth. Sabda Pramana is the only way. Gita 16.24 – tasmacchastram pramanam te- Only sastra is the authority for you.

    PS: "and the brahmajyoti is a product of an infinite number of jiva atoms." This is the most problematic statement made by Swamiji. This means that Brahman has no internal potency. That means Brahman can also come under the sway of Maya. This can also imply that Krsna's body can also be a combination of infinite number of atmas, like cells make up our bodies.

    snd

    02.23.2013

  8. “Can u believe that a jiva who has such a knowledge would choose to be under Maya? Can u believe that millions, billions, trillions nay unlimited jiva’s made such a foolish choice?”

    Question :If jiva has no knowledge, why is he punished. What is the theology of punishments?

    scooty ram

    03.03.2013

    • Babaji says: Sorry to say, but your question is not at all related with my statement.

      malati

      03.03.2013