The Process of Attaining Knowledge
Question: If sattva leads to jnana, then why does everyone’s knowledge differ in seeing the same thing when they are in a state of sattva?
Answer: Because everyone does not have the same amount of sattva. Sattva is always mixed with rajas and tamas, which varies from person to person.
Question: Does it change after receiving right knowledge by citti-vritti?
Sabda is dependent upon aptajana, but aptajana varies based on sampradaya. For example, we take Sri Rupa, Sri Jiva, etc . as aptajana, but others don’t accept them. Then their jnana from sabda will considerably vary with ours.
But this variation is only in relation to certain aspects of the philosophy, not that everything Rupa Gosvami says is unacceptable to others. That is so because there are different levels of realizations of the sabda. This is not only true for sabda but also for pratyaksha. The same object seen by different people appears differently, depending upon the angle and the distance they see it from.
Question: Mahat is the first manifestation from pradhana. Ahankara comes from mahat which means buddhi comes first. Individualism by ahankara is later. How does buddhi become individualized?
Answer: Ahankara claims buddhi as its own. Appearance of something and it being claimed as personal are two different things.
The Lord’s Mercy — Difference between Krpa and Anugraha
Question: In Bhakti-sandarbha, Annuccheda 180, Jiva Gosvami argues that bhakti or “turning toward the Lord” is not given by the Lord directly because he is unable to feel mercy (krpa) for the souls suffering in samsara. This is because he always tastes bliss and is free from impurities.
In the same anuccheda, Jiva Gosvami quotes Bhagavata 10.2.31 (svayam samuttirya sudustaram…), which states that the Lord has mercy (anugraha) for his devotees.
What is it about the Lord that allows him to feel anugraha for bhaktas, but not krpa for abhaktas? Can the Lord feel krpa for a bhakta who is suffering? Is there a distinction in the ways the Acaryas use krpa and anugraha?
Answer: There are two distinct aspects of the Lord, called Bhagavan and Paramatma. Paramatma is in charge of the material world. He does not interfere in the karma of the living beings. Bhagavan does not deal with the material creation but only with His devotees. A devotee is one who has attained that part of the internal potency of Bhagavan which is called bhakti. Through this internal potency, He is connected to His devotee. What Bhagavan does is only in relationship to His devotees. He does not involve Himself at all with anything else. Therefore He does not give His kripa to the abhaktas because He cannot feel their pain of suffering, but because He is linked to His devotees, He can feel their suffering and gives them His grace. As it is said in the 9th Canto, sādhavo hṛdayaṁ mahyaṁ sādhūnāṁ hṛdayaṁ tv aham mad-anyat te na jānanti nāhaṁ tebhyo manāg api (9.4.68).
There is no real difference between the terms kripa and anugraha, but the word kripa specifically signifies one who has to the power to help. The word anugraha can be translated as empathy because it is made from two words, anu and graha. Graha means to capture and anu means after. So anugraha means someone whose heart is captured by someone who is suffering.
Jiva has its own identity, separate from Bhagavan. If Bhagavan and Jiva are absolutely one, then there can’t be a relationship between worshipper and the worshipped, or master and servant, or lover and the beloved. For a relationship there must be two distinct individuals with their separate identities. Advaitavada says that in the ultimate stage there is no distinction between Jiva and Brahman. We don’t agree.
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