Near Death Experiences
Question: People have near death experiences and during such experiences, they often see a bright light. Is this really just the self shining in its own presence cut from the senses for a brief moment, or is it some samskara they are experiencing of many eons ago possibly merging with Brahman in a prior existence?
Answer: No question of merging in Brahman. That is not such a cheap thing. Light can come from sattva.
Question: Also, so many people report seeing their loved ones etc when they have these experiences, to me this gives credence to the existence of Pitr-loka.
Answer: Or may be their old samskaras becoming active.
Two Types of Jivas
Question: Jiva Gosvami writes about two types of beginningless tatastha jivas, tad evam jivakhyas . . . As to the liberated “tatastha jivas,” it seems more correct to refer to such parsadas as being constituted of svarupa sakti and that only sadhana siddhas are constituted of tatastha sakti. Is Jiva Gosvami really saying that other than the parsadas like Nanda, Yasoda, etc. constituted of svarupa-sakti, there are also other tathasta-sakti nitya siddhas? Thakura Bhaktivinode does say this, but I did not think Jiva Gosvami did.
Answer: Yes, Sri Jiva Gosvami does say that there are nitya siddha jivas, other than those who are expansions of svarupa sakti. As an example he writes garudadikam – Garuda etc. I
I think Visvaksena is another example. There must be many more.
Question: I found something interesting in Bhagavat Sandarbha, Anuccheda 96, text 12. Jiva Goswami argues that when the Bhagavata says (in the Catuhsloki) that before and after creation the Lord alone exists, there is a “kingly we” that is implied. That is to say, He exists “alone” but with His eternal associates, Vaikuntha, etc. Is this accurate? Can you look at that verse and let me know if my understanding is correct, especially about this “kingly we”? Thanks much.
Answer: Sri Jiva Gosvami is arguing that when Bhagavan says that He alone exists before and after the creation, it means that He exists with His associates, just as when it is said that king is passing as in a procession, it implies that he is passing by with his entourage. He also says that when it is said that king is not working, it means he is not following his the royal duties. It does not mean that he is inactive. He is with his family members in the inner quarters. In the same way, during dissolution Lord is engaged in His Lila with His associates.
Bliss cannot be unknown to its subject. The svarupa of bhakti is bliss, ananda. Therefore, bhakti cannot be dormant, or unknown to its substratum. In other words, you were not born with bhakti inside of you. The seed of bhakti has to be given to you by someone who has it.
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