Question: Is Paramātmā present within the ātmā or the soul? I understand that Paramātmā is present along with the soul in the material bodies, but is He present within the ātmā as well?
Question: If the ātmā is an indivisible unit, how can Paramātmā be situated inside the ātmā?
Answer: Space is indivisible but everything is inside space.
Question: Is Paramātmā present in the spiritual world as well?
Answer: Bhagavān Himself takes the role of Paramātmā in the spiritual world. There is no separate Paramātmā.
Question: Is Paramātmā present within the soul even in the spiritual world? Or is He present within the soul only within the material world?
Answer: Yes, He is present here as well as there.
Question: Does Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī say that the jīva experiences the world through the mind or that the false self experience the world while the jīva remains aloof?
Answer: All experiences, material as well as spiritual, happen through the mind. Kṛṣṇa says the experience of ātmā (the self as well as Brahman or Paramātmā) happens through the mind. See Bhagavad Gītā 6.20–21. Also see SB 4.9.2 describing Dhruva’s experience of Bhagavān, and SB 12.8.32, 12.10.9–11 about Markandeya. All these experiences are in the citta. Who is the experiencer? It is the pure self—identified with the ahaṅkāra.
Question: Is bhakti synonymous with svarūpa-śakti, or are there differences between the two? Viśvanātha Cakravartī defines bhakti as “the essence,” so it seems that svarūpa-śakti includes more than bhakti.
Answer: The internal potency has three main divisions—sandhinī, saṁvit, and hlādinī. These are stated in the famous Viṣṇu Purāṇa verse 1.12.69. Bhakti is either considered as hladini sakti or an essence of hlādinī and saṁvit. Anuccheda 99 of Bhagavat Sandarbha gives an elaborate description of the internal potency.
Question: Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī calls svarūpa-śaktyānanda by the names ‘mānasānanda’ and ‘aiśvaryānanda.’ What do mānasānanda and aiśvaryānanda mean?
Answer: Mānasānanda is the bliss that Bhagavān experiences in His mind by reciprocating with His devotees. For example, He felt happy playing with the gopa boys or by giving His mercy to Prahlāda. The bliss which Kṛṣṇa experiences when He enjoys His opulences is aiśvaryānanda.
Question: Can one who has attained dāsya-rasa in Vaikuṇṭha still aspire for and attain a mañjarī-svarūpa in Goloka Vṛndāvana? I read in Bṛhad-bhāgavatamṛta about Gopa-kumāra going from Vaikuntha to Goloka Vṛndāvana. Also, does Krishna choose the realm and the rasa in which we serve Him, depending on our qualification?
Answer: Whatever you want to achieve is practiced here in the sādhaka body. Once you attain perfection and reach Vaikuṇṭha or Goloka in any rasa, then there is no changing from there. The spiritual worlds are not places of sādhana. They are perfect places for perfect beings. The rasa you serve in is what you receive from your guru.
Gopa-kumāra’s journey illustrates the gradation of various destinations. Gopa-kumāra did not attain Vaikuṇṭha as a final destination. We should try to understand what the author, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, taught and not draw conclusions unintended by him. He has written an elaborate commentary himself on the book to make his intentions clear.
Question: Can someone fall after attaining sayujya mukti or from brahmajyothi? Is there a verse to support this?
Answer: No one falls from sayujya mukti; otherwise, it cannot be called mukti? There are five types of mukti and one of them is sayujya. All muktis are eternal destinations. Mukti means to give up one’s subtle and gross body and becoming situated in one’s spiritual nature, muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ, SB 2.10.6. In the state of sayujaya mukti, one has no form, material or spiritual. There is not contact with anything and one does not perceive anything except one’s identity with Brahman, and Brahman is unlimited.
Falldown can happen either because of one’s own present action one’s past karma or by the will of Bhagavan. None of this is possible because there is no possibility of any action on the part of this person who attained mukti, he has no past karma and Bhagavan does not will anyone to fall-down. Moreover, it is not even theoretically possible to fall-down from Brahman because It is unlimited, so you cannot escape from It.
You can refer to BG 2.72; 5.19, 5.21, 5.24, 5.26, 14.26-27, 18.53, and 18.55 for this, which refer to a person who has attain Brahman while in the present body.
Intelligence naturally favors truth. Whatever it considers to be true, it will cling to that. Therefore, it is important to know things as they are. But when the mind is polluted by a desire, it pulls intelligence away from truth.
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