Web         Gaudiya Discussions
Gaudiya Discussions Archive » PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY
Discussions on the doctrines of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Please place practical questions under the Miscellaneous forum and set this aside for the more theoretical side of it.

JIvera svarUpa hoy kRSNera nitya-dAs - But how?

Gaurasundara - Sat, 07 May 2005 05:23:05 +0530
Discussions taking place have borne some questions for me. On page 14 of 'Sri Guru Tattva-vijnana', Sri Ananta das Babaji speaks of the jiva's beginningless ignorance. He quotes a verse from CC (jIvera svarUpa hoy) to show how the jIva is actually KRSNa-dAs, and later mentions the forgetfulness of a relationship with Sri Hari.

jIvera svarUpa hoy kRSNera nitya-dAs

If we have been averse to the Lord since beginningless time, how do we know that we are essentially KRSNa-dAs? We may say that the constitutional position (svarUpa) is like that, but how do we know?

If someone postulates that our inherent servantship is due to our small size (quantitative difference and all of that), this doesn't answer the question because the verse at hand specifically mentions svarUpa - the actual constitution of the Atma. So I would like to understand what it is precisely that makes us inherent servants of the Lord.

Also, I would like to keep this discussion focused on the subject of the jIva's svarUp, not about the jIva's supposed falldown which has been exhaustively discussed elsewhere. In case anyone wants to see those discussions, check out the relevant sections and more at this link.
braja - Sat, 07 May 2005 19:19:41 +0530
Personally, I'd start from the point of what we do know: we exist. We are conscious. What part did we play in our own existence? We didn't make it, buy it, or exhibit any other control in this. Furthermore, we don't have control over how or when this existence will be taken from us. We don't even have control over the direct environment in which we manifest this consciousness. A workmate's husband is blind, another is currently in a pyschiatric crisis unit suffering from psychosis brought on during a severe manic episode. (His bipolar condition was previously undiagnosed). Even the most basic things--our sight and mind--are ultimately not under our control. We are not independent, our consciousness is limited in its scope, our ability to know is also limited. Constitutionally there is something larger than us. (Or, to quote a song of my youth: Don't Fight It Marsha, It's Bigger Than The Both of Us.) We can take that something to be nature, reality, God or Krsna. Or maybe, if our aversion to this sitatuation is strong enough, we can flip our finger at it and take our own lives, proving our freedom. In any case, subservience is reality.

As far as knowing that our subservience is to Krsna and not to a material circumstance or some other entity, I'd skip over the question of pramana, or evidence, and the whole vast land of opinions on the nature of knowledge itself, and refer to the Bhagavatam (11.2.42): bhaktiH pareZAnubhavo viraktir...Ultimately the irrefutable internal knowledge of this is something that will come about naturally by engagement in bhakti. When that satisfaction and nourishment takes place, all questions have been answered.