Insoluble Issues

BY: PRAHLADA NRSIMHA DAS - 3.8 2017

Concerning the origin of the jiva, for those who never read my past article on this subject on another newspaper or don't have time to do it, I will resume now very briefly the two main insoluble problems related to this idea of the jiva coming from the spiritual world.

First, we know from Bhagavad-gita 2.40 "nehabhikrama naso sti..." and so from Krsna Himself, that any step, any advancement in spiritual life is guaranteed forever (eternity). So, it can never be lost. Nowhere is it said that this promise from the Lord is valid only for spiritual progress in this material world. It is said as an absolute truth and therefore appears to be valid even in the spiritual kingdom.

The so-called "fall-downs" that we see sometimes in this material world are only fall-downs from artificial positions and so, of people who were thinking themselves or (and) were naively considered by others as gurus, or as people situated at a very high spiritual stage. In reality, those people never fell down lower than their real level of self-realization. There was only an over-evaluation of it before. Bhagavan das or Ramesvara das prabhus, for instance, could possibly see themselves and be seen by others, as gurus or as very advanced devotees, but when they left their official positions in ISKCON, they actually never fell down lower than their real level in terms of self-realization. Meaning, of course, Krsna realization. That's the reason why, in their heart, they still are (apprentice) devotees the same as any one of us.

Some present famous gurus may "fall down" one day too in the future (a thing which I don't wish), but if they would fall down now for instance, they would anyway neither fall down lower than their present actual spiritual stage of impersonal Brahman realization. Only their external situation and some external aspects in their life would change. Therefore, those so-called "fall-downs" are absolutely not in contradiction with this verse 2.40 of Bhagavad-gita. Those "fall downs" are only fall downs from a basis of artificial status given by a too much materialized religious institution. Or (and) from an artificial personal self-restriction in the matter of behaviour and research of pleasure. Which always ends, soon or later, with its exact opposite. Bhagavad-gita 3.6:

"One who restrains the senses and organs of actions but whose mind dwells on sense objects, certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender".

All that depends on the motivations which are behind those volontary self-restrictions. If they are material or mixed, those restrictions are still artificial.

Even Jada Bharata did not really fall down and kept his spiritual advancement in his next body as a deer. His fall-down because he developed too strong an attachment for a fawn was only related to a lack of spiritual realization, even if he was already very advanced. He did not fall down lower than his real spiritual level. His next animal body was just a very temporary situation. He kept his spiritual understanding in this body and did not become like another jiva in the same bodily condition, meaning being forced to transmigrate later through many other animal bodies before reaching a human one.

So, this verse 2.40 stays absolute in all circumstances and is working and is valid even in the spiritual world. Considering that… In this hypothesis that we would have come from spiritual world... Taking also into account the fact that before falling, we, for very sure, spent immemorial time in the spiritual world...

And also the actual fact that, in the spiritual kingdom, every jiva always continually spiritually advances too...

The question is: what became our past spiritual advancement acquired before falling down?

Spiritual advancement is not something which can be put in a suitcase and separated from the living entity! On contrary, it accompanies always the jiva everywhere he (she) goes. So where would our past spiritual advancement be in this hypothesis of jivas coming from the spiritual world?

There is no question of any enlightened living entity becoming covered by ignorance like we are or were! Except, of course, if it is Krsna's will, like in the very temporary case of Arjuna on the Kuruksetra battlefield... But is it our own personal case?

Even if we consider that leaving the spiritual world would mean to make a kind of pause in our spiritual life, our spiritual advancement would stay very closely with us and this situation of making a pause in spiritual life is more or less expressed by Arjuna to Krsna in the 6th chapter of Bhagavad-gita, verses 37 to 44. And Krsna's answer is very clear, specially in verse 40:

"The Blessed Lord said: Son of Prtha, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil"

This is another promise from the Lord. Can we consider that jivas coming in this material world are never overcome by evil?!!! The answer is no, and that is therefore an insoluble contradiction with this idea of making a pause in spiritual life by coming into this material Universe.

The second point, if we would decide to agree accepting this absurd hypothesis of our past spiritual advancement being separated from us and waiting for us somewhere in some kind of "spiritual advancement bank account" in the spiritual world, is:

How could we stand to recover, in one second, this past spiritual advancement when we will enter in the spiritual kingdom? Spiritual advancement is not a piece of clothing that we can put on or off without being disturbed. It is a very intimate thing and the mind and intelligence must follow and be prepared for that.

Even in this world, if you would instantly transfer someone situated deeply in tamo-guna directly into sattva-guna, this person would not stand it! Even though it is something very positive for him. Ourselves, if we were, in one second, transferfed from what we spiritually were 35 years ago to what we are now, we would not stand it! What to speak of recovering a huge past supposed spiritual advancement acquired during immemorial time in the spiritual world! Spiritual life and our own existence are real and concrete. Not a dream or something virtual.

Of course, some of us (or all?) knew certainly some rare moments when Krsna gave us instants of pure nectar, like the one existing in the spiritual kingdom. But that did not last and could not last! It was stopped very quickly by Krsna before the problems related to the non-adaptation of our mind and intelligence to this state of consciousness appeared.

So, ISKCON's big leaders have maybe some material interest in maintaining this idea of the jiva coming from the spiritual world... or are only rightly very careful on this philosophical point... or have a lack (not lakh!) of neurons... but the fact is that they are completely unable to give real answers to those insoluble points. Except, of course, through very dogmatic assertions or easy sophisms.

So, ourselves, we have to consider all the elements stated in this paper, and others about this important subject in order to make our own opinion about it.